When Things Are Down – Smile. Sing. Dance.


We all have those days where we are just completely under the weather. We cannot wait for the day to end – but why should we? What is stopping us from ending this downward spiral right now. What is there holding us in a negative stronghold but ourselves?

How can we set ourselves free? Not tomorrow, not next week – but right now?

The quick answer: we need to dissociate from our unpleasantness. We can only dissociate by replacing ourselves into a new associative role, one of pleasantness, not against it.

So wait – how do we stop being depressed? Be happy? Isn’t that the goal, not the solution? Well, it is actually both! It only takes an instant or a moment to change one’s mental state. We can do this without the help of any external factors; all we need is our mind.

This morning I became very aggravated very quickly. I couldn’t find the book I was planning on reading later, I burnt my breakfast, I got a call from my Mom wanting me to run a line of errands, its absolutely pouring outside, and I realized I am extremely low on cash. I was pissed off. I was one more straw away from going to the nearest wall and planting my fist on the other side.

Then I paused. I’ve taught myself throughout the years that when things are bad sometimes all it takes is a quick step backwards to put it all back into perspective. This is dissociating from the present moment. It is useful, especially during times when you are busy and running in auto-pilot mode.

But then you can’t stay dissociated forever, you need to eventually step back into yourself and continue your day. But when you do step back into yourself, make sure you associate with the pleasant and happy side of yourself, not the negative and aggravated one.

When you associate into your happy self – what should your happy self be doing? Smiling, of course. But what else can you add?

For a moment, try thinking of yourself as a customizable video game character. What are all the cool things you can add to your happy self? What type of behaviors would he or she do? How would they walk throughout their day? Add a little pop to your walk. Erect your posture. Do a little dance. These are all free ways to get a quick high out of life.

Can’t sing? Do it anyway. No, really – it is an order. I can’t sing for the life of me, but I get the greatest, most selfish, and pleasant joy out of it.

When I went downstairs to get myself a snack today, I was in a much different state then when I was this morning. I danced around the table. Made goofy sounds with my mouth: beat-boxing, whistling, singing, and whatever else my lips, tongue and vocal chords are capable of. I gave a couple of punches into the air as if I were Rocky. It’s all-good. Make life a celebration. Sure, my dogs gave me a couple weird looks and then stared at each other in disbelief, but that is just another part of the joy.

The idea here is to enrich your personal life in the most easy and effortless ways as possible. When you are by yourself and in the comfort of your own home you have no excuse to hold back your potential for glee. Make the most of it: be creative, be simple, be happy.

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