Relationship: The blahs

Scripps Howard News Service - You've got the blahs.

You're not feeling hopeless, but you're not feeling good, either. Sometimes it's hard to put a finger on it, but it's a normal thing for most people, and it doesn't mean you are clinically depressed.

In life, we have to take the good with the bad, and some days just aren't as nice as others. It could be raining, which has an effect on quite a few folks, or it might be that things just aren't going well at work or in your relationship. Perhaps you didn't sleep well, or you haven't been getting enough exercise.

Whatever the reason, having a blah day is part of being human, and learning to accept and push through the blahs is imperative if you don't want to let your moods rule your life.

There are a jillion ways to change your mood and turn a bad day into an OK or even good one. The trick is to recognize that you aren't feeling as good as you'd like and then rise to the challenge of making yourself feel better in some way, shape, or form.

Don't blame others, even if you did have a fight with your significant other last night. And don't just lie in bed and pull the covers up over your head. That never works. The only way out of this is to make the choice to change your behavior, so you can alter your mood for the better.

Here are some ideas. Try imagining yourself doing something pleasant. If that doesn't give you enough energy to get up and going, try a little meditation. Just a few very deep breaths, focusing on the positive energy within, can make a big difference.

If meditation is too passive for you, then force yourself to do something active. Getting your body moving is the easiest mood elevator you have at your disposal, and too few of us use it as the great healing tool that it is.

Remember, too, that the blahs are temporary. And focusing on what may have caused them is less important than choosing not to give in to the desire to do nothing and just feel down. If you don't fight the blahs, they can get worse. Conversely, when you are successful in chasing them away, it will be easier the next time you need to do it.

Most everyone who has been through this has discovered a personal method that works. There is no wrong way. Anytime you make the effort to feel better, you are adding to your arsenal of weapons to fight the blahs, and those are some great arrows to have in your quiver. If you have a special technique, email me, and perhaps I'll be able to share it with my other readers.

Not all your days can be good ones, but they don't have to be blah, either. So take these tips, add a few of your own and the next time you get a case of the blahs, you will be ready to kick them to the next county.

(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author, most recently, of "100 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence -- Believe in Yourself and Others Will Too." Email him at Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com.)

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com)

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