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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work-Life Balance

4 Things You're Allowed to Tell Yourself When You're Feeling Down

sad man

I’m a big believer in the power of positive thinking and a grateful attitude. But, even so, I’ll admit that I feel discouraged on almost a daily basis.

Whether it’s the fact that I can’t seem to get the words to flow for an article I’m working on, I’ve been ghosted by a potential client I was excited about working with, or the total in my bank account was a little (OK, a lot) lower than I had anticipated, I experience plenty of those moments that get under my skin, make me grit my teeth, and force me to heave an exasperated sigh.

Yes, unfortunately those instances pop up pretty frequently. So, I’ve learned that I simply can’t dwell on them and destroy both my mood and motivation. Instead, I need to pick myself up, take a deep breath, and move on.

How do I manage to do that—when all I really want to do is cry, tear my hair out, or take a nap (or all of the above)? Well, I remind myself of these four things.

1. It’s Not Just You

Spoiler alert: Literally everybody feels disheartened at one point or another. Yes, even those people that always seem so perfectly polished and positively chipper have their moments of pure and utter frustration.

So, while I don’t necessarily subscribe to the whole schadenfreude principle, I think it’s OK to take at least a little bit of comfort in the fact that you’re not the only one to ever want to put your head down on your desk and weep. Feeling dismayed can be an isolating emotion at times, so it can be helpful to know that you aren’t totally alone in your stress and disappointment.

2. It Could Always Be Worse

Honestly, I go back and forth between whether or not this sentiment is particularly uplifting or incredibly dispiriting. But, there are definitely times when this simple phrase helps to pull me through those moments of sheer exasperation.

While I tend not to like to zone in on negatives (like the fact that my computer could crash or my house could catch on fire), reminding myself that my situation could always be worse is a great way for me to channel more of my focus into the things I should actually be grateful for and happy about. Plus, it drives home the point that things really aren’t so bad right now.

3. This Too Shall Pass

Nothing is forever. So, even though it might feel like this period of discouragement will continue on for the rest of eternity, I assure you it won’t.

When you’re feeling disheartened and down in the dumps, it’s important to remind yourself that this is just another passing period of time—life is really just a series of highs and lows. And, even better? Those not-so-great moments are the ones that make your wins and successes seem even sweeter!

4. It’s a Perfectly Normal Emotion

Admittedly, there are times when I feel a little guilty about the fact that I’m dismayed or depressed. I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that I always need to feel positive and grateful—that giving into those down moments means I’m unappreciative of the many great aspects of my life.

But, I’m here to tell you that feeling those ups and downs doesn’t make you dramatic or whiney—it makes you human. So, yes, you have my permission to feel crestfallen every once and a while. Just don’t let that emotion hijack your entire life.

We all have times when we feel plain ol’ discouraged. Trust me, it’s a completely typical—and even rational—reaction. But, the key is to get through those moments of dismay and move on with your day. Keep these four sentiments in mind, and you’re sure to rebound in no time!

What do you tell yourself when you’re feeling frustrated? Let me know on Twitter!