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Tue Sep 8, 2020, 09:07 PM

Three Strategies for Lifting Your Mood When You're Down


Cultivating well-being amidst difficulty.
Posted Sep 08, 2020

Three Strategies When You're Feeling Down
1. Beware the Second Arrow. There is a well-known Buddhist story about the two arrows in relation to human suffering. In this story the Buddha is asked about a person’s response to being struck by a first arrow and a second arrow. The Buddha explains that the first arrow represents the things in life that we cannot control. This first arrow is naturally painful, and inevitable. But the second arrow is our reaction to the difficult event, and the suffering caused by this second arrow is optional.

I have noticed in my own personal experience, and in the lives of my patients, that when we are struggling due to life’s difficulties (the first arrow) there is often a second arrow that follows it that sounds something like this: “What is wrong with me that I’m feeling this way?” “I should be feeling differently.” Or, “what if this feeling never ends and I feel like this tomorrow and the next day and the next.” When we resist our feelings, or worse, greet them with self-criticism, and when we get caught in emotion forecasting, this can make an already difficult situation feel far worse.

Much more at link. Good stuff!

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Reply Three Strategies for Lifting Your Mood When You're Down (Original post)
SheltieLover Sep 2020 OP
c-rational Sep 2020 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Sep 2020 #2

Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Tue Sep 8, 2020, 09:21 PM

1. I have found simply saying "The fruit of negative thinking/emotions is endless misery and

suffering," helps. I agree that the shoulds and what ifs in life are traps. Stay away. I also like the analogy that many of our thoughts are like drunken monkeys, they are not to be entertained. a
Another tool I use to use whenever I had a negative thought was to say aloud Cancel, Cancel. Akin to not allowing an ash to sit on your clothes long enough to burn a hole. Peace.

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Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Tue Sep 8, 2020, 11:32 PM

2. Thanks for the link, my dear SheltieLover!

It has good advice there.

One thing that I have found very helpful: When I'm down, one thing that brings my mood back up is to help someone else feel better.

It basically works and it often surprises me. It helps me forget what made me down in the first place.

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