My Favorite Trick to Cast Away the Shadows and Let in the Sunlight

Seek a point of focus to lift your mental state

Sometimes, we aren’t meant to be overjoyed. At others, we’re blue for no apparent reason. We feel down, so we plunge into the depths of our psyche, turning over old wounds as we seek reasons for our lapse of mental sunshine.

These occasions are fraught with worry. We recall small slights and feed them with the potential for disaster, watching them grow. We scour our memory banks for eyesores on our emotional landscape and say, “here it is! The difficulty that makes me unhappy.”

Such events arent the same as those caused by genuine angst over actual setbacks. No one’s died. We have no reason to grieve, and maybe it’s not even raining. But something inside us experiences a sinking sensation, and we want to know why.

Much of the time, there are good causes for our frame of mind. Now, though, we find nothing of important in our remembrances. So, through lack of understanding about our emotions, we scrape difficulties from the ground on which we walk.

We believe someone close to us must have said something, done something out of order. Or we go back to an old fear, one that made us fret before, and let it unfold again. We look for trouble, when really, our dip in mental wellbeing is due to things we cannot fathom.

These occasions are ripe for change. If no setback’s befallen us, the chances are we’re sad because of an imbalance, or a hangover from a dream. Or perhaps we’re just tired. After all, we can’t be happy all the time.

The first step to managing our emotions when we’re low for no apparent reason is to stop the fight. We need to recognize we won’t die if we let ourselves be blue. No terrible happening will grab us and drag us into the abyss if we allow the experience of blueness to color us.

When we sit with our emotions, accepting them, part of our anxiety lifts on autopilot. That’s the part caused by battling against what we feel. A sense of peace within the stillness rises, and we’re okay to travel to the next step: Gathering beauty.

Think of your mood as a vibration. See each mental state as vibrating at a different level. If you are low, you want to shift to a higher vibrational energy mindset. This is possible if you focus on the recognition of beauty. Beauty and joy go hand in hand, so when you find one the other won’t be far behind.

My favorite trick to move up the emotional vibration ladder is to note how many instances of beauty I can find anywhere I happen to be at the time.

If I’m outside in the country, I might note the beauty of trees or a babbling brook. If I’m in a built-up area, I may see beauty in a stranger’s smile or architecture. Indoors, I could recognize beauty in my dog, or the way light falls upon the wall as it streams through the window.

The exercise works because it alters the way you think. And when you alter your mindset, your view of the world changes. It reflects your point of focus. Sometimes, seeking beauty will shift you into a wonderful mood. At others, it will just lift you far enough out of the blue so you can feel the sunshine again.

It’s okay to experience all emotions. When you accept a downcast mood, rather than fight it, a smidgeon of peace enters your bones. Next, if you so choose, seek a point of focus to lift your mental state. Doing so could seem silly at first, or impossible. But it will work at the level you are ready to greet in the moment.

Then again, you might choose to let a blue mood wash over you and experience it fully, just so you can find out it’s okay. When you note you survive, after all, the next time it appears you can say “oh, you again. I know you. Come sit beside me till you fade. The way you always do.”

Independent content creator, ghostwriter, author mental health advocate, and poet.

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