The Magic Solution for Feeling Low

by | Nov 18, 2000 | Psychology & Living

Try to do some activities that you have reason to believe will help you feel better…right now!

When coping with feeling low, it’s important not to put the “cart before the horse.” This is perhaps the most common thinking error I see people of low morale make. In other words: don’t wait to feel better before you start to do something about it. Instead, try to do some activities that you have reason to believe will help you feel better…right now!

You might think, for example, “I normally like reading books by this author. They uplift me. But I just don’t feel like it now.”

What you must say back to yourself is: “Read it anyway. Give it a try.”

Another suggestion: Make a schedule of what you will do for the next seven days, and stick to that schedule no matter what. At the end of those seven days, allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment. You earned it.

There’s no magic solution when you’re feeling low. Sometimes your low feelings merely have to pass. Sometimes you just have to accept that you’re going to come in for the emotional equivalent of a bumpy landing. Better a bumpy landing than a crash landing. Making yourself do activities you normally find enjoyable — even though you don’t feel like it — can help prevent the crash landing.

Avoid use of the term “depression.” The psychiatric profession has coined this term in order to spread the misinformation that everybody who’s depressed is somehow medically ill. The woman who might be our next First Lady, Tipper Gore, is one example of a high-profile individual who spreads the myth that depressed feelings are a mental illness. She, and others in the psychiatric establishment, imply that medicine is all you need in order to feel better. This is nonsense.

Most depressed feelings are temporary, and will pass. Some won’t. And for ones that won’t, you might find some sort of antidepressant drug useful. (In all honesty, most people I see in my practice don’t find such medicine highly useful. But some do.)

In the end, though, there’s no way that any drug is going to make you think and feel differently over the long-term. When you’re low, you have to accept responsibility for the fact that you’re low, and try to do something about it. It’s not cruel to assert this. It’s simply the truth.

It’s up to you to make your life better. You can’t sit back and let somebody or someone else do it for you. They couldn’t if they wanted to.

Only you can live your life. If you’re depressed, it’s highly probable (believe it or not) that you will be able to solve the issue on your own, or with the help of a good friend or a counselor you can trust. But you still must be willing to take actions to advance your life, whether you feel like it or not. You must be willing to use your reasoning, positive, benevolent mind to counteract all the negative thoughts invading your consciousness when you are feeling low.

In the end, getting over feeling low means moving past the “I can’t” mentality to the “I will” mentality. Any activity or person who helps you advance in this goal is a friend. Anyone who tells you feeling low is a medical disease over which you have no control is doing you no favors.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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