When we’re feeling down, it’s not uncommon for people who care about us to offer suggestions on how we can beat the blues. As it turns out, some of their well-meaning advice may be more myth than helpful strategy. Here’s why you should avoid these common cheer-yourself-up chestnuts:
GIVE YOURSELF A TREAT: Let’s face it. Those treats, whether it’s a piece of cake, a shopping spree or a few drinks, may only make you feel guilty once the initial rush passes by.
TAKE THE DAY OFF: You may be tempted to think that a mini-vacation from daily chores or responsibilities is just what you need, but sticking to a schedule rather than taking a break will actually help you feel better. Why? Accomplishing your goals is more likely to boost your self-worth and confidence.
SHUT DOWN ELECTRONICS: Ever have someone tell you to shut down your email and other social media for the day and opt instead for quiet contemplation and centering so you can count your blessings in peace? Well, studiesshow that we all get a better mood boost from connecting with other people. Although it can be tempting to isolate yourself when you’re feeling unhappy, you’re better off making pleasant plans with friends or family. Just make sure those folks are upbeat and not likely to bring you further down.
LET IT OUT: “Depression is anger turned inwards” is a common expression, but research shows actively expressing anger only fuels it. It’s a good idea to identify the cause of your anger or resentment, but then instead of going on a rant, figure out constructive ways to overcome the issues at the heart of your discontent.
Robin Westen is ThirdAge's medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. Her most recent book, co[authored with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is "V is for Vagina."