How to beat the effects of BLUE MONDAY?
Have you taken steps to get over the most depressing day of the year? Do you want to have a happy Monday every day of the week? If so read on!
We Just past Blue Monday! The fact is that in all likelihood the third Monday in January is not necessarily the most depressing day of the year. In fact, for all intensive purposes the day has been made up to sell travel vacations. Yet, because the placebo effect is real it may be possible that you have found yourself stuck in a depressive and unproductive state. Regardless if you validate the concept of Blue Monday or not, we need to come up with a solution to overcoming the attitudes which drag us down.
I have an acquaintance who I regularly run into and regardless of what day of the week it is he always begins the conversation with “happy Monday.” A few days ago I asked him why he always uses Monday instead of another day of the week and he responded with “no matter what day it is it can’t get worse than Monday.” Although he is not actively speaking or making a philosophical statement by continually using Monday as his go-to greeting, he is admitting that for some reason we all get stuck or drug down by Monday. What
is it that drags us down on this day?
Is there a real philosophical, psychological, or economical difference between Monday and the other days of the week? The fact is there’s absolutely nothing different between Monday, Tuesday, Friday or any other day except for our attitude. To determine why we allow Monday to affect us in such a negative fashion we must first address the components and attributes associated with an attitude. In Charles Warner’s writings on attitude, emotional intelligence, and skills he says
“An attitude has three components what you think, what you do, and what you feel.”
What Warner’s trying to convey is that an attitude is made up of three specific components all of which we (You and I) control.
What you think
The mind is a powerful thing. When we allow it to control the way we act, we give it power over us. For me, when I’m feeling down or unmotivated one of the primary reasons is because I have allowed myself to let the way I think control my outward and overall behavior. This is done by letting yourself think thoughts which are negative in nature and allowing those thoughts to begin fostering and nurturing fear, doubt, and indecision. As Charles Duhigg states it in his book, The Power of Habits, “Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage.” Move forward today, one step at a time to convert your thinking into a positive and productive nature. When I find myself stuck in a rut one of the best solutions I use to overcome this thinking is to reach out and connect with individuals who I know have a positive and productive outlook on life.
What you do
What we do is completely and solely dependent on what we allow ourselves to do! Right? In analyzing what you have done today, did you make the decisions behind your actions? Did you allow your attitude to determine what you would do and when you would do it? Let me suggest that if you are stuck doing what you do not want to do, you simply stop! What I mean by this is when you find yourself doing or behaving in ways that you do not find compatible with the way you truly want to be, simply take a moment to stop and reflect. In reflecting you will have one of two choices, you can stay on the path you had begun or two, take the first step towards controlling your attitude and the actions which you engage in. In Tim Ferris’ book,The Four Hour Work Week, (which I have to admit I read for the first time after continually fighting against the social pressures to read his book, which absolutely was a mistake on my part because there are a plethora of useful nuggets and information in his book) Tim says,
“Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now!”
It’s all up to you, if you decide to put off changing your attitude and feeling positive and getting over the Blue Monday syndrome until tomorrow you will never reach tomorrow and you will always be stuck in today.
What you feel
Changing what you think and what you do are fairly easy steps when compared to changing the way you feel. It takes a lot more effort and focus to change the way that you feel because our feelings are deep within us and have been compiled over time as we interact and build systems and habits. Simply put, feelings are hard to change! Yet if you begin with changing the way we think, changing the things we do slowly over time will also change our attitudes in respects to feelings towards the situation or the activity will begin to shift. If you find yourself stuck in the Blue Monday drag Monday after Monday, here are four ways you can begin to change the way you feel.
How to change the way we feel
1. Celebrate your successes.
No matter how small or insignificant success may seem, celebrate it! Focus on the way it makes you feel; the way in which it brings positive energy into your life. As you begin to celebrate the small aspects the faster your feelings will change.
2. Enlist the help of others
Watch video clips, read material, listen to inspiring individuals that get your pulse beating and your heart beat jumping. You can feed off the energy that others have! Take a minute and find individuals who can truly inspire you. Look up Brendon Burchard’s YouTube or other motivational speakers and have it ready.
3. Analyze the “Why”
Sit down for 10 minutes with a blank piece of paper and a pen and free right all of the reasons you feel the way you do. Once you have a list of reasons, begin answering the question to each one of your reasons: “how can I focus and change this one attribute about my feelings?” In no time at all, you will find that you can quickly eliminate the reasons why you feel the way you do in respects to your attitude.
4. If all else fails, go back to what you think and what you do
Focus on the way you’re thinking about your attitude in the situations which you find yourself. Change the things that you’re doing so that you will have a better attitude and so that the Blue Monday phenomenon will not grab hold of you. Over time, you will find that your feelings towards your work or situation have gradually shifted into a positive light.
Surround yourself with positive and remove the negative
We need to surround ourselves with positive people, allowing their attitudes to influence us and remove our negative and blue approach to our work. I was recently reading and came across a great quote by Charles Swindoll on attitude.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” – Charles Swindoll
Lets not focus on the 10% of what happened to us but rather let’s focus on changing the 90% of how you react. Make the choice to overcome Blue Monday and every other day which drags you down by starting with the attitude you choose to engulf and control your life.
I truly believe that everyone of us can have the attitude of a champion and can be successful and happy. If you need help with this, shoot me a message and I would absolutely love to help you gain the attitude you desire to have.
Let me leave you with this final word of advice. Every day we have the choice to live fully, attitude is everything. We can choose our attitude, look on the positive side. Face the sun and leave the shadow behind. Get out there and choose to make the best of every situation you encounter today!