7 Ways to Encourage Yourself

April 6, 2012  |  
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We were not meant to be solitary creatures.  We have a drive within us to seek out relationships, whether it’s through family, friends, or a romantic partner.  Friends can be so beneficial in fact, that in Glamour magazine’s March issue they reported on a study that had people carry a large load up a hill;  when accompanied with a friend, that load or the climb didn’t appear as heavy or high.  But what do you do when there are no friends to help you carry your load?  Just like in Rachel’s article, givers can sometimes find themselves alone due to constantly being there for others, and not finding anyone in their corners.  Here are seven different ways for you to encourage yourself when the load seems too heavy to burden by yourself.

Take Each Day as it Comes

Life really is like running a marathon, it’s mind over matter.  But people tend to get overwhelmed when they can’t see the destination up ahead.  Instead of focusing on what’s to come, try to focus on that day.  Even though the day might be going bad, it’s only one day, and it doesn’t dictate how the rest of your life is going to turn out.

Put Things into Perspective

One of my favorite writers, John Cheese, once described a mindset called “snowballing” in his article “5 Reasons Today Isn’t Going to Suck.”  Snowballing is essentially when one isolated incident puts you in a bad mood and begins to alter your perspective of different situations.  For example, you go to get some coffee, someone bumps into you, spills your coffee on you, and offers no apology.  Because of your heightened sense of annoyance, the fact that the toner ran out of the copier seems momentous, and that customer that  was impatient for you to get new quarters make you feel like you’re going to snap; because of the coffee, the these little isolated incidences began to grow bigger into a giant snowball.  But breaking each incident down, the whole day won’t seem as bad.


Vent it out to yourself

The reason why some people snap is because they have a whole lot of inner turmoil riled up inside.  Sometimes it’s good just to let it all out, even if you are the only one there to listen.  Just getting your feelings out will make you feel better instantly.  If you’re religious, pray about your frustrations.  If you like driving, go for a drive and let your dashboard in on how crappy you feel.  Let it out artistically.  Some of the greatest novels, poems, songs, and works of art were made in a fit of turmoil, anger, and frustration.  Or if you need to, one of my favorite ways of blowing off steam in college would be that me and one of my best friends would stand outside our dorm and scream.  Not saying anything in particular, just screaming, and it felt good, made us laugh and we usually felt a lot better.  Caution though, you might have to explain what’s going on when the cops arrive because your neighbors reported someone screaming…


Remember something that makes you happy, laugh, or smile

When I was seventeen a group of renegade racing pigeons held my family and I captive in our house for weeks.  Anytime we tried to leave they would dive bomb and attack us.  I have a large arsenal of stories of the terror that these two pigeons reigned on my family, and each story leaves me in tears laughing.  Sometimes, the best way to get out of a funk is to remember something funny.  Just that little moment of levity will make you realize that the situation might not have been as bad as you considered it to be.

But if you’re a visual person (like I am also) then looking at old pictures might help.  This is a picture of my sister dancing with her husband, and I can’t tell you how much I laugh just looking at it.  Thanks for the laughs, Kells!!

P.S.  If your’e wondering about the birds, they committed suicide by going all kamikaze and diving right into the ground.


Do Something for Yourself

A lot of depression is inward thoughts, and like Rachel said in her Givers article, when you do so much for other people and you can’t remember when people have been there for you those feelings can internalize.  Well, externalize them (if that even makes sense) and do something for you.  Stop waiting on other people to act for you and do something for yourself.  Get a pedicure, take yourself out to dinner, go see that movie that no one else really wants to see.  Do something for you, you’re worth it!


Try and see the Silver Lining

When you’re in the storm it’s hard to see that things can get better.  However, I encourage you to see the positive while you’re in your bad situation.  Or at least try to.  Bummed that that boyfriend that you had just broke up with you?  See it as an opportunity that you could meet someone better.  Boss unfairly on your back?  Look at it as a learning and inspirational tool, once you get your own business (yes, I want you to reach for the stars, baby!) you’ll know how it felt when the boss was riding you too hard, so you’ll know how to treat your own employees.  Parents getting you down?  Consider yourself lucky, some people have lost their parents and would love to have just one parent to get on their nerves.  There’s a silver lining in every situation, but you have to find it.


Find like-minded People

A lot of depression is because people are suffering in silence, alone.  However, there are millions of people who are feeling the exact same way that you are.  If you don’t have anyone to talk to, just type in how you’re feeling in a search engine, and I promise that you’re going to find at least one group where people are feeling the exact same way.  Sometimes just knowing that you’re not the only one helps.  But if you do decide to go on those pages where people are seeking solace, ignore the trolls because there are usually a few nuggets of good advice here and there.

You can encourage yourself by reading the book Kendra Koger contributed in with Lydia Douglass, Finding the Right Path, and you can find her @kkoger.

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