Four Experiments to Help Fight the Downward Spiral

Have you ever had one of those days where you just can’t seem to catch a break? Those days where you feel like you don’t have a purpose and that nothing really matters?

These are the days that can really hurt us. We might make a bad spending decision or say something inappropriate at work. The last thing we want is to damage our earning ability; this is only going to make things worse!

For me, the holiday season is a good time to reflect and figure out how I'm going to fight the downward spiral going forward. Here are four experiments I'm planning on trying next year.

Some people say that the goal should be to focus on positive thoughts. But that’s easier said than done; I don’t know about you, but positive thinking doesn’t come naturally to me when I’m feeling down. I started reading more about the issue and something interesting: it’s not about positive thinking, but instead about positive doing. Here are four ideas to help you turn things around.

Have Something to Look Forward To:

It is MUCH easier to get through the day when we have something to look forward to in the near future. Take a moment to think about the little things that are coming up – maybe a night out with your significant other, a friend’s birthday party, or a fun outing with your family.

What if nothing is coming up in your life? Well, then it’s time to change that! Figure out something that you want to do and make plans to do it. When I was younger, my father used to get energized by planning our family vacations. He worked hard in his day job and our vacations were only once a year, but just thinking about them made him happier and gave him much more energy.

Write About Your Loved Ones:

This is an interesting one. Researchers at the University of Arizona found a few volunteers that took time out of their day to write something about their loved ones. Immediately afterwards, they felt substantially uplifted. Once again, this experiment can make you feel like you have purpose, giving you an instant shot of self-esteem.

Do Something Nice For Someone Else:

Many people believe that we have evolved to be purely selfish creatures. Why should we go out of our way to do nice things for others without getting anything in return? But the research shows otherwise; volunteering time or money for the benefit of others makes us feel much better about ourselves. It gives us a greater sense of self-worth and boosts our confidence. I’m not saying to give away all of your time and money, but do what you can; a little goodness can go a long way.

Write Down Your Problems:

There was an interesting research study done a few years back. They did an experiment where people feeling down talked about their problems. Afterwards, the results showed that they didn’t feel any better. But when people wrote their problems down on people, they actually ended up in a much better mood. This is because writing things down helps put things in perspective. For some reason, your problems don’t seem as bad once you see them on paper.

Have a wonderful holiday season everyone! Here's to a happy new year!

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