11/27/2012 12:38 am ET Updated Jan 26, 2013

Beating the Blues

It's very hard to stay "blue" 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People have to work hard to do that, which is good news. You have the power -- even if you're experiencing the blues -- to get relief if you want it.

Most of the time, you can help yourself beat the blues by pushing forward into action versus waiting for the blues to officially end. There are three themes when it comes to ridding yourself of the blues. Each one has a goal -- for you to find the place inside that remembers the joy of life and brings out your passion. Within each theme, there are activities you can do to help get you there. Do what speaks to you the most.

Theme #1: Activities that touch your soul. These are things that are solely about your internal experience. These activities will help you start to feel alive inside. Experience live music by seeing concerts, dance, sing (or even go to a karaoke night), go to church or attend another religious of your choosing. Do whatever you know you used to enjoy before the blues set in.

Theme #2: Activities that get your creativity flowing. Feel like you're contributing parts of yourself to the world. This can be very healing. Activities here could be creating a great meal for a loved one or yourself, painting, poetry, scrapbooking, or putting together a photo album. These activities can even be a shared experience with someone else (whether doing them together or sharing the finished product with someone). This will give you a connection to others as well, which is a great way to combat the blues.

Theme #3: Activities that focus on others versus allowing you to remain focused on yourself. Staying down is perpetuated by the constant attention and focus we put on our negative feelings. Helping others really shifts our focus. It's the ultimate way to feel better. Listen to a friend and help them out, visit a sick relative (or someone who's elderly and needs company), or volunteer -- with children, animals, for the park, or for the environment -- in whatever way appeals to you.

There is one thing that can be part of all the above -- laughter. There is scientific evidence that confirms that when we're laughing, it's more difficult for us to feel down. So go to a comedy club, watch your favorite sitcom, or hang with the friend who makes you laugh the most.

Final Thoughts:

  • Connecting with others always helps, so doing the above activities with someone would be great. Even just going for a walk with someone can be very helpful.
  • The blues do pass. Stay hopeful; whatever is getting you down won't last. You will come out of the bad feeling.

For more by Dr. Debbie Magids, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.