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What to Do When You Feel Bad

Updated on February 9, 2022
cherylone profile image

Depression and I are old friends, affecting me for over thirty years. By writing about it, I hope to help others find answers.

Serenity. | Source

The Meaning Of It all

Before we can work to make things better, we must first understand the meaning. 'Feeling bad' can mean so many different things to so many different people and yet we fail to know the meaning. Feeling bad can range from sad to sick. It can range from hurting to couldn't help. It can even be nothing more than having a bad day. Emotions can range from sorry, anger, depression, fear, despair, and so many more. The very first step you need to take is to realize there is something wrong unless you like feeling that way. Most people don't want to feel that way

Feeling bad does not mean you are bad!


It could be something that you have done or said. It could be things you are thinking about. Or it could be a simple case of feeling off. When you feel bad, for whatever reason, you need to look at yourself to find out why. No, I don't mean analyze yourself to determine if you are insane or something. I mean look at where you are and what you are doing at that moment. Ask yourself a few questions like "are you a wallflower in a crowd" or "did you tattle on someone to be mean". If you have caused the problem, then fixing it will fix your feelings as well; or at least that is what is hoped. Sometimes there is no fix. Then you must learn to deal with it instead.

But what about when you are not the cause? How do you handle those situations? Often, if you just pay attention to details around you, you will find that you have choices. Those choices will determine the air around you. The air around you will determine whether you feel good or bad about yourself. It will also determine how others feel about you based on your own feelings. Hard to believe, right? But it is true. It still comes down to you.

Poor lonely guy!
Poor lonely guy! | Source

Feeling Ignored

I find that I am usually ignored when we go places whether they are new or otherwise. At first, I thought it was because there was something wrong with me; however, I have since learned otherwise. You see, if you don't speak to those around you, they won't speak to you. The best part about that is: you don't even have to know the person with whom you are talking. All you have to do is say "hi", or compliment something they are wearing. Or just smile at them.

Is it okay to make yourself bigger and better than you really are? Well, a little goes a long way. Something you say now may come back to you when you least expect it. Like when your friend, who brought you to the dance comes over and says something like "Let's get cozy" on the first date or "You didn't you tell me you have twelve cats". Then you find out that the person hates cats and the relationship is lost.

But the truth is, you don't have to make yourself bigger or better. All you have to do is be yourself. Be comfortable with yourself. Once that happens, everything else will fall into place. Oh, and don't worry about whether or not they will like your cats or anything else because you are not getting engaged or moving in together, you are just talking.

Now that is a sight that can make you many better.
Now that is a sight that can make you many better. | Source

Feel You Are A Burden

Yeah, I know sometimes we feel that we are not wanted or that we are too much of a burden to our families. We all feel that way sometimes. And often the feeling lasts long enough for us to get grumpy, miserable, and snappy when talking to others. Left to fester, these feelings could take you down a long-long hole that you won't be able to crawl out of without a lot of help. Instead, when you are feeling that way try thinking of something you like; maybe a garden all in flower; a pond with ducks and geese swimming about; or maybe just a particular book you used to read. Take a moment to smile at those thoughts. Anyone can smile and it takes fewer facial muscles than frowning does (bet you didn't know that.).

Even if you can't do things like you used to do, there are things you can do as an alternative. So what if it takes a bit longer (or in my case a lot longer), you can still do it in little steps. Besides, we all have bad days where nothing seems to go right. There is always tomorrow to get it right. Allowing these feelings to make you feel useless will only bring you way down and back to that hole. Sadly, many never find a way out. Start early and keep trying. Seek help if you need to, there is nothing wrong with that.


It Affects Others Too

I'm sure you can remember days when you get up to take a shower and the shower curtain falls; then you spill coffee on your white shirt on the way to the office; then you trip up the stairs (hard to do I know) and end up limping all day; then you go to give your report to the boss, the one you spent weeks working on, only to find that you forgot to type the last section; no one knows what your bad day is like except you. The problem is: your bad day is affecting others.

So: Take a moment to step outside and just close your eyes. Breath in the clear air (I know some may not have a lot but you can pretend). The purpose of this exercise is to let go. Let go of the anger, fear, and self-consciousness. Let go for just five minutes. Now, tell yourself that you are the best at what you do. Even the best make mistakes now and then. You can do the job. You are confident. You are strong. Then take a deep breath, hold it for a moment, and let it out along with all the bad things that have happened. You are starting over. Go get 'em, tiger!

Talk about making the wrong choice..
Talk about making the wrong choice.. | Source

Give Yourself Credit

We have choices. We always have choices. Don't let the bad ones override the good ones. Keeping it bottled up is the worst thing you can do. Handling it with anger and frustration against you or others does not help at all. Like, you could go off in a corner and have a good cry. I sometimes find that it is the very best way to clear the air. Of course, I get a mighty headache afterward and usually have to sleep to get rid of it, but it is something I can do.

This could be something you could do as well (but shouldn't): go into your bedroom, lock the door, cover all the windows and lay on your bed to think about how dumb and stupid you are. Of course, that will just make the problem linger longer and not go away. Actually it will do worse than that. Keep in mind you know you are not stupid or dumb. There is no such thing. We all have skills and abilities that differ from others, but we are all valuable. Okay, maybe you can't add or subtract large numbers in your head. Maybe you can't come up with new ideas for raising morale. Everyone has their weak points. Everyone has their strong points as well and that is where you need to focus.

Give yourself a little credit. You can do things right. You are good at something. You are strong and confident and a credit to your company, family, and/or group! Without you, nothing would work right Everything would fall apart---okay, so I am laying it on thick; but, that is how you do it. Get real outrageous with it. Really lay it on thick. Then, when you stop laughing at yourself for being so silly, you will have cleared the air and can think clearly once more. Now, focus on the real problem at hand.

Beading is a good one.
Beading is a good one. | Source

Things You Really Can Do

  1. Find a hobby that you like: jewelry making, painting, sculpting, sewing, crocheting, knitting, baking, gourmet cooking, fostering animals---the list is just so big that I can't list it all here. And just following a subject can help--like get a magazine on sewing and keep up with the latest techniques.
  2. Talk to someone about it. I find that I can talk to my animals about all of my trials and tribulations. The best part is they don't tell anyone and they are extremely understanding.
  3. Put notes in different places in your home or in your work area. They could say: "I can only do what I can do"; or "I am the strong link"; or "I can do it on my own". I often find that just putting up notes with large smiley faces on them can help me by drawing on my sense of the ridiculous. Don't forget that you can be silly.
  4. If you have something that you like to do or have good friends that you always do things with, you can take pictures and put them around where you can see them a lot.
  5. Go get a pint of your favorite ice cream and eat it all in one sitting. (Don't do this one too often, though). I try to get the pint-sized ones. I have convinced myself it is better because it is smaller. Hey, we all have to give in to what we like once in a while.
  6. Watch a movie you know will make you laugh.
  7. Put earphones on and listen to your favorite music as loud as you want.
  8. Take a nap. Not at work though, I think the boss would frown on that.
  9. Go shopping at your favorite store.
  10. Join Hubpages and write about it. I know that makes me feel good.

Try This

Of course, it is real easy to give someone else good advice and to even guide them along as they struggle through the process. But to take our own advice.......not so easy.

So try this, look in the mirror at yourself, oh go on, it's not that bad I promise. Now tell yourself, like you would tell a friend, that you are strong, confident, knowledgeable, and an overall good person. Smile at the reflection you see before you. You see a totally different person don't you? Keep working on it and before long you won't have to keep telling your friend in the mirror that they are strong, confident, knowledgeable, and an overall good person because they will already know that.

And if all that fails, try making eye contact and smiling at strangers. The smiling is contagious and so they will smile back. Before long, you will be smiling for real (and, just to add to the fun, making everyone wonder what you are smiling about).

We are all down now and again. The trick is to not let it get to us, and try to follow our own advice.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Cheryl Simonds


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