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What to Do When You Feel Gloomy at Work

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What to Do When You Feel Gloomy at Work

Sometimes, we just feel gloomy — at work or at home. You may love your job and the work you do but still find yourself feeling down once in a while. It’s OK.

According to lifestyle expert Deepak Chopra, “We live in a society where a high value is placed on being positive. Yet sometimes this simply isn’t possible, and people find themselves facing temporary or long-term sadness.” Often, our co-workers or family will say, “Cheer up!” or “Be positive,” when this just doesn’t seem like something you can do.

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So, what can you do when you’re feeling sad? Go home and watch TV all day? You may want to — and you may need a day to do just that — but there are other ways to cope that can help you get through the sad times.

1. Identify Your Sadness

Try and figure out just why your feeling down. According to Chopra, there are three types of sadness: short term, triggered and depression. Short-term sadness might begin when we are stressed, bored, lack sleep or lack stimulation. Triggered sadness happens when someone we love dies or you find out a friend is very ill. Depression is when you can’t cope with something you could normally cope with — as might happen after a death in the family. It goes on for a very long time and affects your life in multiple ways. Identifying the cause of your gloomy mood will help you cope with it and eventually get over it.

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2. Take a Quick Break

If you find yourself unhappy at work, for whatever reason, take a break. Perhaps your boss just hollered at you, or you did something wrong and can’t get past it. Whatever happened, take a break for a half hour — maybe more if you can. Go outside and take a walk. Do a few jumping jacks. Run. Stretch. Call a friend. Do all of these things, or just one or two. Then go back to work and try and focus on the things about your job you do well or like best. Getting involved with a project that you feel you excel at can help you break the doldrums and center yourself.

3. Focus on Your Dreams

Maybe this isn’t the job for you. If you find yourself feeling sad or down at your job often, then perhaps you need to do something else. What is it you’re dreaming about when you’re not focusing on your work? Are you thinking about owning a restaurant or a bookstore? Writing a book? Climbing mountains? Explore ways to make a living doing what you love. Maybe you can work in an outdoor equipment shop that gives mountain climbing demonstrations — or maybe a bookstore. Learn a new skill outside of work that can help you obtain a new job, or look for openings at your current company that might appeal to you more.

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4. List Your Achievements

Take a moment in your lunch break and write out your achievements. Go back to your school days if you have to and start from that spelling bee you won. Include the massive tomato you grew in the garden last year. Reflecting on your better moments and writing them down gives you concrete evidence of your achievements. It’s important in those times when we are feeling low to remember the good things we’ve done, especially if we recently failed at something at work. This can go a long way toward feeling better about yourself and your future.

5. Set a Goal

Maybe you’re sick of this job. Maybe you’re tired of working there or you’re tired of your current circumstances, or whatever. Whatever the reason you’re feeling down, if you set a goal for yourself — a single, motivating goal — you can get past the feeling of gloom. Get excited by your new goal and write it down very clearly. If your goal is to lose weight, then set a certain amount of weight you want to lose by a certain day. If your goal is to own a business, then write down what the business is and when you expect your first opening day to be. Be very specific and then get excited to start achieving that goal.

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In the end, we all feel gloomy sometimes — at work and at home. Sometimes you just get over it and sometimes you have to take action. Sometimes we just want to be a little gloomy and that’s OK too. Surround yourself with people who make you happy and remind yourself that life is a long journey filled with good and bad moments. Focus on the good moments and you may find yourself perking up without even realizing it.

More by this author

Michelle Kennedy Hogan

Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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