What, exactly, has you down today? What is the real cause of the bad mood, the blue funk, the almighty snit in which you find yourself? Something that you did or didn’t do? Something someone else did or said or didn’t do or say? Can you even put it into words, or is it just some sort of vague ill-at-ease feeling that has you on edge?
If you can put a name to it, are you willing to do so? Sometimes naming our fears, our upsets helps to take away their power. Verbalizing is a valuable tool, if we will only use it. Talking about a problem helps to put it into perspective. For some reason we have a need to tell our story, sometimes repeatedly. Again, doing so helps to give us at least the illusion of control.
Is it within your power to do anything about your gremlins? Okay, so you have COPD and your mother thinks that she has several kinds of cancer because she is always watching doctor shows and you’ve just had a horrible argument with your oldest kid and the dog has eaten something disgusting. You must pick your battles. The kid and the dog come to mind. Your mother is never going to change, and there isn’t anything that you can do about the COPD. Or is there?
It is pretty firmly established that exercise helps to relieve depression, to make us feel better about ourselves, to improve mood. What could be simpler? By doing something that you should be doing, something that you must do if you are to have any hope of living a halfway normal life, you can boost your mood at the same time.
It is certainly worth a try.
Jim Nelson is a former Glenwood Springs resident who works with regional and national cardiovascular and lung organizations.