In Archives, Blog, Personal Development, Success Training
I recently received a wonderful question from one of my personal coaching clients and I wanted to share it with you as I think you’ll find it useful…

The Question

Bruce, in spirit of tapping into more of your wisdom, what are some of the techniques you’ve used personally or have seen work well in others to snap out of down times?I’ve just had 1.5 days of feeling quite down. I’ve done some good analysis on it and one of my actions from it was to ask you the question above.

Techniques/Things that have worked well for me in the past have included:

  • Exercise / swimming
  • Eating fruit
  • Calling a friend
  • Writing in my diary
  • Tidying up
  • Listening to great music

Let me know! I have a sense you’ll have some great insights.

My Answer

Richard, everything you listed is what I would call a fix – like a band aid that does not deal directly with the source of the wound.

Techniques are all good and well and can work in the short term to relieve pain, but the pain always returns later and with more intensity until the source is handled.

Let’s get to the root of why you are feeling down and sort that out, and then take what we get. Getting to the source may be painful (or not) and that is why so few people ever get there.

If you’re feeling down, it’s almost certainly because one or more of the following are true for you:

  • You are resisting what is so
  • You have broken your word to yourself or another
  • You are attached to an idea or person
  • You are withholding something that needs to be expressed
  • You are only seeing one side of the coin (think DeMartini)

So, I have a few questions for you with regard to you feeling down:

  • What are you not accepting?
  • What are you doing or not doing that dishonors an agreement(s) to yourself?
  • What are you doing or not doing that dishonors an agreement(s) to another?
  • What idea or person are you attached to?
  • What are you withholding (not saying) from another?
  • Where are you only seeing one side of the coin on an important issue in your life?

Assuming that you answer these questions and discover the real cause of your down-ness, let’s look at what you can do to get your life back to feeling gratitude.

  • If you’re resisting something, can you accept it? What would happen if you did? Can you accept that thing or person just the way they are? More importantly, will you accept that thing or person just the way they are?
  • If you have dishonored an agreement(s) to yourself, what do you need to do to restore it?
  • If you have dishonored an agreement(s) to another, what do you need to do to restore it?
  • If you are attached to something, can you let it go? What would happen if you did? Can you accept that thing or person just the way they are? More accurately, WILL you accept that thing or person just the way they are?
  • If you are withholding, what do you need to express to another?
  • If you’re only seeing one side of the coin, what is the other side? If you are only seeing drawbacks, what are the positives. If you are only seeing benefits, what are the drawbacks. Seeing these opposites and getting the perfection of the equilibrium of Life will bring you to gratitude.

After answering these questions, get back to me with what you learned and the action steps you are going to take. We can also discuss this on our next call if you like.

With love,


P.S. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave me a comment…
Showing 22 comments
  • Copyrightyourmind

    Nice article post Bruce. Thanks for posting.
    Your tips are what individuals are looking for when they’re having a tough time.

  • Gloria

    I personally found the “solution” to my lows and questioning about everything with a negative connotation, in the movie The Secret, applying the principle of Gratitude: shifting my energy from complaining about the bad things to thank for all the good things i already have. It turned out to be that i have so much! Another tip from the movie is the fact that nothing good can come from looking back to what you “should have” done but didn’t. Instead look ahead and go forth. And the 3rd one, is to acknowledge yourself your right and ability to do the best and have the best in your life. Stop procastinating and thinking that you cannot have that thing or person because you are not worthy of it /them. I guarantee to all of you, that if you do it on a daily basis, it will heal your soul. And i know what i’m talking about: before The Secret came into my life, i had been admitted in a Mental Institution, after taking an overdose of psychotropic drugs with the intention of “sleeping forever” and i had ALL what it takes to spend many years in the hands of a psychiatrist. Instead i healed myself, no medication al ALL, no shrinks around. Now, i’m also helping others, which is absolutely THE way to attract more into your life: BY GIVING AWAY.

  • Rohit

    Very insightful, Bruce. I just realized that I have been feeling numb inside for at least the last 1 year, and reading your list of probably causes, I can spot one or two that apply to me.

    Thank you so much! (And hello from India.)

  • Katolicki

    Howdy! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the great work!

  • Roy

    I like the post Bruce – insightful! I’m not prone to depression but I have a “band aid” that perhaps can help someone (after all, sometimes we need those while we heal underneath). My wife is a genetic brain profiler and has shared an insight with me… small movements, like that of our eyes, can impact our brain, especially if they are repeated. The part of our brain that deals with emotions is physically located in the lower region of the brain (limbic system), so when our eyes move down (think downcast, feeling down, our head drops etc) it cues our brain to tap into its emotional side, and nothing wrong with that when the emotions are healthy, but when they overwhelm us it is a different story. The more cognitive functions occur in the upper regions of the brain (neocortex) and the act of looking up, repeatedly, helps to adjust the emotional overload. We can use this to help ourselves feel better (there is something after all in what Grandma used to say when she told you to lift your head when you feel bad).
    An anecdote to illustrate: A friend (with a doctorate in neurological integration) once “treated” a seriously depressed patient (who had been medically treated for depression but found nothing helped). She ascertained that he like to run when he felt up to it, so she told him to go for daily runs! BUT, she wanted him to report back daily on how many rooftops he had passed, and then the next day, tall trees, and so on…. Needless to say, the result was that soon he was feeling much better and able to make rational choices about how to deal with the more complex issues he faced.
    So, if you need a lift, try a walk and count the tree tops or make magic in the clouds. Remember too, the more you do it the more your brain responds to the cues. Of course any given context may have a myriad of factors to consider, but at worst, a walk with your head held high cannot hurt!

  • Roberta

    Thank you. Re: why one might be feeling down, you hit the nail right on the head – it actually kind of hurt my gutts to read why one “almost certainly” would be feeling down. The fact that it hurt my gutts means that it’s true and sometimes the truth hurts. Hurrah truth – bring it on!

  • maria luisa santos peña

    ….to shun away my blues, I hum my favorite hymn, “there is sunshine in my soul today”… that helps me feel better…

  • KS

    Tell me what can i do for this soultion…I am In Love with a Person for 6 year and only this year we get the chance to talk to each other…i would like this friendship be in a really relationship how do i go about…Bruce

  • KS

    Tell me what can i do for this soultion…I am In Love with a Person for 6 year and only this year we get the chance to talk to each other…i would like this friendship be in a really relationship how do i go about…Bruce

  • Muriel

    I found the feeling down usually come for me when I have unrealistic expectiations. When I relax and look at things objectively, I calm down and/or perk up.

    I was very down several months ago because I want to get married to the man I am dating and I felt the relationship was not progressing “fast enough”. I wouldn’t tell him how I felt and I was getting angry with for knowing what I was thinking. Pretty dumb and unrealistic on my part. One night I let him have it and let him know how I felt. I told him I wanted to break it off because he didn’t want what I wanted.

    After unloading, I felt better. The funny thing however, I didn’t feel the “need” to get married or even engaged after that. He didn’t go away. We are getting along better than ever and he’s moving more towards wanting to get married. I’m fine one way or the other. LOL

    Bottom line, I let go of my expectations and anxiety and reassesed EVERTYTHING. Since then, I don’t get down about anything. I taught me to step back and relax. That is the key – relax. Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff.

  • Nan

    Thank you for your wonderful article. You are right on about getting the “blues”. I think people can form habits of feeling blue or depressed and if goes on for a long time, it can become a habit. That habit makes them think of themselves as victims. Someone who follows your tips could change their life.

  • Jane

    I was feeling bad after an unsatisfactory interaction with a friend who I believed had acted in a negative way towards me. I read your comments Bruce which were fab and wanted to add that having “accepted her as she is” I also forgave her, and sent her a clarifying positive text message, to indicate all was well. The acceptance and forgiveness helped me move on and the benefit is all mine (and will impact the relationship positively I’ve no doubt. Thanks Bruce.

  • Meredith

    I personally am battling after losing a loved one on 30 Jan 2010, I have lost all my joy, happiness etc, I don’t even know what it is to smile and laugh anymore, I have withdrawn from everyone and everything, I no longer am interested in anything or motivated to do anything. The depression has gotten so bad that now it looks like I may be suffering from chronic fatigue, I just want to sleep my life away.. I miss this person so much that it hurts more and more every day.. How does one “snap” out of something like this.. Thanks..

  • karla

    Hi Bruce
    I want to thank you for your website. Reading about how other people deal with the pain of every day “life” helps
    me realize that I’m not alone. I’m aware that we should all enjoy every moment of life, and just smile at the bumps in the road. Surrounding myself with “like minded”,
    positive folks always lifts my spirit. Encouraging other people always seems to lift me up!

  • Caryl Westmore

    Watching the movie PATCH ADAMS tonight I liked what he/Robin Williams said about getting himself out of the mental ward and depression by helping the other inmates…So although I train and coach EFT and Matrix Reimprinting to help people to “break free” – my advice to you is…go do something good for someone else. I bet you’ll shift that way. Also see the story “29 Gifts” at which says the same thing.

  • Allen Langhm

    Hi Guys
    I understand that our thoughts, feelings and beliefs create our down times. I have tried self help books, development classes, religion, Cognitive Behavoiur Therapy the list goes on….. then i discovered The Secret movie by Rhonda Byrne and all the worries and doubts that i faced were explained in very simple terms. I was guilty of forever searching for answers that we already hold or are capable of holding and knowing. No one in this world can wave a magic wand to make us feel better or enable us to let go etc. We must do it ourselves. For the more personal serious stuff I went to hypnothereapy for regression and found it magnificent for letting go of memory and emotion to the things that have caused so much pain and misery you must belive in what you are doing and with hypnotherapy if you are skeptical or resist it probably be no good i just found it so beneficial and like a huge weight had been took of my shoulders. finally do not give yourselves such a hard time we all have ups ad downs try to go with the flow and smle an act and speak in love and all seems so much better love and light guys

  • patti

    Bar .. what is the prayer.. can you share it with us please.. and Karen I KNOW how you are feeling.. maybe we can all help each other …

  • Karen

    The information is very good – however, HOW does a person let these feelings go? How does one let an attachment to a person go? I have tried everything, including EFT. My situation has actually worsened – not gotten better. Any suggestions?

  • Bar

    I had an amazing experience recently. You know all those thoughts that go around and around in your head and you can’t get rid of them. You may let it go and then the feeling comes back attached to another stimulus? I went through a hooponopono forgiveness prayer. Not the 4 words, but the entire prayer going back past my lifetime. In a matter of 30 minutes, the bad feelings were gone. It has been 3 days now and whenever I try to think back to the way I was feeling before, there is nothing there. All similar thoughts that caused those emotions are just words, there is no emotion attached and it is incredible.

  • Kathleen

    Hello from Belgium!
    Thank you for this inspiring post. Ever since working with my vision board, meditations, affirmations, I seem to me in a good vibration most of the time. When I am feeling down music or the thought of someone I love or a good memory can make the shift, but recently I discovered EFT when I followed The Tapping Solution Summit and for me it always does the trick. For those who want to try it. Brad Yates is very good and has some free tapping video’s up on YouTube.
    Wishing you all a wonderful day and keep up the Good Vibrations!

  • anjala farmah

    Deep insights can be revealed when you really tune into your body.Notice when you feel down and what might have triggered these sensations. When i feel low i need real quiet time to reflect. To let my mind settle, clear of what i’m feeling and then to have a thought or words come to my mind. By doing this you allow your body to calm and still itself. We feel low because our body is trying to signal to us that we are ignoring a very important message. We need to be open to that message, acknowledge it and be open to it too.

  • patti

    Very insightful. I personally am attached to ‘someone’ I have feelings for them I cant tell them about. I feel trapped and unhappy. I need to let it go but its seems to be all I have thats very important to me.. its driving me nuts to be honest. Reading your wisdom above has made me ask myself some deep seated questions. I dont know what to do..

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