Dr. Deb's Mental Health Vitamin: Busting out of doldrums

Dr. Deb Wade

By Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services

I heard a song with the following poignant lyrics …

         “This morning I got up at 6:01

         I walked out and saw the rising sun

         And I drank it in like whiskey.

         I saw a tree I’ve seen a thousand times

         A bird on a branch and I watched it fly away in the wind

         And it hit me …

         It’s a beautiful world sometimes I don’t see so clear

         Some days you just breathe in

         Just try to break even

         Sometimes your heart’s pounding out of your chest

         Some days it’s just beating

         Some days you’re barely alive

         And some days you’re living!”

   --Dierks Bentley, “Living”

Do you ever feel like you’re “just barely alive” at times? That you’re in such a routine or so busy/bored/burned out that you really don’t see clearly what is right in front of you?

I believe we all can fall victim to living life in rote-mode. We can succumb to routine and expectations, whether it be the day-to-day grind or the monotony of a robotic response to a fixed schedule. Are we really surprised when we take inventory and realize we’re in a rut?

Is it time to bust out? Time to listen to that gnawing at our core – a call to adventure, a desire for change, a challenge to the dull and tedious routine?  

Or is it also time to just tune in, inspect the expected with a clean eye and try to derive color-texture-patterns from a view that has become gray, dull and dreary?

The best place to start – no surprise, here – is with ME!

  • I need to inspect my face and place a smile on it! Not to sound like a Pollyanna, but the truth is that when we smile, we attract others who are drawn in to the warmth it emits; additionally, a smile automatically begins to change a dark mood and lighten it up!
  • I need to observe those around me and offer a compliment now and then! The truth is that when we notice others, not only does the day begin to brighten, but if we acknowledge what we see, the amplification of that brightened day is compounded!
  • I need to incorporate a spring in my step! Instead of routinely plodding along the day, a quickened pace (along with that smile -- see the first item) will promote a heightened awareness of a day that ordinarily would have become status quo!
  • I need to add brightness to my wardrobe! A colorful shirt, an interesting lapel pin, a bangled bracelet, a “wild” tie, a dangly earring or a wild pair of socks – all are subtle touches that say to the world, “I’m here and I’m glad! Aren’t you?”
  • I need to carry a penchant for gratefulness! We all can find something to be grateful for! Perhaps when we begin to inspect life with more intention and purpose, those things we immediately can be grateful for will jump out at us! The beauty of nature, the privilege of a job, the presence of workmates, the gift of family, the awareness of clean air to breathe – “thank you, God!”

Back to the song. Another stanza includes the following insight:

         “Sometimes your heart’s poundin’ out of your chest...

         Sometimes it’s just beatin’…

         Some days you just forget

         What all you’ve been given …”

         “It’s a beautiful world sometimes I don’t see so clear

         Some days you start singin’

         And you don’t need a reason …

         Sometimes the world’s just right

         That your eyes aren’t even blinkin’

         Got a grateful heart

         For all you’ve been given.”

Powerful words! Bottom line is … we have a choice every single day. We can fall into the predictable, rote, routine and saunter through each day … OR … we can choose to clean the lens we see the world through, and EVERYTHING will change!

Easy choice! Yes, we have the power to move from mundane to masterful!


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GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:20)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/