Five Ways To Feel Up When You're Down

Littlefinger schools Lord VarysChaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.” Littlefinger, Game of Thrones

Recently I’ve been obsessed with this quote from the fantasy drama series, Game of Thrones. I’m not about to discuss analogies to the show or life lessons from the Lannisters. What I want to share with you is something very personal.

As I moved to China in 2013 to do an MBA degree. This meant an investment of at least two years in China to complete courses, learn the language and do an internship. There’s been times when I’ve been very lonely, there’s been times when I was frustrated. There were also times when I felt it wasn’t worth the effort and I’ll give up.

Some people I met after arriving didn’t last and went back home. Now I’m older than most of the students at Ningbo University, and I suppose that gives me some life experience. What life experience also does is, it gives me more memories, more people to miss. You feel down, and you think about all the things you don’t have, and the spiral continues downwards.

Here’s Five Way To Feel Up, Even When You’re Down

  1. Avoid Being Alone – This often difficult because when you feel low, you don’t feel like talking. The trap is that your mind will play games with you. So if you can find someone very talkative, hang out with them or call them. They will chit-chat and hopefully their energy will help lift you out of whatever is getting you stuck or down.
  2. Practise Gratitude – Sometimes we don’t realise what we’ve got until we don’t have it any more. Many people teach practising gratitude like Dan Sullivan. You can read a great book on this like Choosing Gratitude.
  3. Take A Walk – Sitting at your laptop or looking at your Smartphone doesn’t help. I found a great path outside the place where I stay that goes past a river and takes about 1 hour to walk. Once I jogged the route with German Professor of mine and it took 30 minutes. The point is to get out of your room, out of your apartment and walk.
  4. Listen To Great Music – Music can make you feel happy or sad. I have a playlist of upbeat music for those times when I feel low. So I put my headphones on and turn up the volume. Music can change your internal state faster than almost anything else.
  5. Keep On Climbing – I used to quote Napoleon Hill, “Keep on, keeping on…” to people who are despondent. Sometimes I wishes they would tell me something similar. At least I remember this for myself and now with the quote from Littlefinger I think about it daily.

Three Ways To Deal With Boredom

Motivational speaker Ramon Thomas South AfricaA while ago I wrote an article about how SMS relieve loneliness, stress and depression. The same advice applies well to boredom in general. John Taylor Gatto first alerted me to the pandemic of boredom in public schools. This is a cause for concern both in children and in teachers. Everyone has felt bored at some point in their life, it seems to be the way the world works now. Without this innate feeling of despondency how could we continue to fuel to the consumer driven economies of the world.

According to boredom is a noun: the state of being bored; tedium; ennui. Origin: 1850–55; bore2  + -dom Synonyms: dullness, doldrums, weariness. These dates fit perfectly into the industrial revolution’s time frames. Meaning that before that period there was no such thing in the common language of conversation. People amused themselves in a variety of ways.


When you find yourself in this position, the key is to get your body physically doing something. So the immediate task at hand can be as simple as taking a walk. This gets oxygen flowing and begins to clear your mind. In fact when you are weary you often do not feel like doing anything at all. How do you motivate yourself to keep walking? If you’re bored and it’s night time you may not want to take the risk of walking around outside.


Another option is to listen to music that gets your energy juices flowing. This is not a time for relaxation and more dullness. You can listen to dance music and get yourself into the groove being motivated to have fun. There’s saying I stole from somewhere which goes like this, “The only business we take seriously is fun…” So should you.


Instead of surfing around Youtube or Facebook, start texting or chatting on your Smartphone with a friend. This is a great way to relieve boredom because you’re engaging with a real human being and not the faceless social media sites. You are not trying to numb your senses through mindless television. Texting is two way communication. From this the other person may suggest you meet-up, which is even better than chatting over your phone. Talking to a person face to face is the most powerful way to engage.