Recovery from low moods is generally a gradual process

OK. Let’s suppose you’re having a bad day – a really bad day – and out of the blue someone tells you a joke, or you see something funny online or on TV.

You laugh.

Does this change your underlying mood? Is everything suddenly fine and dandy again?

No, of course it isn’t. But yes, perhaps it is a little.

If you’ve been eating a poor diet for too long, one slice of raw carrot isn’t suddenly going to improve your health. But multiply this effect into several days of food that’s better for you, and things will unquestionably improve.


The trick, I think, is in not turning your back on that small first chink of light in the mistaken assumption that nothing (NOTHING) will help.

Building a better state of mind is hardly ever the result of one large intervention, but a gradual process building on a range of different inputs.

A laugh here, a hug there, little conversations everywhere.

So the next time you’re mired in the glums, don’t dismiss that involuntary chuckle as meaningless.

It, and other perhaps tiny slices of positivity, are what will conspire to lift you back to where you belong.

4 thoughts on “Recovery from low moods is generally a gradual process

  1. So very true. And itsnt it also true that sometimes, we don’t allow that joke to let us be happier because at the time it just doesn’t seem right? Does that make sense?

    1. That makes sense to me. Had a bit of a hard time with bereavement this year at various times and at one of those I found myself realising that I had shut myself off from my sense of humour, and that thought was a bit of a mindful eureka moment. Which allowed me then to think that if I could lift my mood it would have been beneficial to be able to laugh, and that did then help lighten my mood a bit which was good. A grin is better than nothing (-_-)

  2. I am recovering from low mood and what a long process it is. But as you say, it is worth chipping away with countering activities and ideas. My problem has been that when low mood hits, as it did this August AGAIN ( Why always AUGUST??) I do not have any ideas left in my head to try and get myself moving out of low mood. Virtual catatonia results as every chore is a millstone. That’s right, a millstone, not a milestone. Haha!

    Anyone care to comment? Experienced this depletion too? Thanks, Jon.

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