The two phrases, "Down in the Dumps" and "Floating on Cloud Nine" are quite the opposite, and carry with them some really powerful meanings! Both phrases begin with your attitude towards something or someone. If you are feeling down in the dumps; it means you are feeling low-spirited or melancholy. If you are feeling like you are on cloud nine, you are in a state of total euphoria. Both of these extremes are driven by emotions. Our emotions are driven by our thoughts. Our thoughts are driven by our attitude. They are all interrelated, and cause an upward or downward spiral.
We all can get down in the dumps at some point in our lives. Things happen that cause us to feel some depressed emotions. That is a very normal occurrence, and can happen to anyone. Some people get stuck in the dumps and can't find a way out. This can be very dangerous, as the longer you spend time there, the more depressed you can become, and the more "normal" it feels to be there. To dig your way out of the dumps, you must begin with your attitude. When you are in the dumps, your attitude is very negative, dark, and dreary. To change it with the snap of your fingers is not realistic or natural, but by slowly adjusting your attitude, you will begin to climb out of the dumps. Think of one thing you are grateful for…focus on that…and slowly other things will seem good and you can be grateful for those…and the spiral continues upward. Once your attitude is adjusted to be more positive, your thoughts will become more positive as well. When you begin thinking positive and uplifting thoughts, your emotions will follow!
Likewise, if you are on cloud nine, it is often a result of something wonderful happening in your life. We all have experienced this feeling at some point as well. To stay here is not dangerous like staying in the dumps, but it usually is a fleeting feeling. I think we all would prefer to stay on this cloud rather than to be in the dumps, but it takes more effort to be there…more intentional brain power is needed. In order to stay here more often than not, we need to look at our attitudes. If we continue to be present and appreciate the goodness in our lives and the circumstances and people that are helping us feel these awesome emotions…we are then more likely to continue to float. If we tend to become a "Negative Nelly" if and when that magical spell is threatened, then we can unfortunately take the fast train to the dumps.
It is all hinging on our attitude.
If we have a dream or a goal that we want to attain, there will undoubtedly be bumps in the road. Nothing comes without some of those stumbling blocks. Whether we keep trudging and persevere depends so much on our attitude. If we let the bumps create feelings of rejection, unworthiness, and failure…then our emotions, thoughts, and attitudes have defeated us. Contrarily, if we use those blocks as a learning tool, to get a leg up, and to make us stronger…then we are using our thoughts, emotions, and attitudes to get ahead, to become better and to keep moving on up. Your dreams and goals can be anything from getting out of bed in the morning to writing and publishing a book. We are all at our own level and on our own journey…make sure your attitude isn't influenced by comparing yourself to other people…that is especially dangerous!
How high do you want to fly? Do you want to stay at ground level and remain safe? Are you stuck on the ground because you are afraid of failing if you try? Are you in the dumps? Are you comfortable there, or are you just not sure how to get in the clouds? What is it that is holding you back? Are you listening to your negative words and attitudes swirling around in your head? Does the emotion of fear paralyze you? I know that if you are down in the dumps, that floating on cloud nine seems like an untouchable goal. I have been there several times in my life, and the thought is daunting. A quote from Tao Tzu comes to mind as an inspiration for me, and maybe it will be encouraging for you too:
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
Take Action: This week and beyond, let's evaluate where we are: down in the dumps, floating on cloud nine, or somewhere in between. Let's try to move our attitudes, thoughts, and emotions in an upward spiral, even if it is just one step! Focus on one thing for which you are grateful, and let that feeling grow. Let's tune in to how simply shifting our attitudes can change our thoughts and emotions…and let's try to make them positive rather than negative.
Let's see how high we can fly!