Do you ever get the INFJ blues? I do routinely. One day, I’ll be feeling encouraged and motivated and the next I’ll be down in the dumps. I’m learning that it’s part of being an INFJ.
Just tonight, the dark side of my personality confronted me again. A family member gave me some constructive criticism that I wasn’t expecting, and as he did, the sun disappeared from my proverbial sky.
I hate when I get depressed. I feel trapped and start to question whether or not any of my hopes and dreams will ever come true. Sometimes I just don’t know how to shake the heavy feelings or change my mood.
Have you been there?
While I’m not a counselor and I don’t have it all figured out, I have found several strategies that help me.
I once heard a keynote speaker say that if you change your biology, you’ll change your psychology. One way to get out of a funk is to exercise. When I’m down, I like to shoot hoops, go for a run or walk, or lift weights. Increased blood and oxygen flow, as well as the endorphins, can help you recalibrate.
2. Read encouraging words.
Do you save inspiring and encouraging quotes and notes? I have a file in Evernote full of texts, emails, quotes, stories, and handwritten notes that encourage me. When I feel discouraged, uplifting words help me think positively again. If you don’t have an encouragement file, why not start one?
3. Seek objective feedback.
When I’m depressed, I read into what other people say and blow not-so-bad situations out of proportion. That’s why I need other people to give me perspective. Friends and family help keep my feet on the ground. They’ll help you too.
INFJs have a lot going on in their heads. Sometimes, the sea of thoughts and emotions in our heads is overwhelming. One way you can get some relief is to put your thoughts down on paper. Doing this helps me organize my thoughts, figure out what’s bothering me, and brainstorm solutions.
5. Listen to music.
You may not always want to feel better right away. There are times when I just want to experience the weight of my emotions. Music can help you do this in an appropriate way. Listening to Cold Play’s The Scientist or Andy Othling’s Ambient Song #22 redeems the moment for me to some extent.
6. List what you’re grateful for.
Counting your blessings helps too. I naturally stack up all that’s bothering me and review it again and again when I’m caught in a tailspin. Listing what I have to be grateful for feeds my mind profitable fodder for contemplation. Choosing to have an attitude of gratitude can change your mental trajectory rather quickly.
7. Help someone else.
When I’m thinking about myself, I’m not thinking of anyone else. While we all need time to grapple with our moods, we INFJs are usually happiest when helping someone else. It’s for this reason you may want to try thinking of ways to serve and encourage others. It’ll benefit both the people you’re helping and you.
8. Make something.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess you are a creative person. To be an INFJ is to love creating things. Making songs, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and lesson plans makes me happy. When you’re depressed, try engaging the imaginative part of my brain and see if you don’t just end up in a better mood.
Do you pray when you’re depressed? When I pray, my mood doesn’t change immediately, but I know it helps me in the long run. How about you?