Pump Up Your Mood When You’re Feeling Down

I recently spoke at a workshop for a medical group of managers who are members of the “energy-building camaraderie” organization called the Miami Valley Medical Group Management Association. The meeting was held at the NCR Country Club and my keynote speech was on the topic of “Depression in the Workplace.” Essentially, I covered ways to pump up the flat tire of a bad mood…AND how to do all those “little” things that net a huge reward called a better mood.


There is uncommon wisdom in every group I have the honor to work with, real people like you and me who make a living in “the real business world” of promoting good mental and physical health without making the patient feel bad in the process. To avoid burning out, caregivers must first care for self…especially when energy for good deeds burns low. Effective communication with self is a prerequisite to good communication with others. What role model do you offer to others when you take your own gold (good) advice and do a little something to make your day a little bit more positive?

  • You’re only human
  • Your energy is finite
  • Putting “energy in” into self will work wonders when you feel down
  • You can do small good deeds for yourself even when you don’t feel up to it
  • Getting mad at yourself or blaming others keeps you down in the pits
  • Losing hope at times happens to the best of us
  • Mourning your losses helps you to climb out of a hole of depression you might have dug for yourself

Let’s keep it simple! Great things come to those who don’t wait to change what they need to change in order to feel better — namely a bad attitude that sucks pears. Love of self is a prerequisite to loving and caring for your neighbor.


The MVAGMA tear- and laughter-filled workshop included guffaws, doing the wave, applause, finger-snapping and toe tapping and the sending out of “positive finger vibrations” to our fellow caregivers. At the end, I asked this simple, single question to attendees: “What can you say or do to pump up your mood when you’re feeling down?” Here are the private written comments that comprise the MVAGMA group wisdom:

Remember, you DO really make a difference.

Spend the same amount of energy being positive.

I’m happy to get out of bed…consider the alternative.

Whooo…I’ll start my own personal “wave” for one.

I am a great person!

You are important.

I am a good person and people depend on me.

Take your blinders off–don’t just look at the dirty road ahead, look at the beauty all around you.

God will not give me more than I can handle.

Get over it. You are using up too much energy on the negative…shift all that energy to the positive. Even the smallest positive task will do.

Let’s get something healthy to eat, get a bath and use that new body scrub and lotion, and then let’s get a great night’s sleep.

I can look up at the sky and dream, because the sky is the limit.

God help me deal with this problem today.

Stop it and get the job done.

You are a kind, loving person who deserves to be loved in return.

Put on your big-girl panties…and deal with it!

You are valued! And you have made a difference in many people’s lives.

There are too many positive things in my life to be down, and too many things to focus on.

I love you!

I’m doing the best I can for me and others.

Shake it off!

You bring value to others — deal with your issues and go on!

I can positively impact others. I bring value to the relationships in my life.

It could always be worse.

I am so lucky to have the life I have, the family I have, the job and co-workers I have. I’m a real lucky girl!

You are a good person — look at all the good in your life.

I have positively made it through obstacles before — and I will make it through this.

God doesn’t make junk!

Stop feeling down and pick yourself up by figuring out how to help yourself.

This too shall pass — I am smart (good) and I can get out of this — tomorrow is another day.


Doing “little” nice things for yourself when you feel down is the best way to pump up your mood in big ways “little by little.” Be “The Little Engine That Could” and keep moving forward, even when you don’t have the energy to. Be determined to get your happy back…and really, REALLY be nice to yourself when you are feeling down and blue.

If you aren’t of a mind to be kind and loving to yourself in little ways…then who else can you count on to do what you aren’t willing to? And if people do give you positive vibes, will you be able to accept it?


If you are “too sensitive,” you can do tiny positive things for yourself to pick up your spirits. Empathizer communicators who put energy into the self instead of having the life sucked out of them through a big straw “get over it” faster. In contrast, if you are “too insensitive,” you can SAY positive things to others (and self) that will put energy into the very relationships that support you when you’re feeling bad. Talking positively and accurately to yourself (and others) really does work wonders if you want to feel like a victor instead of a victim. Just you try it and see!


Still feeling down and blue? Then try this on for size the next time you feel like a big straw is stuck in YOUR skull and the energy being sucked right out of you:

“Even when I try, but fail

And I lose hope

I will find a way to get back up again…somehow

With the grace of my friends and my Maker.

After all, you aren’t a bad person when you feel bad! You can get things done when you feel blue to feel better.


Talk to Me: Communication Moves to Get Along With Anyone
The Psychology of Good Communication
Taking the Fear Out of Change
What Type Of Leader Are You?
Who Is Paddling Your Canoe?
What Type Of Communicator Are You?
Balancing Your Home & Work Life
Beliefs That ZAP Teamwork
Using Anger Assertively
Overcoming Self-Criticism
Pleasing Yourself, For a Change
Coaching For Accountability
Maximizing Your Communication Skills
Managing Emotional Energy at Work
Overcoming Procrastination
Controlling Negative Emotions
Controlling Perfectionism
Controlling Anxiety
Depression At Work & Home
Conquering The Fear Of Failure
Reducing The Fear Of Success
Stress Management
Using Feedback Effectively
Conflict Management
Positive Customer Relations
Handling Customer Complaints
How to Hire the Right People
Managing Everyday Fears
Games People Play
Revenge Boomerangs
Fear Of Change
Life Is Meant To Be Good
The Future Is What We Make Of It (Quality Management)
No Hard Feelings — How To Manage Unhelpful Anger


Dr. Dennis O’Grady is a keynote speaker on the topic of effective communication, change and stress management and mastering your own moods. Dennis is a Dayton, Ohio, workshop consultant, father of three, management trainer and author of the new book “Talk to Me: Communication Moves to Get Along With Anyone.”

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