By Sunny Simon

I awoke before dawn troubled by a disturbing nightmare. Upset and wide awake I roamed around the house in the dark thinking if I moved away from the bedroom dream remnants could not pursue me. I was wrong. Not only did they latch on to me during the early morning hours, the dream demons continued to haunt me.

I had a hard time believing I could not shake the troubling scenes that rattled me awake hours before but then a thought occurred to me. In my life coaching practice, I teach others that we are in charge of our thoughts. It was time to start walking my talk.  Surely I could evict those ominous, uninvited and unwanted visitors camped inside my head and eventually I did.

Occasionally, and for one reason or another, we all succumb to a bout with the blues. What actions should you take when something dissolves your sunny disposition into a stormy status? Let me walk you through some strategies.


Change your environment.  This was my first tactic, I left the room. It was a good start, but rather unsuccessful. Next, I changed my focus. Entering my office, I began to push away the dark clouds fogging my brain by centering my attention on what needed to be accomplished. Okay, this gave me some relief; however, there were recurring moments when the gloomy dark thoughts invaded my space like a jack-in-the-box when the lid pops off.

One of my favorite strategies is “hitting the delete button.” I visualized a remote in my hand and watched as I pressed delete signaling my brain to omit those thoughts. Next, I moved on to “changing the channel.” which brings me to another very successful approach. Using a tactic discussed by Dr. Simone Ravicz in her book, “Brain Boosters: Seven Ways to Help Your Brain Help Yourself,” I opted for “savoring.” I replaced my negative thoughts and gave concerted attention to recalling a recent pleasant experience. Aha! Before long I was immersed in my happy place. Dr. Ravicz, a brain coach, explains it much better, but I think it has something to do with my neurons firing and being wired together over a strong memory that helped blank out the blues.

Here’s one more suggestion. A natural remedy for residents of the Coachella Valley lies right outside our door. Want to increase the production of serotonin in your brain? Banish the blues by stepping out into the sunshine. You will feel better immediately.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at