Negativity Binges

I was chatting with a dear friend  from college. Like me, he gets frustrated, down and negative from time to time. He feels alone, lost and angry. Its so easy for me to tell him to keep an attitude of gratitude, keep developing his spiritual connection, and to look at all the opportunities and wonderful things that lay ahead. 

Why is it so hard to remind myself of the same when I’m moody, depressed and on a negativity binge? I know all the right things to do: take deep breaths, say things you are grateful for, pray, talk to a friend, exercise, be in the present moment…However, when those down days (hours, minutes) occur, there is no escape. As prepared as I am, its like a bus hitting me on the street.  How can I protect myself from that?! 

One obvious, glaring answer is meditation. Meditation can build up immunity from negative patterns because it can positively effect and change a deeper level of consciousness. A mental strength training, if you will.  Often my negativity comes from, what seems like, nowhere. Past negative patterns or issues I’ve left unresolved resurface without any warning. That combined with a bad nights sleep or stress at work and the negativity bus has hit me. 

Of course I will never escape the highs and lows of life (unless I reach spiritual enlightenment). But I can definitely reduce their extremes. I’ve learned I am a person who feels a lot and deeply. I get super ecstatic, happy, melancholy…my range of emotions is huge! Does controlling my negativity dip require me to also control my highs? 

How do I tee up for a smoother ride? What is your personal strategy?