In a funk? Get out the wrong side of the bed this morning?
When we were young my brother and I would play cards or crank up some music and dance. In the beginning I think we did these activities as some kind of bonding ritual but as we got older we continued because they put us in a happy place. I still smile when I think of those times. We all need mood lifters at one time or another, these are mine:
Be Grateful: This is my number one mood lifter as its easy and can be done anywhere. Whenever I have a ‘rainy days and Mondays’ moment, I construct a gratitude list (either mental or written). A list whereby I go through everything I am grateful for (my support network, technology, food that I eat, the sun, grass, the air I breathe….). There is so much to be grateful for, we really do live in a friendly universe. You will find that as you go on with the list your mood will visibly change.
Brain Dump: Sometimes when you are low it can be constructive to let all your feelings out. I call it a brain dump where I write how I feel for 10 minutes and then walk away. No need to read it over, the act of writing helps to make me feel better. By the time I have finished I am usually feeling much better.
Daydream: Visualize what life would look like if things were going the way you would want it to. Then, for the next few minutes, imagine you are acting a part in a play. Speak and walk and behave as your ideal self living your ideal life OR take a virtual vacation. Look up a place you have always wanted to go on Google (I used to work with someone who was always planning their next trip, she would spend her lunchtimes meticulously organising trips to amazing lands and she was always happy – coincidence I think not!) OR still using Google look up the address of your childhood home. Have an imaginary conversation with the kid who used to live there. What would you say to them?
Deep Breathing Exercises: Anytime someone comes to me saying they are anxious about a situation in their life, the first words out of my mouth are ‘deep breaths, take 3 deep breaths…’ The way we breathe affects the whole body. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel and your body is able to enter into a relaxed state.
Get out of the house/Go for a walk: A change of scenery can do wonders – and not just because you are exercising the physical body – this simple act helps to clear your head and allows your creative juices to flow. I get many ideas away from my computer; often I will be out walking and will have to stop to record or write an idea AND besides being out with nature and people – soaking up your environment – helps you to recognise that you are but one little cog in this big universe.
Give: There is nothing like the act of giving to those in need to make you feel appreciative of the life you lead. Visit your elderly neighbours, walk dogs at an animal shelter, feed the homeless at a food shelter, teach English, or assist with special needs children. Do your research and you will find a group that can use your talents and skills. If time is an issue give a £10 donation to a charity you believe in. In these times of austerity every cent counts.
Laugh: Did you know it is impossible to have negative thoughts when you are laughing? So laugh; watch a funny movie or youtube video/laugh with friends/watch children… whatever it takes to make you laugh. My current go tos: a little bit of Ellen and a whole lot of Modern Family.
Listen to Music: I think this will resonate with everyone. Isn’t it pure magic how a tune can instantly change a mood and take you on a journey? Love it.
Meditate: I have incorporated meditation into my daily life for nearly two years now. Its easy to do (as with everything it gets easier with practice) and you can do it anywhere. I once spent an entire plane ride from Sydney to Brisbane meditating. For a simple meditation try this for 5 to 10 minutes: Sit and listen to the flow of your breath. When your mind begins to wander, gently pull your awareness back to your slow, deep breathing.
Offload: What’s that saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’? Well my best friend knows this well as I am always offloading on her. Sharing how you feel with someone else can help you gain a different perspective to how you are feeling and/or help you to find solutions that you weren’t arriving at on your own.
Just remember however you are feeling right now ‘this too will pass’.