I am assuming you are reading this article because you want to know how to feel better. You know, life can be hard. It does not matter if the stress you are going through is linked to sadness, sickness, grieving, and/or an unknown reason for just being down in the dumps. It is affecting you and you are taking matters into your own hands to feel better.
Congratulations, you did it! You are already on the path to feeling better. You are making the conscious decision to overcome feeling down. You want to feel better. It might be a long and bumpy journey, but your mindfulness and devotion to feeling better will make all the difference.
Let’s start with actions, because behaviors can often be easier to change and see a difference in than thoughts:
Feel Better: Actions
When you are feeling down, sometimes the last thing you want to do is get moving. Invite yourself to a more relaxing practice including Restorative and Yin yoga poses.
If you feel ready to pick up the pace, practice standing forward folds to allow gravity to help bring blood flow to your brain, as well as gently activate your legs. As you start to feel better, allow your body to guide your practice, focusing on your breath and listening to your body.
Unseen to the naked eye, your body will thank you as your physical and mental health improve at a microscopic level, slowly allowing your body to respond more effectively to stress.
Netflix & Laugh
Not only is laughing good for your core strength and respiratory health, 15 to 20 minutes of laughter a day may also help reduce stress and increase disease resistance. Additionally, it is free and appears to have no negative side effects (other than being contagious). Laughter has been shown to lower anxiety, depression, and stress. Even fake laughter gradually is effective in releasing stress on the hormonal level.
Go on Spotify and find your favorite comedian, watch your favorite show on Netflix, and Google some really corny dad jokes. I invite you to give yourself permission to laugh openly without judgment!
Moody Music and Coloring
Music provides the opportunity to explore and regulate a wide range of emotions. Additionally, pairing one feel good activity with another, like coloring, helps carve out "you time" to unwind.
Maybe light some candles or incense, too.
20 to 30 Minute of an Activity You Enjoy
Some ideas include writing a postcard, journaling, burst out in song, go for a walk or run, volunteer, learn a new dance (if you are like me, you still do not know the Electric Slide!), or meditate.
You can do this!
Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different… ~C.S. Lewis
Feel Better: Thoughts
Focus On the Positive
Your thoughts are powerful, and they affect your mood and behaviors. Life can be hard and it can be easy to look at it with a negative lens.
It takes training and time to focus on the positive in life as well as within you! As you pay attention to the positive in life, you grow mentally stronger and find it easier to see more positivity.
It might help to write down your thoughts and notice if they are more positive or negative. For example, “I cannot believe I skipped yoga today, I am so unmotivated” focuses on the negative and makes you feel guilty. A positive thought would be “I did not get a chance to practice yoga today, maybe I can do a few stretches and mindful breaths before bed and make class tomorrow!”
Gratitude is more than saying thank you to someone who opens the door. It is more a mindset than a skill to build. Gratitude is focusing on the present moment and appreciating what you have.
It takes time and practice to focus on the positive and foster gratitude. Over time, practicing being thankful and appreciative in the present moment becomes natural and takes less cognitive energy.
What are you thankful for?
Have you ever been in the wrong and someone has forgiven you? If you have, you know it feels really awesome to be forgiven.
Now comes the hard part. Practice forgiving yourself for big and little things in your life. As you let go of negative self-talk you can invite love and compassion into your life.
This is a short list of tips on how to feel better. Please comment below to share things that work for you!