Here are a few great techniques that will beat the blues in a flash
Monday morning blues?
An argument with your better half?
Your boss is behaving obnoxiously?
Many reach for a bar of chocolate, ice cream or even alcohol but that is not the best way to deal with a foul mood. Here are my favorite techniques to boost that mood in the order I use them:
1. Have a gratitude list.
In my eyes adopting an attitude of gratitude is the surest way to happiness. Amy Wood, author of ‘Life Your Way’ says “The most effective way I know of to shake a bad mood is to brainstorm everything possible that you’re grateful for and write it down,” She suggests starting with broad strokes, like being thankful the sun is shining or that you’re breathing. “You’ll find that once you get the ball rolling, more and more ideas will come to you. Studies actually show that it’s impossible to feel gratitude and unhappiness simultaneously. That’s why this strategy works so well, and so quickly!”
I recommend having a small gratitude journal at hand so whenever you are feeling low pick it up and not only read what you have already written but keep adding new things/moments you are grateful for.
2. Practice a random act of kindness
Doing nice things for other people will make you feel good about yourself. Try giving a radiant smile at a total stranger and you will see the effect it has not only on them but also on you. It’s fast and totally free of charge. Or give a compliment to someone, or hold a door open fora stranger and do all of this with a smile. All of these acts of kindness lead to positive thinking about yourself, and usually get a positive response from the other person too.
3. Make yourself laugh
It’s so easy today to find something to laugh about. Just go to YouTube and watch your favorite comedians or some of the other funny videos. Anything that will make you laugh is good.
4. Read inspirational stories or quotes
This is something that I do quite frequently – not only when I feel down. It always inspires and motivates me. There are lots of great stories on this blog and of course in my books “To be or not to be – the choice is YOURS!” and “TO BE – Inspired! 1001 Inspirational Quotes” or the “Moments To BE”. You can find several of them throughout this blog.
5. Change your physiology
Our emotions change our physiology and when we consciously change our physiology it works also the other way around – we change our emotions. When we are feeling low we normally slump forward and look down. You now do the opposite. You stand up and throw your arms in the air as you often see athlets do when they win. Make fists and keep your arms up while looking up at the ceiling or sky with a big smile on your face (even if at first you don’t feel like smiling). I can assure you that you cannot think negative thoughts when you stand like this for more than a minute. You might feel like an idiot at first but your mood will perk up. That’s for sure.
6. Practice mindfulness.
“If you’re in a slump, you may also be stuck ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Both of these thoughts are nonproductive,” says Simon Rego, director of Psychology Training at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Instead, he suggests practicing mindfulness, which means being present in the moment without judgment. “Try taking five minutes and eating your meal in a mindful way, paying attention to how it looks, smells and tastes with each bite, before swallowing it. Or take a quick mindful walk, considering the sights, smells, sounds and temperature with each step.” By focusing on the present, you’re less likely to dwell on the outside circumstances that are making you unhappy.
This is what I mean with focusing on what you want and not what you don’t want anymore. Focus on the good there is and on the “better” you want. Focus on the solution and not on the problem. Worry, doubts and fears are the killers of our dreams. The good news is that these thoughts and the emotions they create are born in our own mind and consequently that means that we can turn them around and start thinking thoughts that nurture and support us.
Start today! RIGHT NOW!
And now my last tip. BREATH!
I know we do this all day long but there are many ways of breathing. When you feel low you usually breath slow and shallow. When you are nervous or afraid you breath fast and into your chest. Both don’t give you much oxygen but your brain thrives on oxygen so to relax and help our brain we need to breath deep into our diaphragm, into our lower belly. Taking a few deep and long breath can relax you as well as lift you out of a slump.
So right now, take a few deep breath and enjoy life!