Seven ways to lift your spirits!
What if there were things that you could do to feel better when you’re struggling? What if these things were under your control, free and available for you to put into use immediately? Here are seven ways you could do this - the thing is, not to just read them as ‘tips’ but to use them in your life, right now…especially if you’re down in the dumps.
Don’t feel bad about feeling bad – we sometimes give ourselves such a hard time on top of the struggle that we are experiencing. Soften up with yourself. Acknowledge that you’re feeling down and know for certain that ‘this too shall pass’. Avoid self-judgement, comparisons and ideas of what you ‘should’ be feeling. Allow your emotions to be what they are. Accept them, as you would if you were running a hotel and there were some guests you didn’t particularly like. Still, you invite them in. Let them be.
2. Extract the learning
Ask yourself the following question: ‘If this experience was a gift or a lesson in disguise, what could that gift or lesson be?’ Reflect on it and trust the answers that come up for you. If nothing comes up immediately, know that it will show itself if you are open to it. When it does, make a note of it, as it’s your very own little gem born out of your unique situation.
3. Avoid distractions
The temptation may be to distract yourself or indulge in your favourite comfort habit, be it overeating, spending money or whatever it may be. Even if you do, don’t punish yourself on top of that by giving yourself a hard time. Just be aware of the thoughts you are having and the emotions you are feeling. Consider that it is normal and healthy to experience a whole range of emotions and also that an uncomfortable emotion contains within it a message worth exploring.
4. Check in
If you are with others or at work, take yourself away from everyone for few minutes and have a word with yourself, like you would with a child that’s being restless or tearful. What’s going on? Get to the root of things by either asking yourself or in an imaginary dialogue with a trusted friend or counsellor: What’s going on for you right now? What is it that you need? What would make you happy? This will give you some clues on which you can build a little mini action-plan.
5. Play your favourite music
Music has proven to induce good feelings and help release that dopamine, the feel-good hormone. It is a simple yet powerful catalyst to help change ‘your state’ as it is known in NLP. Play your favourite music, some uplifting, energetic or calming songs; whatever it is you feel you need that will help you switch your state of mind. Sometimes it’s the simplest things we forget or resist. You cannot possibly listen to favourite piece of uplifting music and feel depressed.
6. Get physical, be silly, have fun!
Any form of exercise is equally beneficial in raising the levels of serotonin and dopamine. The physical aspect could take the form of a walk, a dance around the room, vigorous housework (preferably to music, dance with the duster, tango with the broom, get your own groove on). Alternatively you may prefer a more gentle, healing activity of gardening. It’s a great time of the year to take your first steps out, potter around, plant a few seeds – literally and symbolically! Get out of your mind for a while and focus on being in the moment and in the doing. Enjoy the physicality of it - we are so often caught up in our cerebral existence.
7. Use your imagination as a tool
The latest research in neuroscience has repeatedly proved that your body cannot tell the difference between an event that is vividly imagined and emotions felt in response to a ‘real’ event. In other words, whether you are imagining something or experiencing something, the chemicals released which produce an emotion will be the same.
Take five minutes. Take a breath and let go of anything you don’t want. Think of a place, object or experience that you love. Allow the good feeling to wash over you and feel it in your body, mind and heart. For example, vividly imagine having a lovely swim in a warm sea with the sunshine on your back and sense of peace and freedom. Really feel it. Your body and emotions will experience the effects. Bask in that lovely feeling, feel it in every cell of your body, for a while and then gently return to your normal awake state.
Use just one of these techniques and see the difference, or make an appointment with a life coach who can guide you through them. Remember, everything is of value to us on our journey, even the tough times! Life coaching can help you with personal development emotionally and physically.
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