Feeling frazzled, down & out, scattered, out of touch, tired? Here are 5 easy and light-hearted ways to feel a little bit better.
Smiling makes you happy, literally. Smiling tricks your brain into feeling better. Don't believe me? Here's some science: Explanations for Why Smiling Causes Happiness. Smile at other people if you're not alone. If you're alone, smile anyway.
What are you doing right now? An appropriate response would be "reading this blog post". While you read, notice what your body is doing: are you sitting on a soft couch, or a wooden chair? Are you holding your iPhone tightly or are you scrolling with a computer mouse? Are your shoulders tensed up by your ears, or are they down and relaxed? Taking a few seconds to notice small details from right now is a mindfulness exercise you can do anytime, anywhere. If you're truly in the present, you're not thinking about the other stuff that's stressing you out and bringing you down.
Give a Compliment.
Most people feel better when they make others feel better. Even if someone else is visibly more grounded and "with-it" than you today, giving them a genuine compliment will positively benefit you as well. And it's just a nice thing to do.
Write it Down.
If you're finding that certain thoughts are repetitive, or you're perseverating on a certain interaction or item on your mental to-do list, write it down. Journaling is a very powerful therapeutic tool and is a great "in the moment" way of reminding yourself what you can and cannot do to fix your mood and/or situation. Keeping a small notebook in your purse or work bag will allow you to jot down anything important that needs to be addressed. Often times, when it comes to actually writing it down, you'll find your brain processes the information differently and it suddenly becomes a more manageable thought or task.
No one will know you're doing it, but your body definitely will. Diaphragmatic breathing brings more oxygen into the body and brings the breath more into the abdomen than into the chest. This type of breathing forces your blood pressure to lower, and can decrease symptoms of anxiety and stress almost immediately (our bodies are amazing, in case you didn't know).