It’s perfectly normal to experience down days every now and then but, understandably, during these challenging times, many are struggling to keep vibrations high when there is so much dense energy around.
With the incessant fear porn on loop in the mainstream media, and the masked-up masses serving as a constant reminder of an invisible threat, it’s no wonder the mental health of the nation is in such disarray.
Today, I find myself in a particularly positive mood and it got me reflecting on why. What is different about today than yesterday? It was this question that inspired me to write this post because I realised that I had done things differently this morning and those things set me up for a good day.
There are some quick and simple ways to lift your mood when you’re feeling under par, and these are my Top 10 ‘go to’ tools and techniques that have really served me well over the years:
- Breathe – yes, I appreciate this is an involuntary act for the most part, but conscious breathing is very different. When we are fully aware of our breath, we are in the ‘now’ moment which gives the thinking mind a break and allows us the opportunity to calm the nervous system. Taking deep, slow, belly breaths is a wonderful way to relax and move away from thinking about future events that may or may not happen.
- Gratitude – this is a great way to start the day. Whatever life throws at you, there is always something to be grateful for. Perhaps it’s as simple as being grateful for the air you breathe, or having a warm bed to sleep in. The more you recognise the good in your life, the more good you will attract because ‘energy flows where intention goes’.
- Social media blackout – this is a biggie! Personally, I can sense my mood changing when I spend too much time online; setting a timer is a good way of monitoring this. Switching off your phone or leaving it downstairs at night can help to reduce the mindless searching. I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself down the rabbit hole until the early hours, and woken up tired and grouchy! Equally, waking up and immediately checking what’s been happening while you’ve been asleep is just as bad. It instantly puts you into reactive-mode and limits the amount of time you have to do something positive for yourself.
- Sleep – we all know we need it, but we tend not to get enough of it! Good quality sleep is so important for mental, emotional, and physical health. The earlier you get to bed, the better the sleep. Tiredness leads to irritability, poor moods, and poor decisions.
- Nature – whenever I feel overwhelmed or disillusioned with the state of the world, I always turn to nature. The seasons come and go as they always do, there is no sign of chaos amongst the wildlife, and it serves as a great reminder that whilst we may not have the ability to change what’s going on around us, we have control over our internal world and how we respond to every situation we encounter.
- Meditation – more and more people are turning to meditation to help with a range of health conditions from depression to pain management. Used throughout the ages by the mystics and yogis, it has seen exponential growth in western civilisation over recent decades, and I can certainly vouch for the benefits. A simple 20-minute practise, morning and night, has become part of my daily ritual and even my family notice the difference. I personally enjoy a style called Transcendental Meditation where I focus on a mantra to help keep my mind occupied! Using the breath as a focus is also a great way to distract the mind from a constant stream of thoughts.
- Nutritious food – my mother used to remind me as a child ‘you are what you eat’. I didn’t take particular notice of this when I was stuffing my face with penny sweets from the corner shop, but it has certainly become a big focus in my life over the past few years. The food we choose can really affect our mood and energy levels (as well as health). Bringing more awareness to how we feel after eating certain foods can really help to determine what makes us feel good.
- Give to another – this is a really powerful way to lift your mood when you’re feeling low. It could be as simple as sending a loved one a message describing what you love about them, or offering to help an elderly neighbour with their shopping. Seeing how we can affect other people’s lives with the smallest gesture can transform how we view ourselves and our impact on the world around us.
- Laugh – whether it’s playing a game, watching a funny film, or having a phone call with a close friend, laughter triggers the release of endorphins, also known as the ‘happy hormones’. There are numerous health benefits for those who have a regular chortle, including a longer life expectancy according to a Norwegian study!
- Exercise – as well as providing countless health benefits, similarly, to laughing, exercise also releases feel-good endorphins and can help reduce stress levels. I personally love to go for a run when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and frazzled. Pumping out the feel-good tunes whilst pounding away at the pavement is a great way to shift the energy.
As ever, help is always on hand if you’re struggling mentally, emotionally, or physically. Please get in touch if you need support.
Amanda Dungate MAR