There are always going to be times in life where it is appropriate and even necessary to feel some of the lower emotions. Experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one, or the pain in recognizing that you have hurt someone, or the feeling of being disappointed when something you were hoping for does not happen.
These feelings will come and in a healthy person they will go once they have been processed. But what happens when there does not seem to be any cause to a low mood? What if you are feeling down and you don’t know why? Here are some simple things you can do right now to help change your state, and at the same time, may also help to bring some clarity the feelings you’re having.
1. Write in a journal: We are often times stuck in our analytical left brain. This side of our brain is excellent at problem solving and logic, but it is not so great with more touchy feely things like emotions. Writing will help you to access your right brain, the side that is creative, expressive and emotional. Writing for 5-10 minutes continuously will help you to tap into another side of yourself, which may offer insight that will help to lift you our of your funk.
2. Do some physical activity: Moving your body will help to get your body producing “happy” chemicals called endorphins. These neurotransmitters help you to feel happier, lighter and more peaceful. You do not need to run a marathon to benefit from endorphins. Going for a brisk 15 minute walk will do the trick. Dance to one song. Walk the dog. Wrestle with your children. Doing so will give you a chemical boost and may also help to clear your head.
3. Hug or kiss someone you love: A 20 second hug or kiss will get your body creating another awesome neurotransmitter called Oxytocin. Oxytocin is one of the chemicals your body produces when you fall in love. That is a good feeling! Loving physical contact will help stimulate your body to produce this love hormone which will naturally boost your mood.
4. Smile, or better yet, laugh: Have you ever heard the phrase “fake it till you make it?” It really does work in the case of boosting your mood. The the act of smiling does have a “feedback loop” effect on the brain that can help to promote the feelings of happiness. Frowning will have a similar effect, making you feel more gloomy. Your facial expression will support your mood. So smile! Of course this isn’t a suggestion to hide your emotions, sometimes a good cry is in order and that can also be just what you need to feel like yourself again.
5. Do something silly: Look at yourself in the mirror and stick your tongue out at yourself. Play a little practical joke on someone you love. Do a silly dance. Removing some of the serious energy from your situation can really help to change your state. Do as a child would do! Play is a lost art in the adult world and it is one of the best methods for changing your state from heavy to light.
“Life is full of opportunities to feel exactly the way you want to feel” – Unknown
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