Let’s be honest, the only thing that keeps us in a bad mood is our attachment to whatever story we’re telling about an experience we’re having—hard pill to swallow.
Your mindset has a lot to do with this. You have to make a choice to actively get out of that funk. Sometimes it’s really hard, but it doesn't always have to be. Here are 7 super simple things you can do to shake the blues and get into a better mood, FAST.
When you’re anxious, your mind can get caught up battling the thoughts ringing its head. You can become so consumed by the process of balancing your emotions that you fail to recognize the physical effects of it. There are some tell-tale signs which when addressed can instantly help bring down your anxiety. Breathing is at the top of that list.
Typically, when anxious, your breathing quickens and becomes shallow. This goes against the natural pattern of breathing which is slow and deep. And because our lives depend on our breath, any deviance in this pattern can add to your stress and make you more uncomfortable. You can quickly counter this by focusing on this breathing pattern:
5 finger breath technique:
- Hold your left hand out and spread your fingers
- Starting at the wrist, trace up your thumb with an in-breath
- Then down the other side with an exhale
Follow your entire hand, tracing each finger, with this breathing pattern (repeat the process until you’re really feeling calm and centered)
2. Check in with yourself through journaling or self-inquiry
Do not hesitate to talk to yourself. Try and understand exactly what’s bothering you and the best way to do that is to ask yourself:
- What’s bothering me?
- Does my narrative sound correct?
- Is there another way of looking at what happened?
- How can I shift to a better place?
3. Stop trying to control everything
Once you realize that there’s a lot you can’t control, this will give you a chance to focus only on what you can (thoughts, words, actions - read, MOOD) and you open yourself up to heaps of other possibilities you may not have been thinking of.
4. Express yourself
Talk it out, rally your support system, call your bestie or a prevention line and talk about what’s troubling you. We are social creatures. We want to mingle and thrive as a collective society. And so, by this nature, it is natural for you to feel better when you connect with or talk to someone you understand and who understands you. Even if you’re somebody who doesn’t like to mingle a lot, you might find it helpful to just let things out of your system.
5. Give your mind something more productive to chew on
If the worry is serious and needs assistance, then we urge you to consult a therapist. But if it’s more minor in intensity and caution, then we recommend distracting it with some of your favorite activities. Often, when you’re stressed, your mind refuses to think outside the situation. It focuses on the discomfort and replays the events that led to it several times over. Distract it.
5. Move Your Body
Exercises such as running, brisk walking, and/or dancing for as little as 15 to 20 minutes, at a time when you’re stressed, can do wonders to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Choose any physical activity that you enjoy doing. The fact that you also like what you’re doing will help shift you to a happier and stress-free phase.
6. Change your narrative
Remember that most of what has upset you has happened in the past. The moment has passed. And a lot of what you may worry about maybe in the future. They happened yet and might never happen too. Instead of toggling between the past and future, stay in the present.
It’s sometimes necessary to pause and reflect in order to conclude on what’s right for you and what’s not. Do not rush the process or into anything that feels unsafe. Instead, take time to regroup, recalibrate and breathe into the present moment.