We can all experience periods of time when we’re just not feeling at our best! This may be due to physical wellbeing or mental wellbeing. The good news is you can start to feel better in about 10 mins, we’re going to show you how!
Maybe your system feels a bit sluggish. Maybe you’re feeling a bit miserable and down in the dumps. Or perhaps you think your life could be better all round, but nothing seems to cheer you up these days and you find your self at a bit of a loss, no motivation, no get up and go!
Well, if we wait on that motivation magically appearing it might never happen because the secret about motivation is that when you do something enjoyable you increase your ‘happy, feel good hormones’ and this is what motivates you to do more and more of the things you need to get done, things that make you feel happier, things that give you a sense of achievement and may even help you feel closer to others.
So, here’s the good news: you can start to feel better in a few minutes from now. All you have to do is know how, then make small changes, easy changes but enough so you’ll notice them, changes to what you do each day.
Don’t worry if you’re a bit short of cash because sometimes the best things don’t need to cost a lot of money and may even be free, again if you know where to find them. Though you may need to get off the couch and walk about a bit. You may also need to say no to that takeaway or junk food if you’ve been relying on it a bit too much lately. But don’t worry you won’t have to wear the latest Lycra or give up all your favourite foods.
Remember it’s all about small changes and manageable steps at a time. There’s lots of evidence that tells us just how much how we feel can be affected by what we eat and drink and that there are things we can eat that make you feel happier straight away. Try our ‘10 things you can do to feel happier straight away‘ book here.
Small realistic changes:
To begin with you can start by making small easy changes to your daily routine:
- The escalator business – turn your back on lifts and escalators because exercise is good for you. Climbing stairs is one of the best ways to get fitter – if you can’t climb stairs then go for a brisk walk on the flat.
- Start the day with foods like oatmeal or banana – they are released slowly the way your body prefers. Banana helps you produce happy chemicals and keeps your digestive system moving regularly.
- Get outside – it’s sometimes as simple as that. Really notice what’s going on around you. The wind, the warmth, the cold or wet, notice the trees, the flowers or sit and look up at the clouds – a good way of relaxing. Even better- do something outdoors with a friend, talk about the good times you remember, and you’ll soon notice those happy chemicals coming back.
- Don’t suffer in silence – with worrying negative thoughts swirling around in your head. Instead of thinking about your worries write them down, try our worry strips and decide a time when you will come back and see if you can problem solve them later using our E4SP. Now put some of your favourite music on, better still play it though your earphones while you go for a brisk walk. Don’t play sad stuff, or songs that remind you of unhappy times – keep it upbeat and you’re sure to get an instant lift.
- Maybe you’ve been relying a bit too much on fast food, takeaway’s or too much comfort foods, that’s a sure way to making you feel even more sluggish and down in the dumps. Keeping them to an occasional treat not only will improve how you feel but it will save you money that you can use on more healthy choices. Within a short period of time, you’ll feel better all round, you may even start to feel a bit lighter, fitter, and happier with a bit more cash in your pocket too.
- Did you know doing a small act of kindness for someone else can really helps us feel better straight away. Sit down and plan one or two helpful things you’d like to do or get back to doing for others, volunteering in your local charity shop, fetching the daily newspaper for a neighbour or friend or just spending time with someone else who could do with a bit of company – you’ll benefit too.
- Finally – each day write down 3 things you have enjoyed, a job well done or something that helped you feel close to someone else. There is strong evidence to support the practice of writing things down that you can look back on. What we think about affects how we feel and what we feel affects what we do.
Next steps building on what you’ve learned so far
Once you have established some short easy enough things to do that help lift your mood and motivate you to do more you could start to plan some bigger projects that may take up more of your time and effort to organise. Use our Planner Sheet to get started.
Reorganise your room:
This can be done without any cost and can be hugely satisfying when you sit down and look at how your hard work has paid off- take a look at our Review Sheet. Maybe you could start by opening the curtains or blinds, start by re arranging the furniture, giving the room a good spring clean, look out those family photos you’re always planning to frame and put up on the walls or move pictures around to give the room a whole new feel. Maybe bring in some plant’s or rescue the ones that have been sitting wilting in the corner somewhere. Or maybe take a mirror from another room and position it somewhere else to add a sense of space and light back into the room. Give it a go see what works for you.
Slow down and breathe:
Maybe you’re feeling low because of all life’s demands on your attention, time, and energy. This can creep up on us and over time leave us feeling stressed which if not addressed can lead to low mood and depression. It can be rewarding and powerful to achieve moments of calm by using mindfulness. With mindfulness the aim is to turn your mind to one thing such as your breathing to improve feelings of calm. By doing this you can learn how to turn down your internal voice and those unhelpful thoughts. Find a quiet place to sit and start by just simply slowing down your breathing. You can find out more on this approach at www.llttf.com and our Slow Down and Be little book. Or take a walk to your local library and do a search on the subject, what local classes are available etc.
Create a happy jar or box:
Thinking of happy memories, people, places things that give us a feeling of happiness can re kindle those happy feelings. Collect small items that remind you of those memorable times, people, or places. It could be a small pebble form a beach holiday, a thank you card your received, a ticket stub from your favourite theme park ride, concert, a photograph or anything at all that brings a happy memory or feeling of good times. Not only will you have fun collecting your items and choosing which ones go in your jar or box but it’s also all there for you to open and go through when you’re feeling a bit low, lonely, or just need a bit of cheering up.
Go talk to an older relative/friend or neighbour:
Ask them if it’s alright to chat. Ask them about stories from their younger years, talk about favourite childhood toys, books, games, or meals. What was their first job after leaving school? How did that shape their future choices in life? You may be really surprised at what you find out. They will most likely enjoy reminiscing with you, and you’ll learn lots of things about their life and how it differs or maybe similarities to yours. This won’t cost you anything and may even tick the box for an act of kindness to someone else and to you too.
Grow your own vegetables:
Many vegetables like onions, leeks or spring onions can be regrown from the root bulb by placing them in a shallow dish of water, within a short space of time it will start to re grow by sprouting and growing new roots. Re plant this in the garden or small tubs. Even the tops of fresh sprouting carrots, beetroots by using the growing top or roots. You could try planting sprouting potatoes and see what happens.
Put on your Wow Glasses:
Choose a place you like to visit and know quite well a nearby walk, park or local museum. Only this time go and imagine you have never been there before. Look for things you’ve never noticed before. Anything that makes you wonder what it is, where it came from, or how it got to look like this. It could be a small, beautiful wildflower that’s poked its head through the roses, a tree that’s been felled, a broken or rusty old structure anything at all that you can Wow at and wonder.
What about things you do that make you unhappy:
What are the things you do that are unhelpful, leave you feeling stuck or impact on your confidence and motivation to make the changes you want in life?
Firstly, we need to stop and reflect on what those things may be. You can start by downloading our worksheet and by ticking off the things you recognise your doing that don’t help how you feel. Try our Face it planning sheet here.
It’s true, without some thought about what might go wrong, we’d all most certainly run into difficulty. But most of us at some time in life, find we are focussing on the stressful side of life too much. The worrying thoughts go round and round until they spiral down and everything just seems worse and worse. Worrying affects us in so many ways – it is time consuming, gives you a dry throat, butterflies, causes sweating, chest pain, headaches leading to exhaustion. Worrying changes what you do and you’re more likely to avoid places or people, spend more time on your own, comfort eat or shop for things you don’t really need. This often seems to help in the short term, but in the longer term can become a problem too. Our Worry Box Book covers every aspect of worrying and steps you can take to fix this problem for good.
Beating yourself up:
What if you are your own worst critic? The way we think affects the way we feel and the choices we make or the way we respond to situations. By looking at things differently you can change the way you think and feel happier in the longer term. Do you want to discover how your unhelpful thoughts are spoiling your life? “Don’t go to the event because no one will talk to you anyway”, “Your boring,” “You’ve no chance of getting that job because your’e rubbish at interviews”, “You’re not a good person if you don’t always put other people first”. It may seem as if it’s like another person saying these things and maybe that’s what happened in your earlier life but now these statements are your own voice telling you this and they’ve got really stuck in your head. You can test this out by using our ‘Unhelpful Thinking Styles’ worksheets to see if your thoughts are making you unhappy and influencing the things you do that help and the things you don that don’t.
When we feel overly stressed or worried about something it can be tempting to avoid whatever it is we fear. This is understandable and sometimes it even makes sense, if it’s avoidance of a dangerous situation or destructive relationship. However, if we start to avoid people, places and activities because they make us feel uncomfortable or those thoughts, we have in our head are telling us not to do things that may be good for us. We can get caught up in a vicious cycle of avoidance and the less we do the worse we feel, the worse we feel the less we do, and our world becomes smaller and smaller, loneliness and isolation become the norm, we feel lower and lower in our mood and so the cycle spins. The good news is the cycle can spin the other way. Tr our Things we do That Mess us Up (Unhelpful Behaviours) sheets here…The things you do that mess you up Traffic light sheet , The things you do that mess you up checklist and The things you do that help checklist.
Engaging in activities that backfire:
Sometimes we can get hold of something that seems to help in the shorter term, but the long-term consequences can backfire. Have a look at the ‘Things You Do That Mess You Up‘ worksheet and see if you notice anything engaging in that could become an unhelpful behaviour and lead to longer term problems.
Now is the time to give it a go! If you enjoyed our worksheets, you can sign up to our wellbeing course at www.llttf.com
Good luck from the Living Life to the Full Team.