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How To Make Yourself Feel Better

sun lovers
Creative Commons License photo credit: Per Ola Wiberg (Powi)

I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite. – Buddy, from the movie “Elf”

Sometimes we just don’t feel that great.  Maybe you are bored at work, or are having a lazy afternoon at home.  Maybe you’ve been feeling down lately, or you feel irritated with the people and environment around you.

When you feel like this, it’s time to make yourself feel better.  You can’t always change your circumstances right away, but you can do things to make yourself feel better immediately.

Take power over the way you feel.  Follow these suggestions for making yourself feel better!

Smile – This is the silliest recommendation I have, but it definitely works.  When you don’t feel good, simply smile.  Smile even if you don’t want to.

When we feel happy and are having fun, we smile automatically.  Likewise, when you smile (no matter how you feel at the time), you start to feel happier.  Even better, smile at yourself in a mirror.  Then you get the feedback from your body, but also from your reflection.  (You may want to try this technique in privacy – or maybe you don’t.  That could be fun too. 😉 )

Breathe – When we start to get stressed or otherwise feel bad, our breathing tends to get shallow.  Even your breath out by inhaling for a count of 4 and then exhaling for a count of 4.  This not only deepens your breath, but slows it down, which makes you feel calmer.

On a side note, you may want to check your posture during your day.  Are you in a position that makes it hard to breathe?

Stretch – I find that anytime I stretch I start to feel more relaxed.  It just feels good to stretch your muscles, especially if you are on your feet or in a chair all day.  The best part is you can take 30 seconds to stretch and feel better right away.

Be Still – This may be better done after the fact, or on a regular basis, but, if you can, find a few minutes to be still and quiet.  This erases distractions for a few minutes and helps you regain your perspective.  There is a lot to be learned in the quiet.  (Also, you could meditate regularly for a few minutes everyday if you felt so inclined.)

Go Outside – I would recommend going outside for almost any problem that you had.  (This is an exaggeration, but not by much.)  Nature helps us feel more in rhythm with life and reminds us that we don’t have to try so hard.  Take a few minutes outside and rejuvenate yourself.

Talk To Someone Fun – Can you think of someone who always makes you laugh?  Or who is a genuine pleasure to be around?  (The two things probably go hand in hand.)  Find them and spend a few minutes with them.  You will definitely feel better!

Look At The Positives – Sometimes when we are in circumstances we don’t like, the best thing to do is find the positives.  What experience are you gaining from this situation?  What qualities are you developing?  There is really no such thing as wasted time, if you can see what you can get out of it.

I do all of these things on a regular basis and when I just don’t feel that good, I practice these in the moment.

By far, my favorite one is “smile.”  If I ever wake up in the morning feeling “blah” about my day, smiling at myself in the mirror never fails to make me feel a little bit differently about the day ahead.  This may also make me a little strange, but I’ll take strange and feeling good anyday.  😉

How do you make yourself feel better?  Share your tips in the comments!

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12 Comments

  1. I LOVE Elf! That movie is my favorite! 🙂 Just reading that quote made me think about the movie, which put a big smile on my face so thank you! As for the rest of the post, I love that as well. You’ve put some great pieces of advice in here and I will definitely be coming back to read this when I need to make myself feel better.
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog ..greet yourself with love =-.

  2. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Dani – Haha. I thought about that line from the movie almost as soon as I finished writing this. 🙂

    Hi Tess – Oooh, good one. That always makes me feel better too. And, they usually make me laugh, which is a bonus. 🙂

  3. Hi Amanda,
    These are all great…and I also love what Tess has added – I wouldn’t have thought about it, but seeing it here – I know it’s true for me. What a great way to bring up past memories. I also find that a good run or bike ride can do wonders for me – to give me a lift. And smiling…that one’s so easy…and so instant!
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

  4. These are all wonderful ideas to help chase away the blues. One thing I find helps is to get involved with helping someone else. It takes my mind off of me and helping another gives me a good feeling about myself.
    .-= SherryD´s last blog ..The Skills You Need for Woodworking =-.

  5. Thanks for this Amanda — definitely checking in with how I’m breathing during the day, and whether I’m restricting the breath to my chest rather than letting it get all the way down into my stomach, has been useful for me.

  6. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Lance – Yeah, I thought looking at pictures was a great suggestion! Also, physical activity is another great suggestion – that never fails to make me feel better. 🙂

    Hi Sherry – Yes, definitely – thanks for mentioning this. Helping out others is a great way to make yourself feel better. Like you mentioned, getting out of your own head sometimes is good.

    Hi Chris – I also often have to check in with my breathing. Sometimes in the middle of a busy work day i find my breathing shallow and consequently I feel more stressed. Breathing properly goes a long way towards wellbeing.

  7. Amanda, you always feel perfect, but the veils created by the mind would like to fool you into believing otherwise. To feel as you are, simply learn to discard all the thoughts and feelings that brainwash you about what you are not. This comes through a process of soul re-alignment. You are being discerning now.
    .-= Liara Covert´s last blog ..7 Ways to reframe apparent dis-ease =-.

  8. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Liara – “You always feel perfect.” – that I’m going to take with me. I guess in some ways it’s what we can let go of that helps us to feel better. 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

  9. Hi Amanda, These are all excellent tips. My favorite is your suggestion to call someone fun. This is something I only recently started doing (I used to call someone to commiserate with). It’s so great. I don’t talk about feeling blue or schleppy–I just ask my friend how she is doing and follow the conversation wherever it may go. The conversation stays positive and fresh. I feel better instantly. Thanks for these great tips!
    .-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last blog ..Live the Dream Now =-.

  10. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Srinivas – Thanks for your comment! I’m interested to check out your post on smiling. Great topic :).

    Hi Jodi – Thanks for leaving a comment! What made me think of that suggestion is one of my co-workers. She is great to talk/laugh with and I always feel refreshed after a chat!

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