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!