Lately I found myself to be in a bit of a downwards spiral. I was becoming negative, focussing on the things lacking or wrong in my life and was convinced nothing was going to get better. But that isn't me, so being the curious learner that I am, I researched many ways I could help myself. This week I have noticed a miraculous change to my mood so thought I would share some of the things that have really helped me. Some are techniques I have done previously, and some are new additions.
1. A regular wake-up schedule. No snoozing.... that just makes you feel worse in my experience. And no checking social media as soon as you wake up! It automatically puts your body in flight or fight mode if you see something stressful, even subconsciously.
2. Essential oils. Be it rollerballs, sprays, burners or any other method. I choose uplifting fragrances such as orange and grapefruit or ones for mental clarity such as rosemary or peppermint. Massages are also really great for this too and whilst they aren't uplifting, they are relaxing and put you in a better mood.
3. Baths. Super relaxing... a hug for the soul. They give you time to just 'be'. I had found myself in the routine of watching Netflix or YouTube in the bath, but I have recently realised that my brain is so over stimulised by so much noise and light and such in everyday life, that my brain never switches off. When watching TV, I'll also be on my phone or laptop. So now in the bath, I just listen to quiet spa music and it is so nice to give my brain space.
4. Happy music! I have a go to song that puts me in a cheery mood and a relaxed happy playlist for the morning. I listen to the cheery song every morning and as cheesy as it is, I do a little dance on the spot or where I'm sat to convince my brain I'm happy.
5. Mindfullness. This is a habit that I had begun to slip out of, but thankfully I've made it part of my daily life again. Every morning before I do anything else, I spend 10 minutes (minimum) sat on my chair, looking outside and noticing what I see and hear. This sets me up for the day so well. I also do mindfullness throughout the day; as soon as I begin to get stressed or anxious, I focus in on my senses. I also do a body scan when I am feeling tense and every night before bed.
6. Tai Chi. I have started 5 minutes of tai chi every morning, using a really simple YouTube tutorial. It is brilliant for resetting your internal energy and really puts me in a better mood for the day. It also is really great for people like me, who don't have the energy for traditional exercise.
7. Nature or fresh air. A walk in nature is best as not only is green nature proven to have physical and mental health benefits, but the walking also releases dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. But if you can't walk, then I've found just sitting on my front door step for fresh air and looking at the trees helps lift my mood. Any bit of sunshine also helps immensly.
8. A hug or talking to a loved one or a friend. The hug in particular boosts seretonin and endorphins which are clinically proven to improve mood and depression.
9. Positive manifestations. Negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds positivity. If you focus on what you don't have and what you don't want, you'll only attract more of it. If you focus daily on what you do want and really visualise this, you are more likely to attract that into your life. For more information, research the law of attraction. I watched the documentary 'the secret' on Netflix (which is also a book) to explain it to me.
10. EFT tapping. This is a new one for me. Google it or watch YouTube videos for explanations. But is is sort of a cross between cognitive therapy and acupuncture, but without any needles or expensive therapy. It is super quick and easy to do at home and I've really started noticing the benefits already.
11. Hobbies. Finding something you really enjoy rather than 'work' is really satisfying and relaxing. Doing things for yourself and being kind to yourself is so important.
12. Comedy tv shows/movies. Laughing is a brilliant medicine and releases happy chemicals called endorphins.
13. Gratitude. If you can, write down at least 3 daily gratitudes. It will help make you feel thankful for what you have and is scientifically proven to improve mental and physical health. Writing them isn't neccesary, but it helps.
14. Getting dressed and ready every day, regardless of if you are going out or not. It puts you in the right frame of mind and makes for a more productive, happy day.
15. Healthy eating. Now I can't sit here and say i'm the healthiest eater, because I'm not. But I have got a lot better and I know that eating nutritious foods that fuel your body, puts you in a much better mood than starving your body of nutrients and eating lots sugary foods that will just cause energy crashes. Drinking plenty of water is also really important.
There we go... 15 simple steps to happiness! These aren't miracle workers, and of course, if you are depressed or really struggling with your emotions and mood, please do see a doctor. However, these have really worked for lifting my spirits and many have clinically proven benefits. Let me know if you have any extra tips to create happiness!