Five Ways To Feel Better
If you’re like a lot of people these days, you might be finding it challenging to find reasons to smile. I’ve been talking to too many people who report a general feeling of sadness taking over too much of the day. I fully understand. The world can feel oppressive, given recent events. The holidays are coming up and they’re supposed to be happy times which just serves to make some people feel worse. So, here are some strategies that might help you reconnect with joy, with happiness, and with enough gratitude to bring out a smile for a while.
- Some say turning off the news is a good idea. If that works for you, fine, but I suspect events will seep in so rather than tell you to turn off the news, I’d put it this way, turn your thoughts to the world closest to home. For a few days, pay more attention to the people around you, at work, at home, in your day-to-day interactions. By focusing your attention there, you are way more likely to encounter more goodness than you do in reviewing the larger world. Notice the little things your family and friends are doing which make you feel lighter and happier.
- Do something for someone else. The world can feel dark so it’s up to you to create light. You can’t solve the world’s problems but you have the power to do at least one thing that brings light into that darkness. Help someone out, do a favor for a friend, hold a door for a stranger, send someone you love $5 randomly just to make them smile. It doesn’t matter what you do, how big or small. The act of doing for another will make you feel better for the time it takes to do whatever it is.
- Set a “feel good” goal for each day. Do one thing that makes you feel good. It could be anything from hugging someone to enjoying a delicious piece of chocolate to phoning someone you haven’t spoken to in a while to reading a passage of your favorite book. What counts here is that you let no day pass without identifying and doing for yourself at least one thing that makes you feel good.
- Look outside or at a reasonable facsimile of outside. Experts have determined that looking at nature will improve your mood. Obviously the easiest way to do this is to look outside at the sky, at the sun, at the trees, at anything near you which holds some natural beauty. Surprisingly, the “natural view” you look upon to elevate your mood doesn’t even have to be real to help you. If you can’t find any natural beauty to gaze upon, looking at a picture of nature’s bounty has been proven to have a similar mood elevating impact. So, enjoy. Here are three fantastic scenes for your eyes to take in.
5. Tell someone how you feel. Often simply sharing your sadness enables you to throw it off.
What would you suggest to a friend who is sad? What strategies do you use to keep oppressive sadness away?