Simple Ways to Feel Better Instantly
We all have good and bad days. Good days helps us make memories and bad days teaches us lessons to learn from. There are things that we do not control and there are times that test our patience. While we cannot fix everything that happens to us, we can do simple things to make us feel better instantly in any situation. In this post, I share 6 simple ways to feel better instantly.
Researchers say that happiness is a state of mind. It is not a destination to reach. It is the way of life. No matter what hardships we face, we can choose to be happy. Though I read a lot about happiness, I still face all the emotions in my life.
In her book “Lean In”, Sheryl Sandberg talks about Arianna Huffington’s quotes about coping with negative emotions. She mentions that we should be like kids when it comes to dealing with disappointments. When kids do not get something, they cry and whine but move on to play happily as they see something else more exciting or interesting. It is good to acknowledge the situation, feel the pain and then move on.
Here are 6 simple ways to feel better instantly in any given situation. I follow these and hope you find them useful too.
Drink a glass of water
I know what you are wondering. How can a glass of water make us feel better? Believe me, it can. We are well aware that our body needs at least 64 oz of water a day. Just ask yourself if you take 8 glasses of water a day? Most of us don’t.
We depend on caffeinating drinks and soda and completely ignore this thirst quenching zero calorie drink. Next time you feel down, just sip a glass of cool water. To make it even better, sit down to sip your drink. My grandmother always insisted that we sit down to eat or drink, even if it was just plain water.
As a kid, I never understood why she insisted on sitting down while eating or drinking. Now I know that it is a simple way of being in the moment and savoring the food/drink.
Getting out of the temperature controlled indoors and connecting with nature is a great way to boost happiness. Go for a walk/run around the neighborhood. Feel the warm sunshine or the chilly breeze depending on the weather. Take time to enjoy mother nature’s bounty. Colorful flowers, tree-lined streets, green grass or fall foliage, soaking ourselves in nature is an instant mood uplifter.
When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. This chemical released in the body makes you feel better after your workout session. Whether you love strength training or gentle stretches or heart-pumping cardio moves, moving your body and exercising can instantly make you feel better. Instead of sinking into the couch and binge-watching Netflix after a long day, work out for at least 20 mins. You stress levels will reduce and you can end your crappy day in a better mood.
When we experience a negative emotion, our mind constantly thinks about the issue. We run on autopilot while our mind is occupied with the past or the future. We re-create the scene or over analyze the cause and effect of the problem at hand.
Your anger from work may linger hours after you have left your workplace. You may be talking about the problem to your spouse or still fuming about the injustice happened to you. Watching TV may turn off your attention for a while but doesnt remove it. Instead, practice being in the moment.
I’m not talking about meditation here. I’m just a beginner in meditation and don’t have any expertise to give tips. I try to be in the moment and notice my surroundings with curiosity as though am watching them for the first time in my life.
I do notice that after a couple of mins of the mindful break, my mind wanders away and I get occupied with stray thoughts. Once I catch myself amidst negative thoughts, I gently remind myself to notice my surroundings, notice what I can hear, what I smell or how my clothes feel on me. Mindfulness helps me to focus on the present and divert my attention away from negative thoughts.
Mindfulness is not jargon or the next buzz word. It is a powerful tool to help us enjoy what we have at any moment without dwelling in the past or dreaming about the future.
I don’t mean binging on junk food 🙂
Each one of us has comfort food that instantly cheers us up. Comfort food brings the memories of your childhood or of your loved one. Whether it is the simple mac-n-cheese that you enjoyed as a child or your grandma’s signature recipe, give yourself permission to indulge in the comfort of your favorite food.
As the name suggests, comfort food soothes your soul and triggers happy memories leaving you in a better mood. Please make sure to be mindful while you enjoy your food and do not overeat.
There is a TED talk about how to mindfully indulge in enjoying a sweet treat. The speaker explains how to mindfully enjoy a square of dark chocolate. The video is called “Chocolate mindfulness exercise” and you watch it here. When we use mindfulness in relishing a bar of chocolate, we will realize that one is more than good enough.
I can never stop talking about gratitude and its benefits. We all have something to be grateful for even on a rough day. To feel better instantly, make a list of things that you are grateful for. As you write the list you will notice how blessed you are to have the list of things to be grateful for. As we regularly practice gratitude, we feel the abundance around us. We realize how much we ignore and take things for granted.
Gratitude makes you feel generous, optimistic and empathetic. Gratitude makes you see a positive aspect in every situation and thereby lowers your stress levels. Granted that you would still feel the negative emotions, but gratitude would help you bounce back faster than ever.