Some days being human can feel tough. Along with being blessed with the ability to feel positive emotions and experience true joy, we also all have moments when we feel less than perky. No one is exempt from feeling a little flat sometimes.
Yet we can interrupt our crappy moods. If you can recognize that you are in a funk, you have the ability to do something about it. One of the things I focus on in coaching is the power we have over our thoughts and minds that most of us forget about.
Often our emotions can feel all encompassing, and they convince us that they are running the show. When we bring a level of awareness to our moods, we do in fact have the ability to change their course. We can override the autopilot and interfere with the current flight plan our feelings have got us on.
So rather than letting yourself gets sucked down into a spiral of moodiness, next time you’re feeling flat, here are 5 things you can do in just a few minutes to change the direction of your mood.
- Change your Scenery
If you are feeling like you are getting into a rut when working on a particular project or activity, and your mood is plummeting, walk away. Even if it is for 5 minutes, a change in activity will allow you to break the cycle you are in and allow you to come back to the task later with a fresh mindset. What you do with the break matters less than making yourself just walk away from the task, although any of the below suggests could help fill in your 5 minutes.
- Listen to an Uplifting Song
Music is processed by our “feeling” brain, or our right hemisphere. It moves you away from your rational, thinking mind and is an excellent way to brighten your spirits. Have some inspiring songs that feel happy and encouraging loaded on your phone, or simply type into the google-bot and you will have music available in an instant. If you’re at work you can pop on some headphones, or you can kick up the impact by getting up and using the song as an opportunity to walk around. Hopefully you’ll be feeling as perky as the lady in the photo in no time.
- Take 5 Deep Breaths
When we are stressed or unhappy, we often breathe shallowly. Consciously controlling your breath is a natural way to reset your system. Research has shown it calms us and relieves anxiety and stress. The act of deep breathing creates a relaxation response in our nervous system that can go some way to pushing out other unhelpful emotions that may be clouding your mood. Sit back in a chair and consciously breath in for a count of 5 and breath out for a count of 6 and repeat for a couple of minutes until you feel yourself becoming more peaceful.
- Email a Good Friend
When life becomes hectic, it is easy to feel too busy to reach out to a good friend. Yet taking 2 mins to write a quick email to connect can change massively improve your mood. When considering a good friend, even if you haven’t been in touch for a while, your mind will likely jump to happy memories. Just recalling such good times while you type a short message has the power to push negative feelings aside and move you into a more joyful state. Added bonus, at some stage you will likely get a reply and it is always nice to see a note come up from a good friend!
- Write a Quick Gratitude List
Gratitude is an incredibly powerful emotion, and one that we can easily invoke. Research in positive psychology now clearly demonstrates the power of a gratitude practice in its ability to increase our perceived levels of happiness. Although it is incredibly powerful when practiced regularly, you can also get a quick happiness-hit by writing down 5 things you are grateful for at any time. Grab a piece of paper and scribble down 5 things, either big or small, that make you feel truly grateful. Sit with the list for a moment and soak up the feelings that come with taking a moment to counting your blessings.
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Hi. I’m Kate Snowise. I’m a Life & Executive Coach who helps people who want the good stuff out of life, get it. I believe life is about more than surviving and it being good enough. Each of us truly has the ability to thrive and live a beautiful, aligned life where we remember and connect with our authentic power. I have an MSc in Psychology (the positive kind that concentrates on what is right with you). I teach people how to reconnect with themselves and their spirits through my signature coaching program The Thriving Life Project. To read more about it click here.