Whatever is going on for you. Being able to shift out of whatever state that is making you feel stuck, unhappy or grumpy is really important.
Usually, how you feel starts when waking up. Your mind goes straight to what events or activities you have planned for the day. If you are thinking negatively about anything coming in the day ahead, you will start to feel negative feelings . It’s quite normal for people to do this, the key is to notice and then ask yourself how you would rather your day turn out.
Maybe noticing what you think of as soon as you wake up has never occurred to you. Most of us are on automatic pilot the moment we open our eyes. Starting to notice what’s going on can make a whole lot of difference. Don’t judge it, just notice the range of thoughts, are they the same ones everyday? Are they very negative? if so it’s very important that you plan how you are going to shift your thinking and what you can think of instead.
If you tend to wake up feeling OK, a little off or even quite good but as the morning progresses your mood changes, then what do you do? Again take notice, observing what is happening in your mind and body is the first step.
if you have already stepped into stressed out zone, go for a walk, have a coffee, text a friend who makes you laugh . One of my friends used to text me the Benny Hill tune and then that would play in my head instead and make me laugh. Doing this and then being able to shift your state is the start of you feeling more empowered. It helps you feel more in control of your life. It can also help turn your day around. It can inspire hope, build your self-esteem and make you feel less tired at the end of the day. HOPE is so important…
So now you are noticing more .You realise your getting better at keeping the good stuff and discarding what brings you down. However, we all have a default position, and when something feels off, these mechanisms go to work. I usually describe it as that internal chatter many people experience. Doing what we know is less work, even if it’s more painful. Taking action to make different choices requires you to make different decisions. However the effort is worth it . You can log the new tasks ,to keep you on track and build up more beneficial habits.
Thinking of events that stress and worry you is a way to activate your stress response system. Stress in itself isn’t bad. It makes you more focused and alert and drives energy to where your body needs it. however, the release of stress chemicals over and over again can impact your immune system, memory and create many aches and pains in your body. You feel on guard when the body is pumping chemicals to alert it to take action. Do it too long and it will totally affect your ability to think straight. Add some stress from the usual activities such as scrambling for breakfast can that force you to feel even worse. Therefore as soon as your eyes open take note, breathe and start to consider what you want from the day. However, a lot of how we feel when we awaken is due to how we were as we fell asleep.
Be aware, when you get into bed, thinking over the worst events of the day will not help. This makes it harder to sleep. Thinking why you did what you did, or that you messed will release those same stress chemicals. The body and mind need to wind down before bed. Getting mentally engaged in things drives the stress even further. Your body is them primed to move. If there are events that you feel you need to sort out or understand then write these down. At least they are out of your mind and you can then let go and start to relax.
Below are some things to consider and possible changes to make. That when practised, can alter your life. Your day to day experiences may improve in ways you might never have imagined. I have met people who have come to my workshops who made changes as soon as they got home. Just focusing on their breath and not thinking over the things that worried them from the day got rid of their sleep issues very quickly.
Evening practices that can help to relax you:
Have a soak in the bath.
Drink chamomile or other relaxing herbal teas that are said to relax you.
Lay down and listen to relaxing music and learn just to focus on your breath. There are many relaxing music tracks on youtube.
Do anything that is relaxing and allows your thoughts to drift. Breathe in slowly long deep breaths, don’t force it, enable your breath to feel natural.
If you do find thoughts piercing your mind then choose to think about at least one good thing . Think of what you managed to do that day. You have to find it. This will enable you to get out of the habit of thinking of all the worst stuff. Which late at night will not do you any favours. Some people find this hard, so don’t look for huge examples. It could just be as simple as you were helpful to a colleague or made someone feel welcome.
Wake up, notice and shift your thoughts, breathe and create a better day!
When you wake in the morning choose one thing that you can look at that makes you feel happy or calm. It might be a picture, an ornament, your partner, the baby sleeping. Slowly your mind will also learn to notice those things that give rise to better feelings. When you do, make a mental note or even better write down what these better feelings are and what activated them. Writing for 30 days every morning not only shows you a wealth of resources you have at your disposal but also how you can map out the changes you have made. This activity can be very inspiring.
If you’re a habitual worrier or struggle with low moods, these tricks are even more imperative. You need to implement them, to prevent you getting stuck in your mental cycles . Its easy to forget what things help shift you. Incremental steps are essential.
If your mind is clogged with a lot of thoughts and you feel overwhelmed, write down a list then score on a scale, what item you can sort out straight away. Then log what things need a bit more time and decide to set some time to thinking about them properly. The point of this is to lower feelings of overwhelm. Once in that state, you cannot sort through anything, and this is when many people find that the rest of the day just gets worse.
Set your intention for a better feeling day. You could even try basic meditation or breath work. Also think of people, events and things that create a better feeling. When you arrive at the end of the day, you can look back and even feel pleasure that you made an effort. in the activity you tried to improve how you felt. I often use an emotional scale – one represents feeling horrid, depressed or emotions like anger, depression and frustration sit somewhere between 1, 2, 3. On the high end of the scale I use words like joy, happy, exhilarated and peace. Then as you wake, you can ask yourself what number to give to your experience.
Try any of the methods listed and then do a personal check to see what you’re feeling. This helps you learn how very small strategies can make quite a big difference.
Other ways to improve your mood to a more consistent state of wellbeing:
Practice having mindful moments at several points of the day. Just start by noticing where you are and being still for the time being. Tune into an object in the office and breath slowly.
Absorb yourself in an activity, one that you enjoy. It will help you to continue to feel good. Some people like to read, garden, dance, go for a walk…
Use a journal to log what you notice and the benefits. Then read from the beginning at the end of the month, you might be surprised at how much better you feel.