It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck in the wrong job, if you’re drowning in a horrible life situation or even whether you are at a point in life where something really horrible just happened to you. There are always things that you could do to make yourself feel better and in fact start feeling pretty good with a little bit of practice. On the other hand, there are a lot of people out there who have wonderful things happening to them in life but they still aren’t feeling good. That’s because feeling good is a habit and the more you practice it, the better you get at it. Here are five things that you can start doing right now to start feeling good.
How you get yourself to laugh is really immaterial. You could watch stand-up comedy clips on YouTube, remember funny incidents from your past or hang out with a friend who always makes you laugh. The point is that you laugh. Laughter causes a reduction in the levels of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine and also causes the brain to release endorphins that relieve physical pain. So not only will laughter make you feel good mentally, you’ll also start to feel good physically. Moreover, laughter is not just something that will make you feel good, it’s also contagious. The more you laugh, the more you make people around you laugh and in the end a lot more people end up feeling good.
If you’re a person who is really feeling down and you think that laughter is too farfetched, then tone that down several notches and just smile. I’ve done this with several of my clients. At times when they weren’t feeling great about something, I’ve asked them to just smile continuously for ten minutes. For no reason at all. The interesting thing is that the brain doesn’t care whether you’re smiling for a reason or not. It still releases endorphins and the feel good hormone serotonin. Smiling faces are also considered to be friendlier and more attractive faces. That’s another bonus point on the feel good scale right there.
There’s something about helping others that makes you feel good. It’s not just therapeutic; it’s also great for your self-esteem. When you help others, you first of all move yourself out of the victim mindset, which is a big reason that a lot of people don’t feel good to begin with. By helping others, you also unconsciously tell yourself that you are better than certain others, you can give, which means you have a enough and also that you can empower and make others feel good which means you will be able to feel good yourself. When you help others and their lives improve in some way, the positive feeling you experience is really something that you benefit from the most.
Any form of exercise is a sure shot way to make yourself feel better. Try this out. Give yourself a rating in terms of how you feel on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being really bad and 10 being awesome. Now exercise for 30 minutes. This could be a routine of floor exercises, lifting weights at the gym, running or even a brisk walk for 30 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes and give yourself a rating again on the same 1 to 10 scale. You’re bound to feel better. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is released by the body especially because of anger, fear or anxiety. Exercise makes you feel good by burning cortisol and also releasing endorphins.
A lot of times, what causes us to feel bad, worse and then really horrible are the things that we keep telling ourselves. Even on a day when you’re feeling pretty good, if you keep telling yourself, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m horrible”, “I feel lousy”, “I feel sick”, etc. you’re going to eventually fulfill those prophesies. Try this instead. The moment you catch yourself not feeling that good. Purposely and deliberately tell yourself something like, “I feel great”, “I’m awesome”, “I’m feeling superb”, “I feel amazing”, etc. Initially this might feel like a joke but keep at it. Soon you’ll notice that your body and mind respond to it. You actually start feeling better just because of what you’ve been telling yourself.
Use the above five methods like a bag of tools. Pull one out that suits your situation and the specific instance when you want to start feeling better. Try them out and see what happens. The more often you do this, the more control you will have over yourself in terms of moving your feelings in the direction of your choice.