Mental Health Series: Five Techniques To Alter Your Mood
We all have our days where we aren’t feeling ourselves. Our mood isn’t what we’d like or actually needs it to be. We can feel stuck in our heads, foggy and solutions don’t come so easy. Thankfully, there are ways to alter how we’re feeling and contribute to our overall positive mental health.
I’ll never forget the head of my course saying last year that “a thought has ten seconds to hijack your mind”. It sounds rather scary, right? It’s certainly a powerful way of considering the power our thoughts can have over us. On the bright side, this means that you have ten seconds to allow it to pass and move onto a more helpful thought. Of course, we’re all guilty of allowing the thought to fester and unfortunately this means that it can grow and manifest in others ways through actions and emotions. To be honest, there are days where this can happen and it can be tricky to snap out of it.
How about considering how we can impact our mood positively when we’re not feeling it or would rather stay in bed than function in society?
1. Exercise is number one here, not surprisingly. There are numerous types of exercise that one can practise and they will all create endorphins. The simplest idea can be a walk down the road to the local park. Even ten minutes outside will get the blood moving and get you out of your head. Not feeling it? Then still try and go. Often it’s the feeling after exercising that we need to remember to make us move ourselves.
2. Journaling isn’t just something from back in the day. It’s an effective technique that allows for clarity and expansion . For one, it’s is a method of getting thoughts on paper – making sense of them. Or alternatively, jotting down solutions to a challenge or writing down all the positive elements of your day creates energy and motivates.
3. Planning a trip, outing or even a coffee date with someone you care about means that you have something to look forward to. They say that a large element of the excitement of making plans is the planning itself so get planning. Even if you don’t go, it keeps the mind occupied which is sure to get those thoughts to a more positive place.
4.Eat something healthy! They say you are what you eat so how about a trip to the local health store? Getting those healthy vitamins and minerals into you will mean you feel better afterwards and are adding some nourishment to your body.
This past week, I’ve been guilty of snacking on sweets, cookies and donuts – everything that is considered cheat food. Today, I’ve got a fridge full of fruit and vegetables. If you fall off that wagon, get right back on there.
5.Give yourself a break. I don’t have to say it again – but I will. Beating yourself up and being hard on yourself won’t achieve anything except to make you feel worse. Find ways to stop those harsh thoughts, talk it out with someone you love or practice some affirmations. Being kind to your sweet self is so important.
Other ways of minding your mental health include getting lots of sleep, surrounding yourself with the best (plus avoiding toxic people) and seeking out inspiration online and on TV (take this Conor McGregor documentary for example that worked for me).