Monday 23 February 2015

11 Feel-Good Strategies That Only Take A Minute

By Melissa Ambrosini

It's so easy to get caught up playing the victim, to throw ourselves a pity party, and wallow in our misery — we're all guilty of it from time to time.
But that's no fun, is it? Years of conditioning have resulted in unhealthy habits like this. But did you know you could change those old icky habits right now? You can literally change your life in 60 seconds by doing any of these 11 things.

1. Reverse your negative thoughts, even if it doesn't feel natural.
Whenever you catch yourself repeating a negative thought in your mind, quickly switch it around to a positive thought. For example, a thought like My butt looks big in these jeans, can be replaced with I love and accept myself unconditionally.
This kind of simple shift will dramatically change your internal chemistry immediately.

2. Get your dance on — or any type of movement, really.
No matter how serious and stressful life gets, there's something very powerful about turning up some good beats and busting a few moves. This will get your endorphins pumping through your veins and flip any bad mood on its head. And if dancing isn't your jam, any type of movement you love will produce the same results.

3. Sing like Beyoncé.
Singing will quickly snap you out of your funk by releasing those feel-good endorphins. It's a really powerful mood-changing activity — you're breathing deeply, you're connected to the music, and you're in a state of flow. That's right — official permission to go grab yourself a hairbrush and bust out some Bey-Bey!

4. Meditate (in any way that works for you).
Meditation will instantly bring you back into your body and out of your head, and it's a great way to bring a sense of calm and relaxation to your life. The best news is that there are a ton of different ways to practice; all you have to do is find one that works for you.

5. Try affirmations.
Affirmations are a great way to break a negative cycle. Try I am worthy, I am love. Repeat it over and over again whenever you find yourself in a funk.
Please note that when you first start using affirmations, chances are you won't believe what you're saying. That's OK, but keep at it! You're trying to undo years of conditioning, so be persistent. Try repeating affirmations while you're driving, doing the dishes or standing in line at the bank. Get into the habit of repeating positive statements to yourself instead of nasty ones.

6. Start an internal gratitude habit, then take it public.
Before you jump out of bed each morning or close your eyes at night, rattle off as many things as you can that you're grateful for. You get extra bonus points for jotting them down in your journal and doing it twice a day. You can even get the whole family involved — we do it over the dinner table at night and on the way to school in the morning. It's a great way to bond with your family.

7. Start visualizing.
Visualizing what you want to do and create in your life is a great tool to keep you on task. Of course, you don't want to hang out in your head too much, as this means you aren't present. But by simply visualizing how you want your day to unfold or a particular project to go, you can set yourself up for an awesome day and a favorable outcome. Give it a whirl before you get out of bed each morning or at the end of your daily meditation session.
8. Laugh like a child.
Laughter really is the best medicine in the world. The reaction it has in your body is incredibly healing and rejuvenating. Make sure you crack a few big belly laughs at least once a day. If you struggle with this, try spending time around kids — they're great at giggling with abandon, and we can learn a lot from them about having fun.
9. Practice random acts of kindness.
With a simple random act of kindness, you can change someone's life. It doesn't have to take a lot of time or money. It can be as simple as smiling at the postal worker. Helping a senior across the road. Calling up a friend and asking if you can help with anything. These little moments of kindness go a long way to making you — and the people around you — feel awesome.
10. Flex your self-love muscle.
We can get so caught up in the stress of day-to-day life that we forget to take time out for us, to fill ourselves up. This is OK every once in a while, but if we do it repeatedly over weeks and weeks we can get depleted and burned out.
The solution? Do one thing every day that makes your heart sing. It could be taking a bath, savoring a cup of herbal tea in the sunshine, walking in nature or reading a good book on the beach. Whatever it is for you, make sure you commit to at least one act of self-love per day.
11. Connect with nature.
Mother Nature is incredibly calming and healing. Connecting with nature every day can really decrease your stress levels, get you out of your head and ground you in your body, helping you feel calm and stable.
Do you have any ways to change your internal chemistry? Share your tips!
Photo Credit: Getty Images

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