Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5 Quick Mood Boosters

Ever get the Flat Stanleys?

You know - money worries, broken oven, broken heater, head colds, tummy bugs, busy at work, too much to do at home, crummy news, bills due, groceries cost more, blah blah blah?

I can relate, believe you me. But lately, I've decided to take my feelings into my own hands and own them. Feeling shit? Accept it, get through it or change it. Take ownership of your reactions. I can't change other people and I can't (always) change circumstances, but I can change the way I choose to react to them.

Here's five green, free, or inexpensive mood boosters that can help:
1. Take ten minutes and clean out your top two kitchen drawers. 

If you're anything like me, there will be a fine layer of toast crumbs, Milo, baby cereal and something else at the bottom of your cutlery and utensils/other-unclassified-crap drawers, and giving them a quick tidy, organise and wipe out will make you feel better. You can own that one piece of organisation. Plus, achieving something, no matter how small, does help you feel better.

2. Spend 10 minutes outside doing some very simple yoga poses.

Try something like this if you're a yoga beginner. The combination of deep breaths, increased blood circulation to your noggin and simply being outdoors works wonders.

3. Try the following exercise for ten minutes in the morning.

(Or more frequently throughout the day if you can, or if you're feeling particularly anxious). It truly helps to bring your mind into full presence for the day ahead. I try most mornings to have ten minutes of just sitting with my coffee, looking out our back doors at the trees, breathing deeply and taking stock of each of my senses:
   - what can I see?
   - what can I hear? (usually Charlie and Lola if it's ten minutes I'm after)
   - what can I taste?
   - what can I touch?
   - what can I smell?
Sounds simple but it is really one of the most important parts of my day.

4. Eat a banana!

Super good for seratonin production, which = happiness hormone.

5. Scribble down two or more pages of stream-of-consciousness writing on some scrap paper, then throw it away recycle it. 

Just have a brain dump. Start with the first thing that pops into your head and do. not. stop. writing. Don't censor yourself. Just write. And if you can't think of anything, just write, "I can't think of anything," over and over until your brain throws something else out at you. And it will.

This is seriously a brilliant way to clear out the extraneous stresses and worries in your mind. And I often find it helps me to figure out what's really troubling me, and helps me do away with the things that are not important. Once they're out, they're not getting back in, and once you get rid of the piece of paper, they're gone.
6. (Because number one sounded too much like housework) Drink a cup of green tea. 
Powerful antioxidants and other large words mean that green tea is a proven mood booster.

There will be shitful things that happen and none of these measures change that, but I'm finding a combination of them throughout my days has helped my mental well-being out of sight. (Maybe more on that some other time.)

Happy days, my dears. x

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Merci! Ta! Xie xie!