Having a bad day? A bad week? Oh girl, we’ve ALL been there. Luckily, there are some quick solutions to help you beat any stress, anxiety, and fear you’re feeling. Today, I’m sharing five ways to feel better today, so you can get on with yo’ bad self.
Feeling worried, stressed, or depressed has a way of making us feel like we’re no longer in control. All of a sudden, our insides feel like a mess. Many of our problems are escalated “in the moment,” meaning that if we give them some time to settle, they actually don’t feel so awful anymore. Instead of dwelling, try organizing. Maybe your closet could use some TLC. Or that IKEA bookshelf you’ve put off building for 2 months could spring to life. Organizing your home won’t make your problems go away, but it will give your mind something else to focus on while you’re healing. It will also put you back in control, so that you feel less vulnerable.
Go for a walk outside.
Being in nature makes you feel good. It’s science, actually. A recent study by the University of Essex showed that 71% of research participants felt less depressed after taking a walk in nature. 71%!! And according to Medical Daily, “other studies have shown that reconnecting with green can help lift depression, improve energy, and boost overall well-being and mental health.” Dudes. If you’re having a bad day, use half of your lunch break to take a walk at a nearby park. Focus on how incredible nature is. You’ll feel good. Promise.
Take a yoga class. Or any group exercise class, really.
You might have noticed that I’m a new yoga addict, and part of the reason I love it so much is that it often has mental benefits as well as physical. Yoga reminds me to be grateful and live in the moment, rather than focus on past failures or future worries. If yoga isn’t your thing, try another group exercise class, like spinning or barre. I find that working out in a group — even a group of strangers — has the profound effect of making you feel connected to the people around you. It’s hard to feel totally awful when you’re having a shared (and sweaty!) experience with 20 other people. And exercising with a teacher is great, because you’re so focused on the tasks at hand that you have little time to think of anything that’s weighing on your mind. You’ll leave the class feeling energetic and refreshed.
Listen to happy music.
Feeling bad? This ain’t the time to bust out your emo high school mix CD. Put on something upbeat. Studies actually show that listening to music affects your mood, so as the saying goes, “fake it ’til you make it.” You might not feel like singing along to Taylor Swift’s latest pop album, but it could improve how you’re feeling. Need some inspiration? Check out this upbeat playlist.
Focus on the present moment.
Almost everything we feel crummy about is either something that happened in the past or something that may or may not happen in the future. But right now? Right now is all good, yo. The only thing that’s making you feel bad in this moment is the fact that you’re thinking about the past or the future, rather than the right now. If something is weighing on your mind, it can be difficult to flush it out. Try this breathing exercise: take a deep breath in for four seconds. Hold it in for four seconds. Breathe out for four seconds. Hold your breath there for four seconds. Do this for a couple minutes and you’ll start to feel a shift in your anxiety and stress. As you’re breathing, bring yourself to the present moment. Remember that any bad that has happened has already happened in the past. It’s over, and you’ll get through it. And anything you’re worrying about in the future hasn’t occurred yet. Worrying about it only extends your pain. Instead, let it go. If things do eventually go badly, you’ll fight through them. You always do.