Raise your hand if some days all you wanna do is curl up in the fetal position and not deal with the current situation that is your life? We’ve legit all been there. It’s important to be kind to yourself and remember these healthy habits you can practice to help you get rid of negative energy and boost your mood.
Sometimes you might have a string of days that feel hopelessly bad. Natural reaction is to focus on the negatives, which has a snowball effect and pretty soon you feel like everything is going wrong. You have to push aside this way of thinking and look for the positives. A gratitude journal is all about expressing your ~feels~, specifically, what you feel grateful for.
There are a million ways to fill out a gratitude journal - you don’t have to write a ten-page essay that could rival part 3 of your English exam, you can write something as simple as, “my cat was in a cuddly mood today”. It’s all about what made YOU feel good, so whatever that is, no matter how big or small; write it down. When you’ve finished, read over them several times. It’s about retraining your brain to do with the positives what it naturally does with the negatives, so you learn to focus on the good.
Finding things to be grateful for or that make you happy can be a huge mood booster and give you a little bit of perspective on the reality of your current sitch.
Meditating is about taking some alone time to clear your mind and be present in the moment. Often meditation requires you to focus on one thing whether that’s conscious breathing, a mantra or expelling negative energy from your body. There are a whole bunch of ways to meditate, and how you choose to meditate is completely up to you. You’d actually be surprised by how many things you already do that can be classed as meditating like listening to your fave music, going for walks, cooking, reading, colouring in, dancing, exercising, anything that makes you feel more at ease. Other ways of meditating can be a little more ‘Zen’, like yoga or guided meditation apps. If you’re a rookie looking to get into the Zen zone try this simple 4-step meditation:
- Lay down with your back on the ground with a medium sized book under your head (think Prisoner of Azkaban, not Deathly Hallows) so that your spine feels straight and elongated. You can do all this with your eyes open or closed – up to you.
- Pop your knees up with your feet hip width apart or pop your legs on a chair that’s knee height to create at 90 degree angle, whichever is easy and comfortable.
- Once you’re comfortable, breathe deeply into your lungs and feel your chest expand. Then, start at your toes and image your body parts stretch out both length ways and side way to really expand, spend about 30-60 seconds on each body part making your way to the top of your head.
- When you reach the top of your body, lay there and just enjoy being still and conscious of your body and how it feels until you’re ready to come out of the meditation.
It’s fair to say we spend most of our life with a screen in front of us. We might not realise it but sometimes technology can seriously bring us down. When you’re having a rough time and you’re scrolling through pics of people enjoying themselves and looking fabulous, it can make you feel so much worse. It’s important to remember that people always post the best of their life, and leave out the not so happy moments. Instead of hitting up your socials when you’re feeling flat, leave the phone at home and go for a walk, play a board game with a family member, spend time with your pets, read a book. When you do something that not only makes you happy and makes you forget about your life online for a while, it allows you to live in the moment and stop comparing yourself to others.
IN TOO DEEP
Sometimes a string of bad days can become weeks and then months of bad days. You might have tried some of these healthy habits and they haven’t help shake off stressed or unhappy feelings. If that’s the case and you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed it’s time to ask for some help. Stress, anxiety and depression are a lot more common than you may be aware. In fact, most people experience one or more of these conditions at some point in their lives. If you think this might be something you’re experiencing, you can seek help by talking to a trusted person such as a parent, relative, school counsellor and doctor.
For more information, practical advice and to chat online to someone who can help, head to youthbeyondblue.com or call them on 1300 22 4636 (this is a free call).