When we have too much stress in our lives, the intellectual part of our brain (pre frontal cortex) which is responsible for executive functioning, planning, organising, etc, the bit that helps us to feel good and happy is shut down and we can’t think clearly (brain fog), the primitive, emotional mind (limbic system) then takes over and we are in a constant state of fight or flight, this part of the brain is all about survival so needs to be negative as it needs to focus on the worst case scenario to keep you alive (great for our ancestors fighting off wild animals and other tribes but not great in the office when you’re trying to focus on that important project).
So I’ve made a list of things that you can do to get you out of the negative, emotional mind and back into the logical, rational mind, leaving you feeling more positive, happier and healthier. I hope you find them useful, as I have.
🔅 Smile: Our facial muscles are very powerful and can have a big effect on the brain, smile for at least 30 seconds and it sends a message to the brain that all is well.
🔅 Cuddle: We’ve lost that human connection that is so important for our wellbeing. When we cuddle we produce the wonderful hormone Oxytocin which is responsible for that warm fuzzy feeling we get when we are in love!
🔅 Conscious Breathing: Breathing is an autonomous process, however when we become aware of it and change the way we breathe, I.e. take longer breaths, we take in more oxygen which reduces oxidative stress and inflammation. Also makes us feel calm and relaxed.
🔅 Exercise: Helps to release endorphins which is our natural high, gives us a buzz, helps us to feel energised, gets our body moving, helps with motivation. Even a quick 10 minute work out at home will help lift your mood.
🔅 Eat a balanced diet: Often we try different diets that are too hard for us to keep up with so we give up and go back to unhealthy eating, however the important thing is to just be mindful of what you are eating, don’t be hard on yourself for having a treat, think about food in a logical way rather than emotional.
🔅 Get out in nature: It’s amazing! Everything feels better when you take a walk and become aware of the trees, plants, oceans, clouds, whatever there is around you!
🔅 Positive interactions: Spend more time with the people that make you feel good and less time with energy vampires, people that leave you feeling unhappy and deflated. Also notice nice little interactions with strangers, a smile on the street, a little chat at the till, anything that puts a smile on your face.
🔅 Be grateful: Think about what you have got and be thankful for it rather than what you haven’t got. If you have a roof over your head, food in the fridge, a regular income and some spare cash in the bank you are among 8% of the worlds wealthy.
🔅 Be kind: Being kind not only helps the person in receipt of your kindness but it helps produce oxytocin which is the feel good chemical often called the love hormone. Being kind and even witnessing acts of kindness help to make you feel good.
🔅 Limit social media: It can be a great thing, but only in small doses, don’t let it get in the way of your life. Clear out your feed so that there is nothing that makes you feel bad.
🔅 Stop comparing yourself: Everyone is different and that’s a great thing. When you’re on Instagram looking at others perfect lives think about what or who is behind the lens and what needed to happen in order to set the picture up. It’s not real life, we only put what we want people to see.
🔅 Prepare for tomorrow: This means do anything today which could help you tomorrow, such as thinking about what you’re doing, is there anything you can do today that will make tomorrow easier? Make lunch, make plans, etc.
🔅 Sleep well: Prepare for a good nights sleep, get off your phone at least an hour before sleep, start winding down, have a nice warm bath with some essential oils, practise deep breathing with the out breath longer than the in breath. Ensure the bedroom is tidy, and you’re set for the next day.
🔅 Be organised: Keep a diary or a calendar, write in it everything that needs to be done. Get everything down on a list, this takes it out of your mind and onto paper.
🔅 Be creative: Do the things you enjoy and the things that help to calm your mind. Painting, drawing, knitting, woodwork, these are all a form of meditation, when you’re doing something you enjoy you are in the left pre frontal cortex which is the part of the brain that helps you to feel happy, relaxed and peaceful.
🔅 Enjoy a shower: While you’re in it, think about the water washing away all the negativity that’s on you and around you. Appreciate the water and think about how lucky you are to be able to have such a luxury.
🔅 Don’t be negative for the sake of it: Of course we all have a right to feel negative at times, we may have been through a really tough time or may not be feeling very well, but don’t let it stay with you for too long. We can become conditioned to negativity in certain situations so each time that situation arises we revert to the previous pattern of behaviour even if it’s not necessarily that bad. Be mindful of how you’re feeling and it it’s useful to you in anyway.
🔅 Intermittent fasting: This may seem controversial however a lot of the time we eat at certain times because we are conditioned to believe that this is the only way to stay alive and well. However research has shown that intermittent fasting can have major health benefits. Some will only eat 2 meals a day instead of 3, so emitting breakfast and having a slightly earlier lunch. The main point is to be mindful of how you are feeling and to ask yourself if you really are hungry or just eating for the sake of it.
🔅 Try a cold shower: Again slightly controversial but research has shown that cold water therapy can have many health benefits. A good tip is to have a normal warm shower and then turn it right down and stay under it for 15 seconds. Then each day try and build it up until you can manage a couple of minutes. It’s certainly a refreshing way to start the day!
🔅 Have plants and flowers around your home: It raises the vibration of your home, getting rid of any negativity, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed.
🔅 Burn incense: As above, rids the home of negative energy.
🔅 Educate yourself: If you have time why not see if there’s an online course you could do in a subject that interests you. There are lots of free courses and you’re never to old to learn something new.
🔅 Look after friends and family, especially the elderly: It will help them and you, knowing that you have a purpose and are doing something for the benefit of others is a lovely thing.
🔅 Volunteering: Again if you have time why not try giving up some of your time to help others. You will gain so much from it, that natural high that comes from the love hormone, oxytocin.
🔅 Set your intentions in the morning: Wake up slightly earlier than normal and think about the day ahead…what do you want to achieve? How do you want to feel? What can you do that will help you to achieve your goals?
🔅 Look past the behaviour: Remember that everyone is doing their best from their own level of consciousness. If someone has had a bad day they may feel angry and take it out on you, this isn’t your fault, it just reflects the day they have had, don’t take it personally, try to have some compassion for them. You never know what people may be going through, so just try and be the best person you can be in the hope that your own energy will reflect on them.
🔅 Laugh: Laughter really is the best medicine, put on something funny, watch funny videos on YouTube, meet up with a friend that makes you laugh…need I say anymore? ☺️
Remember, it’s ok not to be ok, we all have bad days and that’s fine. These tips are there for you to try out if you feel that you are having more bad days than good, hopefully they will help you as they have me. 🙏✌🏼
Jo, White Horse Hypnotherapy.