Continuing on from my last post How to feel good for 12 days at Christmas, I am reminded it’s not just at Christmas time that you can feel overwhelmed.
Maybe it’s going on holiday; the planning, the packing, the arrangements, going away and then coming back home to business as usual. It seems even the good things in life can cause stress and anxiety.
It could be birthdays, weddings, a new job, or moving house, just about any event where it is expected that you are supposed to be happy and upbeat. There are many occasions so it’s even more reason to pay attention to my top tips and give them a try. You’ll then have them in your armoury for a later date or each and every day if that suits you.
Right let’s get on with it, days 2 to 6 from the feeling good handbook. Self helpiness without the woo woo.
SELFULNESS, what that? It’s not being selfish (self-interested) caring for yourself at the expense of others. Nor is it being selfless (self-sacrificing) and doing for others at the expense of yourself. It’s about knowing and understanding that you need to take care of yourself so that you can be there for others at your full potential. It is selfulness – fulfilling both.
In a simple sense it is the symbiotic relationship of ensuring that our own and others needs are met in a holistic and enduring way. Just as when giving of yourself you do so wholeheartedly, you also get the feeling of fulfilment in return of the giving. For instance, when you give a gift at Christmas or a birthday, it feels good to both the giver and receiver.
It’s about taking care of yourself so you can take care of others. On a plane we are instructed to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first, you need it otherwise you are of no good to anyone else.
Know how it feels to love yourself so that you can love others. Forgive yourself, so you can forgive others and fall in love with being the best version of yourself. Even if you have to say no sometimes.
Take action: Note how many times you say YES when you really mean or want to say NO.
Stay in the now, this MOMENT. Experience all your moments else you’ll miss the joy and happiness that already exists. When things feel like they are bringing you down, come back from the past. When you find yourself worrying about things that haven’t happened yet come back from the future. Now is the only present, the best present there is. What has passed has passed and the future is not revealed.
Try this 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding exercise
Look for FIVE things you see around you. Maybe it’s your pet, a tree, perhaps a pen, the door, a mug or maybe it is a spot on the ceiling, no matter what, state 5 things you see.
Notice FOUR things you can touch. It could be your hair, hands, ground, grass, pillow, desk, phone etc, whatever it may be, list out the 4 things you can feel.
Acknowledge THREE things you can hear. This needs to be external to your thoughts, do not focus on your inner chatter; possibly you can hear a clock, the wind, laughter, a car, a dog barking. What is audible to you in the moment is what you list.
Become aware of TWO things you can smell. If you can’t easily find something easily go find something. Walk around and start to sniff something out. You could go to your bathroom to smell soap, your kitchen or outside to smell anything in nature, or even could be as simple as smelling your sofa or your clothes. Whatever it may be, take in the smells around you.
Become mindful of ONE thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like, gum, tea or coffee, your fingers or your pen. Focus on your mouth and tongue and notice what you can taste.
Going through these steps will help ground you in present thinking, they bring me back to the MOMENT every time.
Take action: When you are feeling stressed or anxious, try this routine, then focus on one thing and move forward in the moment.
We take it for granted though. Not only does it keep you alive, it regulates the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body.
It’s the relationship between the two gases that can create physical and emotional symptoms. Too much oxygen and you will feel on edge, jumpy and agitated. While too much carbon dioxide can make you feel sluggish, sleepy and tired.
Carbon dioxide has always had a bad reputation for doing us harm. However, that is not the case as one of its key roles is of being one of your “natural tranquilisers”.
- Breathe in through your nose slowly and deeply to the count of 6.
- Imagine breathing in peace and calm.
- Hold for the count of 3 as you take a moment.
- Then exhale through your mouth to the count of 6.
- Feel all of the tension and anxiety flow out of you as you let the breath go.
- Repeat 9 times.
Follow your breath as it flows in and out. Do not try to control it. This is a good way to relax in the midst of any activity. This technique allows you to find a breathing pattern that is natural and relaxing to you.
Take action: Try this right now, that’s right stop and just breathe, it will only take a few moments. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Give yourself a gift, the POWER POSE. Power posing claims that by assuming a “powerful” posture, you can induce positive hormonal and behavioural changes. Give it a go and make your own mind up. Don’t just do it the once though, give it a go for a number of days.
- Find somewhere safe
- Feet hip width apart (or sit in a chair squarely on your bum)
- Lift your chest
- Raise your chin a little
- Put your hands on your hips (power pose) or raised in a V shape above your head (performer pose)
- Hold for 2 minutes
Now how good do you feel?
When you find yourself low on energy, lacking of confidence, feeling anxious, low or stressed, it’s not a good feeling to start the day. Choose to start your day off a positive note, stand proud, strong and assertive. Just like superman or wonder woman.
Take action: Share this idea with friends and family right now. If nothing else you’ll all laugh.
An AFFIRMATION is a form of auto-suggestion a.k.a. self-hypnosis, in which a statement is made about the future in the present tense, as if it had already happened in the past.
When you speak in ‘affirmations’ “I am in control of my life, and I am always on time.” Your unconscious hears the affirmation as a fact that is yet to be and it immediately seeks ways in which to manifest this new fact. Yes, your unconscious is taking your affirmation in as fact. It will look for ways to prove that it is true finding evidence and letting you know.
You can ‘give yourself’ a positive affirmation to repeat as you settle into a calm and quiet place; or you can recite your affirmations throughout the day, while awake and alert. Perhaps while brushing your teeth, or walking, or you can even sing your affirmation in the shower. It works best to recite each affirmation five times.
Take action: Decide on a phrase that empowers you. Say it over to yourself as many times as you can today. You may want to set a reminder on your phone or place sticky notes around the house.
Let me know how you get on and what works for you in the comments. If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear about them too.