The Top 5 Things You Can Do To Feel Better Right Now!

There are a million reasons why we feel lousy—and there are many types of therapy with different philosophies about how you can feel better. 

It can be very confusing to try to sort this all out on your own.  A good therapist will be able to find a method that resonates with you, so you can learn to manage your stress, your moods, and your relationships. You will be surprised at how much better you feel, and how much your life can change!

There are, however, things that you can do right now, on your own, that have been scientifically shown to improve mood and quality of life.  Here they are:

1.    SLEEP! 

 Getting enough sleep

Sleep is one of the most important factors in physical, mental and emotional health.  Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep to function at their best.  Some people can function optimally on much less than this, but you are probably not one of them!  Sleep tends to be the first thing we let go when we get stressed– don’t fall prey to this mistake!  Make sleep a priority.  Without a good night’s sleep, it’s difficult to be in a good mood.

 

2.    GRATITUDE.

Practicing gratitude is a habit that we need to train ourselves to have.  Studies have shown that even something as simple as writing down 3 things you are grateful for at the end of each day can have a significant effect on your mood. 

 This is the easiest, cheapest and quickest of all the things you can do to improve your life!  Don’t forget to take a minute to really feel the gratitude as you write down each item. The important parts are the emotion of gratitude, and the regularity of the practice. If you spend just 3 minutes each day really feeling your gratitude for even one thing, this will have a positive effect on your mood.

3.    MINDFULNESS

 Mindfulness for stress reduction

Is it old? Zen Buddhists have been doing it for hundreds of years. Or is it new? Recent scientific research has shown that mindfulness practice significantly reduces stress. The Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA offers several free, guided meditations that last from 3-20 minutes.  There are many other free and low-cost apps available as well.  Many people like the apps Headspace; Calm; and Stop, Breathe & Think.

4.    MOVE

You don’t need the latest Fitbit, you can just make some different choices—take a walk before or after dinner, do some gardening, wash your car, walk the dog, take the stairs instead of the elevator.  This works better if you don’t live or work on the 25th floor!  But seriously, studies show that regular moderate exercise has a significant beneficial effect on mood.

5.    FLOSS. 

Just kidding.  All the studies on flossing show correlation, not causation—which simply means that people who floss live longer, maybe because of the flossing, maybe not. But it sure does seem to be the buzzword these days! 

The real number 5 is NATURE

 Mental Health tip #5 - get out in nature

As in, get out in it. Japanese studies on the activity called “forest bathing”, namely walking slowly and viewing nature, showed improvement in feelings of well-being after just one “forest bath” of about 30 minutes.  Not to mention lower blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones!

You can experience a similar effect by just eating your lunch outside in a garden, or walking your dog in the park (See Tip #4).  No need to go to Japan for this one!  Watching the sunset on the beach is another wonderful way to unwind (parking at the beach is often difficult—park a bit away and have a little walk to get there—see Tip #4!)

And did I mention SLEEP?  This is truly THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP.

Give yourself permission to go to bed earlier.  Set a “go to bed alarm” as well as a “wake up” alarm. Leave the dishes for tomorrow, turn off the tv/computer, turn down the lights, and hop into bed. You’ll be smiling more tomorrow.

 

 feeling better after therapy

If You Would Like More Ideas On How to Feel Better and Live Your Best Life–

Please call me at 323-999-1537 or email me at amy@thrivetherapyla.com for a free 15 minute phone consultation. We will discuss how therapy might be helpful for you, and I can even help you find a therapist in your area who might be a good fit. I want you to start feeling better as soon as possible! Give me a call and we will get you started on your path to happiness and joy today!