Feel Better in Just 10 Minutes
Part 1 - Feel Good Actions 1-5
Feeling better and finding balance in our lives isn’t always about big interventions. So often it is about taking small steps, or making small adjustments to how we currently life our lives, that when practiced daily begin to build a rich tapestry of wellbeing that builds day by day.
There are numerous examples of positive nurturing actions you can take that will bring more harmony and balance to your life right now. Here part 1 of a 2 part blog listing 10 things that you can implement right now to bring you a positive shift in mood and your energy.
Don’t fall into the trap we all make of just reading them. Take action. Pick one that suits your mood right now, set a timer for ten minutes and go for it!
You might like before you start the exercise to score your mood out of 10 (10 being the happiest you could be and 0 being the lowest you could be). Write it down. After the exercise, score your mood at the end of the exercise and see how your mood has shifted.
Remember you are unique, so you will find some suit you more, or work better for you, than others. Try them all then find a balance between active ones and still ones. You will discover that you can also combine these mini actions. For example, you can take your moving or playfulness outdoors.
1. Get Outdoors
Fresh air and nature always heal. If you are fortunate to have some nature on your door step that’s ideal, but even if you are in the midst of the city just seek out a quiet corner that appeals and soak in the change of scene. Don’t worry about what the weathers doing, rain, shine, hail or wind, being outdoors is guaranteed to refresh your stale energy and blow away the cobwebs.
2. Enhance your Breathing
When we are busy and stressed, we can forget to breath properly. For many people who are anxious, fearful, stressed or depressed, their bodies may have got into long term habits of poor breathing, for example, breathing shallow breaths using only a fraction of the full lung capacity. Poor breathing can exacerbate and even cause anxiety. Our minds are so connected with our breath, such that we can calm the mind by calming our breath.
Take some time to learn how to breath with your abdomen as described below, and you will feel the benefits to your wellbeing. This abdominal breathing has many positive benefits including stimulating the Vagus nerve with helps to slow the heart rate, calm the body and mind.
Take some deep slow breaths, in through your nose and out through your nose. Inhale slowly, imagine you are breathing right down into your tummy, inflating a balloon in your belly. Pause for a second at the top of the inhale, before slowly exhaling all that air out. Feel that balloon in your belly deflate as you exhale. Allow your breath to become long, slow and peaceful, so that the rhythm of your breath sounds like the sound of the ocean as wave wash up onto the shore then out again.
There are numerous ways to meditate and numerous techniques to follow. If you already have one that works for you, go for it. Otherwise, let’s keep it simple.
Find a comfortable upright seated position. Unless you are used to sitting on the floor, an ordinary armchair chair will do. Ideally with your feet on the floor, legs uncrossed and rest your hands gently on your lap.
Close your eyes and bring your awareness to the sensations at the tip of your nostrils where the air gently passes as y our natural breath flows in and out through your nose. You don’t need to change the breath at all. Focus your awareness on this sensation, and then begin to count your breaths in your mind. Count ‘1’ as you inhale and ‘2 as you exhale. When you reach 10, start over from 1. Your mind will wander, that’s normal. Just gently bring it back to the breath and start your count again. When your ten minutes is up, gently open your eyes and bring your awareness back into the room.
4. Do what brings you Joy
So often with all the busyness of life, the things we enjoy to do the most, our passions, can get pushed down to the bottom of our priority list, as responsibilities and chores take over.
Take 10 minutes to do something you love to do. If you love to play an instrument, play. If writing is your passion, write, if you paint, then paint. Set everything aside for 10 minutes and reconnect with what brings you joy.
If your big passion isn’t something that you can easily dip into for 10 minutes, like flying a plane or fishing, take the 10 minutes to plan and fantasise about the next time you can. Maybe there is something connected with it you can enjoy for 10. I would recommend always having a few quick and easy hobbies to dip into to reconnect with your unique passions in life. The world is your oyster when it comes to interesting hobbies, just make sure its healthy for you and others.
Get a couple of your favourite tracks, find a room where you can be alone and turn up the volume. Dance from the heart. Do worry above ‘moves’, let your body do the talking and move to the rhythm how it wants to go. Try to get yourself and your judgments out of the way and just do your thing.
Its a really great habit to build some or all of these ‘Feel Good Actions’ into every day. Reclaim some of the time we all can waste on fruitless activities every day, and take a nurturing self-care action instead. Don’t take my word for it! Put it to the test and see how much better you can feel in just 10 minutes. Remember, whatever we are going through in life or whatever challenges have come our way, we can always take some loving action, however tiny, to nurture ourselves more. The more we are going through, the more you deserve it.
Watch out for the second part of this blog, ‘Feel Good Actions 5-10’ later this week.
Dr Emma Rae Rhead Hypnotherapy Chester
Safe, Effective Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy with a Qualified Medical Doctor
Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine