by Donna Stellhorn
Sometimes I just wake up in a funk. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep. Or I’m feeling behind on my projects. Or sometimes I spent a little too much time on news headlines and suddenly I realize I’m depressed.
There are plently of things that can happen these days to leave you feeling down. But there are also ways to light the spark of hope and have it blazing within you. Here are five things I do to feel better right away and each take just a few minutes. (And you only have to do one to feel good).
- The Meditation of Loving Kindness. I learned about this in Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of the Titans (which is an amazing book by the way). He got it from Mingyur Rinpoche. Here’s how I do it. I sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor. Close my eyes and for 30 seconds or so I picture someone I care about having everything they ever wished for (health, wealth, happiness, etc.). Then for the next 30 seconds or so I picture an acquaintance or a colleague I know and that they have everything wonderful under the sun happen to them. Finally, for another 30 seconds I choose a stranger or a person in the public eye and wish them happiness, love, joy and success. And that’s it. I have found this amazingly effective for lifting the mood and it lasts all day.
- Dance. I put on some happy music and dance. Zumba works great for this. Exercise shifts our body chemistry and dancing is great exercise. I let go and dance like no one is watching. Three minutes of dance and I feel better.
- Make a Clean Spot. This is what I call “spot decluttering”. I find a few items that can be tossed in the trash or put into the donation pile. Or I shred a small pile of papers. When you open up any space, even a tiny one, it feels like you can breathe. There’s a YouTube channel I enjoy called “Clean My Space”. I put on a quick video while I’m cleaning for inspiration.
- Go Smudge Yourself. Smudging is a Native American-inspired method of clearing a person, place or object. Take sage (you can use whole leaves, ground sage or a smudge stick). Light the sage and move it around your body. You may feel an energy shift or that something is being lifted from you. You may not feel anything in the moment but in just a few minutes you feel better. I have a website on smudging with more information.
- Do Something For Someone Else: For me, depression happens when I focus inwards instead of outwards. It’s when I start thinking too much about myself and not about my service to others. I need to redirect my power (my gifts or just my energy) out into the world. So I pick up the phone and call or text other people offering to help them with what they need. Miraculously, this helps me most of all.
Let me know if you found this helpful. What you do to balance your energy and feel better?