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5 Ways To Feel Better Right Now

5 Ways To Feel Better Right Now

Life has a tendency to knock us down a few notches every now and then. If you are having one of those days when nothing is going right, let me share five ways to change your mood’s direction:

1. Create Stuff That Interests You

I write stories; I’m currently working on a novel, in fact. It’s my first try at a large piece of fiction work, and it’s fun. Every day I write a minimum of 2,000 words and every day I wake up scared witless that I’m going to fail. Sometimes it takes me a couple of hours to knock a couple of thousand words off. Sometimes, well, I miss lunch. But accomplishing 2,000 words gives me power — that I did it, and will step to the table tomorrow and do it again.

If I’m not working on my book and my feelings towards the day start heading south, I try and create some new ideas for articles or projects. It keeps my mind stimulated, ignoring the internal feelings begging me to suffer.

If you love writing, like I do, and you’re feeling ‘not-so-hot’, then grab a pencil, write a story, write about a favorite date, a dream date, an old experience that warms your heart. The point is, just write something. It distracts you from your current need for sadness and will make you feel good after accomplishing it.

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If you’re not into writing, create something else. My wife recently picked up crocheting, it keeps her mind distracted if she is feeling stressed, and now my dog is going to be really warm this winter!

You can create anything you like, the only rule is: It should be interesting to you.

2. Read Some Good Fiction

I understand every article like this always tells you to go read some positive, inspirational books, but I want to tweak that message. Yes, it’s great to read something that is going to get your hope-mojo pumping and gives new life to the day, but sometimes it all seems like hogwash, doesn’t it?

When you feel really awful, reading the highly emotional, ‘go get your success’ type of information can be deflating. What if you don’t want to right now? I mean, it’s your right how you want to act.

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I’ve found recently that reading good fiction can help, at minimum, to ease my mind. It takes me to a far away place — it gives my brain a break. While some non-fiction reminds us how awful our life is and why we need it to make our life better, a good fiction book just wants to tell you a story, that’s it. My favorite fiction novel is Ask The Dust, by John Fante. A couple more I would recommend are Ham On Rye, by Charles Bukowski and East of Eden, by John Steinbeck.

Give your mind a break: dive into some good fiction!

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    3. Dance A Little

    There’s nothing in the world that changes your mood — naturally, I should add — like dancing. My puppy, Lily, and I will break out into mini-dance parties when I’m searching for a little energy. She jumps up, I grab her front paws, we sway slowly in a small circle while she walks on her back legs. The entire time she tries to gnaw my hand off, but it’s great fun nonetheless.

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    Put on some music that gets your foot tapping. Before you know it, you will have a full-on dance party trying to impress your dog with your moves.

    4. Do 100 Push Ups As Fast As You Can

    It’s not easy to instantly drop and pound out 100 push ups when you’re not feeling too hot about life. It’s not easy to just drop and do 100 push ups period, but it does change your energy.

    For most people, the ones not dangerously obsessed with fitness, 100 push ups is damn hard to do in under six minutes. Once you hit the wall, your body feels like it’s gained 50 pounds, your arms turn to jelly, your lungs fight for breath. The feeling is horrible, but you’re not in a bad mood anymore because pushing to 100 is your only purpose at that moment. You’re welcome!

    Side Note: Don’t do 100 if you can’t. Just a number that creates some struggle and causes you to challenge yourself a bit. You know, get those endorphins everybody talks about flowing. It could be 50, it could be 20. The number isn’t important, the feeling is.

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    5. Write Some Poetry

    This is similar to point ‘1’ if you love writing, but even if you don’t, I’d urge you to try your hand at writing poetry. Writing poetry can be magical. It forces you to see the world in different ways. Even if you write something sad or negative, just getting it out on paper can help shift your feelings.

    I’ve written some of my best poems while being in the dumps, but it felt good to get my frustrations out. Don’t worry about structure, just write!

    Poetry is an art. Art can help bring peace to your life. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “Practicing an art isn’t a way to earn money…it’s a way to make one’s soul grow.”

    The main thing to remember is, no matter how bad or sad you’re feeling, it’s okay, it’s normal. It’s a part of being human, so embrace it and work through it. You only have one life, so you might as well do the best you can to enjoy as many moments as you are given.

    More by this author

    Daniel CJ Grant

    Daniel is the author of "Notes from a Failure". He writes about failure and success.

    6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances Notes From A Failure: 5 Unusual Ways To Handle Failure 3 Unique Ways To Enjoy The Present Moment 9 Lessons I’ve Learned Overcoming Depression That Can Help Anybody Succeed In Anything 10 Vintage Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Awesome

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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