Going through stress is not a new thing. If you’re feeling sad or stressed, Everyone feels sad and stressed for human life is like that. Life is full of ups and downs, hence each and every human being must face sadness and stress. But a stressful life gives nothing but unhappiness and demotivation. With a view to get rid of stress and get a happy and peaceful life, we need to be positive and try out some remedies. Here are some points that may help to improve your mood –
- Accept emotions.
When you’re sad, anxious or angry, it’s normal to want to feel happier as soon as possible. But taking time to recognize your emotions, even the negative ones, can help you understand and manage your feelings. Think of a time when you felt really sad or stressed. Try to identify and the emotion you felt.
Once you identify the emotion you were experiencing, complete this phrase out loud:
“I was feeling______ and that’s fine. ______is something I was feeling at that moment, and not whole time.”
The next time you’re stressed or upset, notice if you accept your emotions or try to avoid them. Practice accepting your emotions as temporary and see if that makes your feelings easier to handle.
- Identify your values.
When you’re feeling disconnected, identifying what you value the most in life- whether it’s family, travel or creativity – can help you find meaning and purpose. Take a moment to consider what your values are. Your values are the traits that are most important to you, like honesty, humour, or patience. Try to think of at least 3 values. Once you have your values, think how you can apply at least one of them to something you do today. For example, if you value kindness, try checking in with someone you care about. If you value humour, share a video that makes you laugh.
The next time you decide how to spend your time, ask yourself if it aligns with your personal values. When you act in a way that matches what you value the most, you’ll find yourself more in tune with the world around you.
3. Practice gratitude.
Practicing gratitude means remembering and appreciating the good things in life. When you find what you’re thankful for, your mood and your connections with others can improve. Choose 3 things that you feel grateful for. You can pick anything big or small: people you know, talents you have, or sensations you love (like cuddling a puppy). Just be specific, and reflect on why you’re grateful for them.
You can do this exercise any time, and even record your answers in a sentence like this:
“I’m grateful because it makes me feel _____”
4. Feel compassion for others.
It can be helpful to step back and see the world through someone else’s eyes. By doing this, you start to improve how you cope with your own stress and conflict. Think of someone who you’ve had a disagreement with or who made you feel stressed recently. Visualize that person and the situation. How did you feel during your conflict?
Now shift your perspective and imagine what the other person was feeling or going through at that time. What struggles and stress might they have been experiencing? Even though you and this person disagree, try to intentionally see their side. Then, take a moment to reflect: does imagining their perspective help you understand the situation a little better?
5. Share your appreciation.
Life gets busy, and we can sometimes forget to thank people who’ve helped us. Taking a moment to pause and share your gratitude can help you feel more connected both to yourself and to other people. Think of someone who you’re grateful to have in your life. It can be someone you’ve known for a long time, or someone you’ve just met.
Bring that person to mind and think about why you’re grateful for them.
Write to the person, saying why you’re grateful to have them in your life. It can be just a sentence or two, but make sure to let them know what they mean to you, and why knowing them makes you feel good. If you feel like it, you can share your gratitude with the person. You can send them all or parts of your note, or meet up with them to share.
6. Make a plan.
When you feel down, it can be hard to motivate yourself to go out into the world or take a risk. Setting aside more time to do small things you enjoy might help you feel calmer. Think of 3 simple activities you like to do-like listening to a great playlist, reading or hanging out with your pet.
Once you come up with 3 activities, make a plan for when to do them, ideally within the next week. If you’re having trouble feeling motivated to stick to your plan, try finding someone to do it with.
At the end of the week, check in with yourself and see how many of the activities you’ve done. Even if you’ve only done one of them, be proud of yourself and think about what else you might be able to accomplish. If you haven’t done any, that’s okay too- you can always try again next week.
7. Stop saying “should”
It’s easy to get caught up in regret, or focus on what you “should” be doing based on expectations that other people have placed on you. By shifting your mindset to focus on what you want, you can start to improve your mood.
What’s something you think you “should” do or be? Try completing this sentence to get started:
How did you feel when you just reflected on what you should be doing Motivated? Ashamed? Annoyed?
Now replace the “should” in your previous statement with “prefer to”:
I prefer to______ because_____.
How does thinking about your preferences-instead of others expectations-feel
You may notice that shifting your language from “should” to “prefer” causes you to think about the reasons why you want to do something, and the reasons why you don’t want to do something, too.
Taking the time to think about what’s most important to you can relieve the pressure you place on yourself, and move you towards a more personal (and doable!) path forward.
- Recognize your strengths.
The ups and downs of everyday life can affect our self-esteem. Take a minute
to write about your strengths or the things you like about yourself, and you might start to feel more confident.
Think of something you are good at. This can be a trait, like being a good listener, or a skill, like baking amazing cookies. If you’re having difficulty thinking of a strength, you can reach out to someone who knows you well
Once you’ve identified it, write down your strength. Then think about the last time you used it and write that down too.
Think of 2 more strengths. Write them down as well, then write about the last time you used them.
How did listing your strengths make you feel? If it was helpful, try thinking about a time in the upcoming month when you could use one of them, and write that down too.
9. Take a breath.
Deep breathing can help powerful emotions feel a little less intense, and even help some people resist the urge to s peak to themselves negatively. By fully expanding your lungs and slowing things down, you activate parts of your brain and nervous system that calm your body and mind.
Start by taking a slow and steady deep breath in through your nose. This should take about 3-4 seconds. You can count the seconds if it helps you focus.
Feel your lungs expand until they’re completely filled with air. Hold your breath there form more seconds, or as long as you’re able to. Then exhale slowly and steadily through your mouth. The full exhale should take twice as long as the inhale, so about 6 seconds.
Put down your phone and repeat your inhale and exhale at least 5 times, with your eyes closed.
How do you feel? Deep breathing refocuses your attention on just one thing and this can help distract from negative urges or thoughts. Plus, it also helps with everyday anxiety and stress. Try using breathing to check in with yourself at various points during the day, even when you don’t feel depressed or overwhelmed. See how you feel-physically and mentally-before your deep breathing, and after.
10. Show self-compassion.
When you feel overwhelmed by uncomfortable emotions, you can sometimes judge yourself too harshly. This can happen when you’re sad, anxious, angry, or even when you don’t feel anything at all.
In these moments of judgment , treating yourself with the same kindness you’d give to a friend might help improve your mood and make you feel less stressed.
Think of a time when a friend or family member was feeling bad about themselves, and came to you for help.
How did you respond to them? If you comforted them or gave them advice, remember how it felt for you- and think about how it might have felt for them to receive your kind words.
Now think of what it’s like when you feel bad about yourself. What do you say to yourself when you’re down? Is it different from how you talk to others? Why do you think that is?
The next time you feel discouraged or bad about yourself, try talking to yourself in the same way you’d talk to your family or friends. See if you can feel the difference. Usually, it’s easier to show understanding and kindness to others. If you speak to yourself with that same compassion, it might start to change the way you think about yourself and the world around you.