4 Things You Can Do to Feel Better Instantly

Hey, Psych2Goers! Are you feeling down and looking for quick ways to boost your mood? If so, you clicked on the right video. Today, we’re talking about 4 simple things you can do to feel better instantly. Let’s get started!

Disclaimer: These quick tips are not meant to be used as treatment for mental illness. We acknowledge that everyone has different struggles with mental health, and sometimes it’s not possible to feel better using these techniques alone. Our intention is to provide you with effective tools to use when you’re not feeling your best. We hope they work for you!

1. Grounding techniques

First, take a moment to check in with yourself and notice how you’re feeling. Do you feel sad or lonely? Anxious or frustrated? These feelings often arise when our negative thoughts start spiralling out of control. Grounding exercises can help shift your focus from unhelpful thoughts to the present moment. Together, we’ll try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique (Schuldt, 2020). Here’s how to do it:

Take a deep breath. Tune into your body and the environment around you. Now, focus on…

-5 things you can see

-4 things you can feel

-3 things you can hear

-2 things you can smell

-1 thing you can taste

How do you feel after bringing yourself to focus on your senses and the present moment?

2. Belly breathing

As you’re going about your day, you probably don’t pay much attention to your breath. But did you know that the way you breathe can actually have a huge impact on your stress levels? Observe how you’re breathing right now. Is your chest expanding and contracting, or is your stomach? Breathing slowly and deeply from your diaphragm, allowing your stomach to rise and fall, helps induce the relaxation response by stabilizing your heart rate and blood pressure. However, chest breathing can increase feelings of anxiety because it causes your breaths to be more shallow (Harvard Health, 2020).

Let’s try this breathing exercise together: inhale slowly through your nose for 4 seconds, making sure your belly is expanding. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Now, exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds. Hold for 4 seconds, and repeat. Continue this breathing pattern until you feel relaxed. If you want to continue, feel free to follow along with the GIF below!

Relax Breathe GIF by DeStress Monday - Find & Share on GIPHY
Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/destressmonday-relax-meditation-l1J9MS2Ia617Kky3u

3. Journal

Journaling is a tool that can help you manage your emotions when you’re not feeling your best, and when practiced regularly it can help improve your overall mental health (Watson et al., 2022). Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after venting about all the thoughts and emotions you’ve bottled up? One effective way to journal for mental health is to take 5 minutes to write down how you’re feeling. Don’t think too much about it – just write and see what comes out. Use this time to get all your thoughts out and vent about any overwhelming emotions you’re experiencing.

Another way to boost your mood with journaling is to make a gratitude list. Studies show that writing about the things you’re thankful for helps improve mental health (Brown & Wong, 2017). So, how can you implement this practice yourself? Write down 3 things you’re grateful for. This could be anything: a special friend in your life, a positive experience you had recently, or an item you own that makes your life easier. Nothing is too small. What are you most grateful for right now? Let us know in the comments below!

4. Do some light exercise

Did you know that exercise is not only good for your body, but your brain too? Physical activity helps you improve your mental health and overall wellbeing. You don’t have to do a long, exhausting workout to see the benefits. Even going for a quick walk for 10 minutes boosts your energy, increases focus, and puts you in a better mood. Also, exercising outdoors has a more powerful effect than staying indoors (Mental Health Foundation, 2021). So, if you have a few minutes after watching this video, feel free to use it to go for a walk around the block. Notice whether you feel better afterwards!

Final thoughts

Most importantly, remember that we all have off days. It’s okay to feel down. Sometimes we need a little extra self-care. So, be gentle with yourself and take time to care for yourself today – you deserve it. Before you go, we’d like to take you through one more exercise: put your hand on your heart and say, “Everything I’m feeling is valid. I accept myself just the way I am.”

Thank you so much joining us today, Psych2Goers. How did these tips work for you? Share your experience in the comments below! If this video helped you, hit the like button and share it with someone you care about to help brighten their day. And if you want to see more videos that help you understand yourself and your emotions, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel!

References

Brown, J., & Wong, J. (2017, June 6). How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain. Greater Good. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_changes_you_and_your_brain

Harvard Health. (2020, July 6). Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response

How to look after your mental health using exercise. (2021, May 14). Mental Health Foundation. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-using-exercise#:%7E:text=Physical%20activity%20has%20a%20huge,can%20reduce%20stress%20and%20anxiety

Schuldt, W. L. (2020, September 22). Grounding Techniques. Therapist Aid. https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-article/grounding-techniques-article

Watson, R., Fraser, M., & Ballas, P. (2022). Journaling for Mental Health – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center. University of Rochester Medical Center. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1#:%7E:text=Journaling%20helps%20control%20your%20symptoms,and%20identifying%20negative%20thoughts%20and

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