Minor forms of mental or physical toxicity all contribute to unhappiness and suffering. When your physical chemistry is askew or your thinking is in a rut, the result can be mild despondency and lethargy.
Unless you are suffering from clinical depression or illness, you can feel happier in less than an hour by following these steps. Even in the case of clinical depression or illness you can enhance your emotional well-being.
Take care of your body
First, physical chemistry makes a big difference in how we feel.
1. Drink a glass of water and have a healthy snack. If you like, top it off with a piece of dark chocolate.
2. Take a walk outside and get some fresh air, do some exercise, or dance around in your living room or office..
3. If helpful, take a quick shower.
4. Change your facial expression and posture to one that exudes peace and contentment. Happy body language has been proven to change your brain chemistry in a very positive way. Smile, and say “hello” to people you happen to see, anybody.
Take care of your psyche/spirit
There are several activities you can engage in to clear out negative thinking such as fear, anger, or greed.
1. Call or email someone who would be happy to hear from you. Communicate to say “hello,” share your news and ask about them, but do not complain. It’s surprising how good it can make you feel to reach out to someone who would appreciate hearing from you. It gets you away from focusing on yourself.
2. Clear the clutter of one drawer, cabinet or area on your desk. It may be overwhelming to think about organizing your whole office or closet. But you can get quite a bit done if you dedicate five minutes to clean and organize one area. Clearing physical clutter helps clear the mind. Or spend some time in the garden – a proven mood enhancer.
3. Sit down for three minutes, or even one minute, and think about five or more things that you are grateful for. Breathe slowly and deeply. If you like to meditate or pray, you can do that instead.
After less than an hour, you should feel quite refreshed, which will allow you to become more focused, calm, and directed during the rest of your day. Physical well-being and psychological inner peace allow us to feel grounded and be present in the moment, connect with others, and flourish in our actions.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD