I know myself, and from life and business coaching that we all have those days when we feel a little down, blue, overwhelmed, ‘meh’ or flat. That’s natural. You can’t always expect to feel fabulous every single hour or every single day. However, we don’t want to always feel down or flat all the time either. There are lots of little tips and tricks which will lift your spirits (without the need for medication) and which are quite simple. Now, having said that, if your feeling of ‘blue’ is stronger, serious and ongoing, please talk to your GP or a counsellor. This article is purely for the less serious issues we all experience at one time or another.
How to Lift Your Spirits
1. Start the day with gratitude.
One great way to feel happier in our lives is to identify what we can be grateful for. Acknowledge the good things in your life. In fact, I strongly recommend a ‘Gratitude Diary’ where you write down once a day (evening before bed is often good) all the things you’re grateful for today. Write it in a positive way, so not “Mary didn’t criticise me today” but instead “Mary and I got on well today”. Write everything you can think of – whether it was a beautiful sunny day, or that you appreciate we live in a lovely country, what went well, the good experiences … even things as simple as having good food to eat. When you’re being positive and grateful, it’s somewhat difficult to stay being flat or blue.
2. Get some exercise.
The level of movement is entirely up to you, but some form of exercise and movement does wonders, not just for the body, but for the soul. Whether it’s donning your workout gear and hitting the gym, or just taking Fido out for a walk in the afternoon, physical activity releases endorphins, which in turn, directly lifts your spirits. Personally, I think outside exercise is best, get a little sunshine, lots of fresh air and stretch those legs. If it’s walkies with Fido, bet he will be even more excited at the prospect of ‘walkies’ – which can be pretty contagious.
3. Connecting with nature.
As I said above, movement and exercise are great for us; but even just getting outside and connecting with nature often in itself has a very positive impact on our mood. Something as simple as lying on a blanket, on the grass, under a tree does wonders. Walk the sky through the leaves, or close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Feel the breeze on your skin and even smell what’s flowering at present. Whether it’s walking along the beach, sitting outside under a tree or just getting a little fresh air from your patio, it all has a good impact.
4. Get into meditation.
Meditation is a great way to become more mindful, reconnect and relax and calm your inner self and your mind. There are heaps of meditation apps (paid and free) and sessions on YouTube – you’ll be sure to find something which works for you. You may want to join others and go to a class, or simply do it solo. It’s recommended that you make this part of your morning ritual and it’s done every day; allowing you to breathe, release tension and balance yourself. If you struggle a little at first with sitting still, keep at it; often after a couple of weeks you will find you’re able to relax easier.
5. Surround yourself with positive people.
Ever had a friend or relative who is constantly negative? After you spend time with them, how do you feel? Probably negative too. For this reason, if you are able to surround yourself with positive people, then that will brush off onto you and you’ll become more positive. If in the beginning, you’re struggling to be positive, try to put a few personal rules in place. For example, before you say anything, ensure it will be positive. Don’t gossip about others. Don’t criticise and essentially try to be positive yourself.
6. Show yourself a little love.
Be kind to yourself as a starting point. But then, take it to the next level by actually treating yourself. It might be something simple, like taking some time out to read a book, or luxuriating in a long bubble bath or a DIY facial. Alternatively, you might book yourself in for a spa day, massage or some other pamper treatment which really does put a smile on your face. So often we are caring for everyone else and are so incredibly busy, so we don’t make time for ourselves. Be sure to schedule in some ‘you time’ on a regular basis. How does that ad go? “You deserve it”.
We’ve all heard the adage that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and it’s true. Rather than watching a tear-jerking movie or horror, opt instead for a comedy. Read a joke book. Search on social media for ‘funny videos’ or ‘cute dog videos’, and ditch the serious or morbid. Spend time with people who make you laugh. Laughter releases endorphins, lowers stress, and feel damn good. So, embrace the lighter side, and allow yourself to have a good old belly laugh.
8. Get creative!
Creativity is a wonderful outlet to lift your spirits. Choose an activity which you’ll enjoy and don’t allow yourself to feel pressured. You don’t have to be a Picasso or Stevie Wonder and be perfect. Enjoy the experience and enjoy the journey. It might be painting, or writing, cooking, playing a musical instrument, or pottery. Explore your creative side and be inspired.
9. Be kind!
Being nice towards others doesn’t just help them feel good, you actually feel better too. Simple gestures, like complimenting a stranger, volunteering your time, or holding the door for someone, or even just being super friendly to a salesperson, can make a significant difference in someone else’s day. Don’t forget saying thank you (in a genuine way) and if someone looks to be ‘down’ then ask if they are ok. Being nice can bring a sense of fulfilment and happiness to your own life – plus it’s making other people’s days even better.
10. Limit your exposure to the news and social media
These days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the news which is invariably negative, and sometimes downright depressing. Social media is often the same and can at times be quite negative, although often in a quite indirect way. Take a break from constant exposure to negativity by limiting your intake of news and social media. Instead, focus on uplifting and positive content that brings you joy and inspiration. This small change can have a significant impact on your overall wellness. Sure, we need to know what’s happening in the world, but often just catching something in small bursts, or the highlights or the news on only a Monday, might reduce that negativity, without you having no clue what’s happening out there. Personally, I practice a ‘green’ day which is often a Saturday or Sunday where I don’t go online, don’t post, don’t check out social media and only answer my phone if my family calls. It’s a great recharge.
Lifting your spirits doesn’t necessarily require big, elaborate actions. Often, it’s the simple, everyday practices that can make a real difference to improve your mood and overall happiness. So, start incorporating these easy techniques into your daily routine. Remember, you deserve happiness and well-being, so prioritise self-care, surround yourself with positivity, and find the joy in little things.
As an experienced Business Coach and Life Coach with decades of experience, sometimes I’m working with clients to find positivity and moments of joy in their lives. If you’re needing help with becoming more positive, more motivated or have a specific goal you want to achieve; I’d love to hear from you. My passion is your potential!