Negative emotions can take a toll on even the strong at heart. Sadness can leak out a happy spirit, just as anxiety can steal away a hopeful soul. In moments when we worry, we rob ourselves of love, acceptance and the potential for courage and self-growth. But there are things we can do about it right now. Even though you feel hopeless to your emotions, it is possible to reconnect to a stronger side of your self-the part of you that can heal what feels un-healable. It may not cause any permanent changes (you may need therapy for that). But it can temporarily alleviate what feels intolerable and lift the heavy cloud that may be weighing down on your life.
1. Look in the mirror. Sometimes we're not aware of how depleted we feel. The busyness and chaos of life can make us numb. Everybody else needs our attention and in giving to them, we often neglect our self. One way to shift this outwardly perspective is to tune into what's going on with you. You don't have to literally look into the mirror, but it helps. For once, spend time finding out who you are, what you want, and what you need right now. And indulge yourself in whatever that is.
2. Think of a happy moment. When you think upon a happy memory, your body doesn't know it's not happening right now. Spend a few minutes remembering one of the most happiest moments of your life, see it, smell it, feel it, and you'll instantly be there.
3. Spend time with people who love and cherish you. This sounds like an obvious one right? But I wonder how many people realize the importance of devoting time to those they love and who love them back. When we're with people who love and accept us for who we are, we can let go just a little bit. We can loosen the grip of perfection and just be in all our humanness.
4. Reflect on gratitude. How can you find anything to be grateful for when you're in a job you hate or jobless, single and unhappy with your life? It's not that hard when you zoom in on the things you have that someone else may be praying for. Your health? Your home? Your great relationship with your sisters? Your dog? Your paying gig? How about your breath or that you're here reading this right now? I sometimes suffer from compar-itis. I look for people who are doing better than me and I grovel in how I'll never measure up. I've found that if I shift my attention on all the blessings I've had, I not only raise my mood, but increase the bounty in my life.
5. Choose an all-consuming activity. I can't paint well if I'm worried about what I need to do tomorrow. And it's almost impossible to think about my work schedule when I'm in tree pose or downward dog. That's exactly what I choose those two activities. Prepainting and preyoga, I may feel overwhelmed, but I always end feeling at peace. Distraction may be the only thing that can get you through the next moment. If you find an activity that's positive, embrace it. If this moment is the most important one you'll ever experience, you won't regret choosing something that will make you relaxed and at peace right now.