Monday, 26 September 2016

A To Z Guide To Feeling Good


Isn’t it sad how much time we spend putting ourselves down?
If we had a nickel for every time we felt inferior, stupid, unattractive, or unworthy, most of us would be millionaires.

We land on this Earth full of exuberance and wonder. All we need is a little food, a little comfort, and a clean bottom. But if we are deprived of those things, or if later on we are told we don’t measure up in some way, we learn to feel “less than.”

With enough negative reinforcement from others and ourselves, we become trained to see only our flaws and failures. Everything else fades into the background or has just a fleeting positive impact on our self-esteem.


A is for Activity


It doesn’t have to involve outward bound courses, iron man competitions and weekly marathons.

Just taking 15 minutes to walk around the block after work or getting off the bus a stop earlier can get the endorphins – our bodies’ feel-good hormone – into action.



B is for Breathe


We all do it, every second of every day but have you ever just stopped for a few minutes to notice and focus on your breath. Close your eyes and take your attention to the tip of your nose and just notice. After a few minutes you will realise your breathing is getting deeper and you will start to feel relaxed.



C is for Comfort Zone


Most of us like to be safe and steady but there are benefits in doing something that gets us OUT of our comfort zone.

It could just be going to the cinema on your own or learning something new.

Initially you may be apprehensive, so talk yourself in to it. When you’ve done it your brain will reap the rewards.



D is for Do



Doing something nice for someone can give us an instant feel-good factor.

Helping others may not be in your nature but thoughtful actions can boost not only your own mood but the person you have helped.



E is for Energy Levels


Are you an early bird or a night owl? We tend to have a time in the day when our energy levels are at their highest.

Whichever you are, always do those tasks you don’t really want to when you’re at your peak.



F is for Friends


Make time to spend with your radiator friends. Radiator friends are good to be around and make you feel warm and glowing when you have spent time together.

If busy schedules keep you apart and it’s not always possible to get that cup of coffee together, call them – it’ll make you feel instantly better.



G is for Gratitude


Focusing on what we have, and not what we don’t have, really is the secret to maintaining good mood and happiness.

Every day, just before you go to sleep, note three things you are grateful for. It could be your partner, your children, a warm house or a nice meal to come home to.



H is for Healthy Treats


We all know that getting our five a day of vegetables and fruit and staying hydrated is essential to keeping our bodies working. But to maintain a good mood we need to keep our blood sugars balanced.

Always have to hand some healthy treats such as nuts and protein snacks.

Mix these with the right fatty oils, omega 3 and 6, and you have food that feeds your brain and balances your mood.



I is for Interests


Getting in touch with the things you love to do just for a few hours can make you feel good and give the brain something other than work and stress to focus on.

Finding a new recipe to try out on the family, doing some type of craft activity or completing a sudoku – it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is something that you really enjoy.



J is for Journal


Writing down your feelings can help you manage emotions, whether they are good, bad or pretty ugly.

If you are starting to feel frustrated with someone and want to avoid an outburst, pressing pause to write down how you feel helps get the emotion out in a controlled way. Once it’s out you can have a think what is the best action to take.



K is for Kindness


Be kind to yourself. Do you have great conversations with yourself in your mind?

We are often our own worst enemy, beating ourselves up because of something that didn’t work out the way we wanted it to. So talk kindly to yourself and check on yourself frequently to make sure you are treating yourself kindly, as you would your best friend.



L is for Laughter


When was the last time you had a really good laugh? A real belly laugh that made your sides hurt?

Laughter relaxes the whole body, eases anxiety and fear and relieves stress. Not taking yourself too seriously is an instant mood lifter so get giggling.


M is for Music


Listening to music can lift our mood instantly – as long as it’s the right tune.

If things in your life are a bit bumpy, putting on a sad song may only make you feel worse. Scientists have demonstrated that listening to something a bit more upbeat can instantly improve your mood.


N is for No


Learning to say no can be very liberating, leaving a big impact on your mood and making you feel empowered. So why is it so hard to say?

Have a few phrases to hand that help you politely decline invitations or requests you do not want to fulfil. “Thanks for the invite but I won’t be joining you” or “I’d love to help but I just have too much on at the moment.”


O is for Organisation


Getting organised and decluttering areas of your life can be very satisfying.

Start small with what seems a favourite area for the new year, your wardrobe. Make it fun and get a friend to help or get the whole family involved. Recycling to a charity means your efforts are making a difference to help others.


P is for Perfection


Give yourself permission NOT to be perfect. So many of us always strive for perfection – and it’s exhausting.

Much better if you aim to DO your best rather than BE the best then you aren’t setting yourself up to fail.


Q is for Questions


When you need to make a big life decision ask yourself positive questions.

For example, you are offered a new job and the first questions that comes to mind is probably: “What if I don’t like it?” and “What if I can’t do it.”

Instead, drop “what if” and try something more upbeat: “What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?” or “What would I tell my best friend to do in the same situation?”

Positive questions are more likely to lead to the right decision.


R is for Reading


There is nothing quite like a good book.

Don’t just save them for holidays because a book can be a real pick-me-up and give you something to look forward to.

Go one step further and become a critic by joining a book club or even starting your own.


S is for Silencing your Gremlin


We all have a gremlin and they come in many forms. It’s the nagging voice in your head that tells you it won’t do you any harm to finish the box of chocolates even when you’re on a diet.

Your gremlin likes to think it’s in charge of your moods and will do all it can to sabotage any good feelings. Learn to recognise when it is trying to hijack you and find an activity to distract it.



T is for Time


“If only we had more time...” is a phrase we all find ourselves saying, though I’m sure if we did we would only fill it pretty quickly with more things to do.

There are 168 hours in each week and we all make choices how to use those hours.

It is essential that you allocate time well. Make sure you include doing the things you know will keep you energised.

Try to be aware of your time-wasting ways so you know when to tell yourself to snap out of it.


U is for Unusual


Variety is the spice of life, so whether it is adding something totally outrageous to your wardrobe, collecting pictures of funny street signs or playing a random game of I-spy in the office, try doing something that creates fun, no matter how odd.



V is for Victim


It is helpful to remember you are human and sometimes you just won’t want to shake off the grump when things are not going your way.

Simply give yourself permission to be “a victim” for ten minutes, then try to get positive again.



W is for Words of ­Inspiration


Some people seem to know just what to say to bring a smile to our face.

Check out Facebook and Twitter , there will be always someone sharing some inspirational thought or picture. Keep a collection that can bring a smile instantly.



X Factor


We all have our very own X factor. It will be something we do well or maybe something that makes you different.

It may be a talent like singing or something seemingly simple, such as making an amazing roast dinner.

If you find yourself looking at others’ talents and wishing you were like them, think about your X factor and remember what you can do rather than what you can’t.



Y is for Yoga


If this conjures up a picture of someone upside down with their legs wrapped around their neck, think again.

Yoga is one of the most effective exercise for young or old at any level of fitness.

You only need a few simple poses that stretch your body and leave you feeling relaxed and stress free.



Z is for Zzzzzz


We can become obsessed with how much sleep we get. Our bodies do not always need as much as we think.

Experts say when we lie awake at night tossing and turning we may nod off for short periods without realising. Going to bed at the same time each night, as far as possible, helps put your body into a healthy routine.

Don’t fret if you’ve become out of sync over the festive period.