5 Tips to Quickly Change Your State
No, I’m not talking about relocating! I’m referring to your mental and emotional state.
To varying degrees, we all have times when we feel out of sorts. This may include increased tension, irritability, restlessness, feeling overwhelmed, nervous or impatient. While certainly a “normal” part of the human experience, these states are nearly always uncomfortable and unwelcome.
While it may be ideal to notice these experiences without judgment and adopt an attitude of curiosity, this takes a great deal of self-awareness, mindfulness and self-compassion.
Even if you already have a toolbox full of strategies to manage these states, it can often feel like too much work to implement them.
Here are five simple and pleasurable steps you can take next time you feel like “relocating” your body and mind:
1. Meditation and breathwork: While training and practice with a professional can support a regular practice, just 3-5 deep breaths or five to ten minutes of meditation can be enough to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, the part responsible for the relaxation response.
Try this: Sit in a comfortable posture. Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose for a count of three and out of your mouth or nose for a count of five. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath. Repeat until you feel settled.
2. Movement: Whether you are a fitness regular or avoid anything that smacks of exercise, your body and mind are designed to move. If you are aiming to feel energized and alert or calm and centered, even gentle movement can help you feel refreshed and more optimistic. You may even notice it is easier to connect to creativity, intuition, and joy.
Try this: Stand up and stretch your arms, gently roll your shoulders and hips, shake out your legs, and point and flex your feet. Move about as you gently bend and stretch in whatever ways are most comfortable for you.
3. Get Outside: Exposure to sunlight, particularly in the morning, helps regulate your circadian rhythm, the “clock” in your brain. This is one of the most effective steps toward quality sleep. Furthermore, exposure to changes in temperature, light and nature help regulate not just sleep, but numerous functions thought the body including the health of your cells.
Try this: If you can’t get outside for a walk, step outdoors for a few minutes and breathe the fresh air. Gaze toward the sky and take in any sights and sounds of nature. If that feels challenging, open a window and try this from inside.
4. Water: Being in and around water is often considered healing and a soothing source of comfort. Taking a bath or shower can help you feel relaxed or more awake as you focus on the sensory experience, or imagine any negative feelings being washed away.
Try this: Splash cool water on your face, or place a cool washcloth on your neck. This can activate the vagus nerve, a critical component of your parasympathetic nervous system. If you don’t have access to a sink, drink a glass of water. Even mild dehydration can impact your energy, mood, and concentration.
5. Music: We know music has the power to evoke different emotions, and can calm, uplift, inspire, energize, or transport you to a different time. Listening to music, (along with most of the other tips above), impacts neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine, a neurochemical associated with the brain’s reward system. Singing can also release oxytocin another feel-good hormone.
Try this: You don’t need to create a whole playlist to shift your state. Identify one or two songs that offer the vibe you are seeking. Save them to your library for easier access when needed. Bonus effects if you sing along!
I’d love to know which of these tips you’re trying and the benefits you notice. Please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to share more about what works for you.
If you’re ready to change your state, as well as other areas of your wellbeing, but fatigue or burnout get in the way, start with a FREE Clarity Call. Discover how working with a health and wellness coach can help you move from surviving to thriving.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice, or replace treatment or intervention by a qualified medical or mental health professional.