You don’t have to go all out and change everything in your life all at once to feel better. In fact in the field of health, small changes over time have been known to be more effective than grand sweeping changes. If you are struggling with negative, anxious or depressive thoughts, try one of these tips for one day and see how it feels. If it feels uncomfortable, that might be a good sign that it is a change that is moving you in the right direction. Don’t overwhelm yourself by doing everything here. Just pick the one or two things that speak to you and try them. If they work, and you are consistent with them, add on another one. I would love to hear how it goes. You are always welcome to reach out!

1. Take a Social Media Break

The world of social media is not the real world and we can quickly lose perspective as we scroll through our feed. The photos and blurbs are 2 dimensional snapshots and cannot replace the richness of life. Feelings have depth and are complicated. Try a 24 hour social media cleanse and see what you notice. Is it possible that social media is distracting you from experiencing your own life?

2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Everyone Else

We want to be part of the group and feel accepted and included. We are wired this way, however, it can lead to a never-ending cycle of comparisons. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When we stop comparing, we can start noticing the gifts that are all around us. Comparing yourself to others will only lead to feeding the story of “I am not good enough.” You are unique and your life is unique. Comparing yourself to others is not in service to you.

3. Harness the Power of Your Best Self

You have a best self. You know when it shows up. But sometimes it is a struggle to find it, especially when we are triggered. You can use your imagination to practice scenarios that are difficult for you, where you feel like you are not showing up as your best self. For example, maybe you notice those moments when you yelled at the kids and wish you didn’t. Imagine the scenario where you are about to yell and slow things down for yourself and think, “what would it be like in this moment to chose a different response?” Keep practicing and eventually trying different responses in your imagination can lead to trying them in real life. This kind of visualization can lead to rewiring your nervous system to make changes.

4. Show Yourself Some GratitudeAbout Img 2

You hear people talk about gratitude all the time. Sometimes you might feel like it’s kind of hollow. You are feeling terrible, you don’t want to be grateful that maybe things are not worse! While gratitude for what we have can be helpful, I think showing ourselves gratitude for the ways we try to show up is even more important. When we notice the positive things we do and appreciate ourselves, we are showing ourselves compassion, care and appreciation. These are the very things that will set us on a more positive course.

5. Stop “Shoulding” On Yourself

The one word I hear the most often from my clients is the word “SHOULD.” I remind them that it is not good to be “shoulding” all over yourself! That’s right, I said it, and it is what it sounds like. When you are using the word “should” you are creating overly rigid rules and you are actually setting yourself up to  feel worse. Who really decides what you “should” do or say? Try working on reframing your thoughts to create more cognitive flexibility by noticing the things you are doing well right now. Look at all the facets involved in your decision making. If you are telling yourself you “should” do something, you probably are not looking at the big picture and causing yourself more pain and suffering. 

6. Create a To-Done List

At the end of the week, review your week with a To-Done list, writing down the things you accomplished in the week. Focusing on what you have accomplished, instead noticing all the things you have not checked off for the week on your “To-Do” List, will change your frame of mind. You will notice the positive steps you are taking and your accomplishments. It can instantly inspire you and is way more motivating than beating yourself up for what you didn’t get done.

7. Nourish in NatureAdriana Leon 566181 Unsplash

The sights and sounds of nature enliven us and bring our nervous system back to calm. Research suggests that the simple patterns in nature, called fractals, produce a universal reduction in physiological distress. You can connect with nature after a stressful moment to rebalance yourself or just to give yourself a cue to relax and recuperate. It is an accessible resource and can be as easy as just looking outside of your window or glancing at a plant on your desk.

8. Words of Inspiration

Find pictures or words that give you hope and remind you of your aspirations. Maybe even get a temporary tattoo with encouraging words or a phrase and change them up each week. When you apply your tattoo, set an intention of moving toward your goal. Since goals may take awhile to achieve, rewarding yourself for taking a small step toward them is important to keep you motivated. Be your own inspiration. You’ve Got This!

9. Take Risk and Fail

Give yourself permission to fail and to try again. Congratulate yourself for taking the risk. We cannot succeed unless we risk failure, so every failure really means you put yourself out there, and that is very brave. Let your inner critic know that no matter what you can survive a failure. You have survived failure in the past, so you can do it again. And while you are at it, give yourself permission to be human.

Telehealth210. Try Therapy

Therapy is a game changer. Without a doubt, if you want to be more present in your life, get closer to the people you love and feel more in charge of your responses, therapy is the way to go. There are many different modalities and different types of therapists. Find someone who is a good fit for you. I enjoy working collaboratively with my clients and help them focus on their “here and now” experiences so they can show up for themselves and their loved ones and live the kind of life that excites them. If you are interested in learning more, reach out for a free consultation. Call me at 908-214-7166.