Living in our “wellness obsessed” culture, it’s easy to forget about the power of life’s small, easily-accessible pleasures…
While there are undoubtedly external factors that play into happiness and stress levels, much of how you’re feeling can be controlled by intentional actions or decisions that you make on a daily basis. And no, it’s not all about running a 5k and drinking dark green smoothies- though that would also help get those endorphins flowing! Feeling better can be as simple as moving your body or laughing for a few minutes.
Here are 5 ways to feel better, right now…
1. STRETCH YOUR BODY
When you work out, your body releases Endorphins- aka the “feel good” chemical- into your blood stream.
If you have ever gone to the gym, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Honestly, even when I DO NOT want to go to the gym, I always feel a *little* better than when I first stepped through the doors.
However, if you aren’t into the whole gym vibe, you can replicate this incredible feeling from the comfort of your own home- while watching Netflix. Boom.
It’s actually scientifically proven that by incorporating stretching into your daily routine, you are increasing circulation, which in turn leads to lower amounts of stress.
2. HOP IN THE TUB
I’m no expert, but there is NO denying the positive effects that taking a bath can have on your muscles, and your mood. Even the Japanese agree with me.
Obviously, settling into the warm, soapy water FEELS good. And according to researchers, a regular, warm bath can actually have a greater effect on your mood than physical exercise.
…This is excellent news for us treadmill-haters.
To really up your bathing game, consider adding an essential oil, some bath salt with lavender oil added, or a CBD bath bomb to promote relaxation.
“I am sure there are things that can’t be cured by a good bath, but I can’t think of one.” — Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar.
3. LAUGH UNTIL IT HURTS
When I’m feeling frustrated or down, I turn to comedy. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism, maybe it’s manic, maybe both.
Laughter is an extremely powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster, or more dependably, to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good, hard laughing session.
Recently, I’ve been firing up my Spotify and zoning out to their comedy radio. Hit shuffle, and you will discover new comedians you may never have heard of, or discover some new work from your old favorite artists.
Incorporating laughter into your life is also a really good way of self-parenting.
You can also:
- Go to a laughter yoga class
- Host game night with friends
- Watch a funny movie, or hit up YouTube
4. TAKE A MINI VACAY
Getting away from it all doesn’t have to mean planning a big trip to the Caribbean, or even a three-day weekend out of town.
Nope. You can actually find LOTS of people renting their homes out, right in your own city. Log onto AirBnb, pick a place that’s within driving distance, and get the heck out of town.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, taking annual vacations was associated with a 30% reduction in cardiovascular risk.
That’s definitely something to ponder poolside.
“I am a huge advocate of taking mini vacations. They keep me inspired. Anytime I come back from a trip, I’m ready to go and so much more productive.” — Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, owner of Chillhouse
5. TAKE A NAP
Are you a nap person?
I’m trying to be one, because every time I do manage to take a nap I wake up feeling like I could run a marathon and solve all the world’s problems, simultaneously.
For many, a quick few minutes of shut-eye during the day is seen as an essential way of keeping themselves functioning at high levels, but others find it impossible to fall asleep in the middle of the day no matter how exhausted or sleep-deprived they are.
A study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that napping can help to boost your mood.
Researchers also discovered that people were less impulsive and had higher levels of tolerance for frustration after a 60-minute midday nap. Who knew? So go ahead, dim the lights, put your phone on “do not disturb” and steal a few of those zzz’s, you know… because, #selfcare.
Do you have any go-to’s for feeling better when you need a little boost? Drop them below so we can try them out, too!