Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

smile

Face it. We all have “bad days,” those days in which nothing goes right, we can’t shake the funk we are in and the nasty little voices in our heads keep picking on you.

Negative self-talk is a big problem on days like that. Negative talk is a smelly mix of half-truths, illogical ideas about yourself and distortions of reality. They are usually caused by negative emotions like fear, guilt, anxiety, pessimism and other destructive behaviors.

Sadly, for some of us, it has become our daily inner dialogue. You aren’t alone.

Luckily, replacing that negative self-talk with positive talk and a positive attitude is possible, but, like everything else, it’s something you have to work at every hour, every day.

While you do that, here are 8 ways to feel good instantly:

1. Do something to help another. It’s been proven that helping others is an instant mood booster that makes you feel worthwhile and happy. Whether it’s volunteering in The Salvation Army Food Pantry or Red Shield Kitchen, helping an elderly neighbor with shopping or even giving a stranger a hand, helping others makes you feel better about yourself.

2. SMILE. – Your body sees no difference in physical responses and emotion. For example, if you slouch, then you may feel a little less energetic than someone with good posture. On the same wavelength, if you smile – even if you don’t feel like it – your emotions respond. Your mood begins to improve. It’s a “fake it until you make it” approach that works.

3. Be Grateful. It’s prevent that those who take the time to be grateful for what they have lead happier, more satisfied lives. Every day, give thanks – and FEEL GRATEFUL – for at least five things. It can be as simple as “I’m grateful that I have hot water to shower with” or as grand as “I’m grateful for my children and the joy they bring.” Working here at The Salvation Army, we see so many who are lacking the basic necessities. I’m thankful I can afford food for my family, a roof over my head and the ability to help others – there’s a lot of folks who cannot say that.

4. DECIDE to be happy. Being happy is a conscious choice. It’s just as easy to be happy as it is to be unhappy. All it takes is a shift in perspective. Do whatever it takes to find your joy and then keep yourself there. The higher level of happiness you can create within you, the greater the change you will see in your life.

5. Move and Exercise. A quick pick me up is a brisk walk. Maybe a set of jumping jacks. Grab a yoga class. Play with your dog outside. Walk around your office building. Tumble around with a child. Moving and exercise do wonders to boost a mood.

6. Listen to upbeat and happy music. According to DiscoveryNews.com, listening to moving music causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical. That’s why upbeat, happy music you love always gives you a boost of energy and joy.

7. Unclutter. Those piles of paperwork and dirty laundry can make a bad day feel even more frantic. Set an alarm for five minutes and clean up the space around you. Unclutter your area, and your mind follows suit. Having a manageable space can instantly make you more relaxed.

8. Breathe it in. When stressed or unhappy, take 10 minutes to focus on the feeling of deep breathing. Be aware of the air moving in and out of your chest. This creates a relaxation response in your body and slows the heart rate.

So, next time you are feeling bad or down in the dumps, take a moment to do one or all of these mood boosters. And remember, at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command, we’d love to have your smiling face volunteering or donating with us!

smileGo into any bookstore, any blog site and any lifestyles magazine, and you’ll find hundreds of books and articles about how to be happy.

Why is it so difficult for us as a nation to simply be happy? To appreciate all that our life offers and to maintain a smile in our hearts and joy in our souls.

For many, life is difficult. You and I both have times when we struggle financially or hit a down point or just get frustrated and angry. Even those we perceive as “rich” aren’t as happy as logic would dictate.
So what gives? What can we do to boost our joy and ramp up our appreciation for life.

There are ton of tips out there. Some of my favorite, which I try to practice every day, include:

* Practice Being Grateful. Loving and appreciating what you already have is a simple and fast way to improve your mood. I’m thankful that I have access to hot water each morning, I’m grateful that I have people in my life who love me, I’m grateful I have a satisfying job to go to and I’m grateful for my health.

* Choose Positivity. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you decide to succeed or fail, you are right.” When looking at any situation, try to find the positive road. Instead of saying “I can’t,” say “I can.” If something bad happens, focus on how to turn it around instead of dwelling on the awfulness. Always expect good things – don’t anticipate that only bad will happen.

sleep* Sleep more and exercise regularly. Hundreds of studies prove that getting a full, rested night sleep does wonders for mood and mental health. The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Try to get into a routine of going to be bed at the same hour. Exercising at least 20 minutes a day (even a brisk walk) not only improves your overall health, but also relieves stress and simplu makes you feel good!

* Find Your Purpose in Life. People have a mission or goal – whether it’s starting a new hobby or losing 10 pounds or cultivating a relationship with God —  are happier than those who don’t work toward goals. Having a goal provides a sense of purpose, bolsters self-esteem and brings people together.

NOW HERE’S A BIGGIE: GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY. Yes, volunteering and giving to help others is proven to make us happier overall.

volunteerAccording to a recent article on LiveScience, “New research reveals that when individuals dole out money for gifts for friends or charitable donations, they get a boost in happiness while those who spend on themselves get no such cheery lift. Elizabeth Dunn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, gave 46 students envelopes containing a either $5 bill or a $20 bill and told them how to spend it, those who shelled out on others (donating to charity or giving a gift) were happier at the end of the day than those who blew it on themselves (to pay a bill or indulge in a treat).”

The Salvation Army is blessed with volunteers and donors who willingly give to help others who are struggling with finances, food and happiness. Want to volunteer? We’d love to have you!!! Give yourself the gift of happiness while giving others the gift of security and health.

Please feel free to call us at any time at 405-246-1100.