Posts Tagged ‘improve mood’
When we have a bad mood, or perhaps are lost in the distractions of the day, we become immersed inside of the experience with little perspective. Ever feel like other people saw you just a little bit more clearly than you realized? Or maybe they even pointed out how you felt before you realized what was going on? It’s easy – from the outside.
Cultivating an internal witness is a powerful practice, and at the heart of Buddhist meditation and awareness practices – don’t worry, they’re at heart nondenominational and don’t conflict with any other belief or practice. Here’s one version.
- Sitting up straight, either close your eyes or have a soft gaze upon a single point in front of you.
- Focus on the breath. If you like, take long, even breaths, with approximately the same count in and out.
- For a minute, listen to all the sounds around you.
- Then, for a minute, notice all bodily sensations.
- Next, pay attention to emotions that come up.
- Finally, listen specifically to your thoughts. It’s easy to get lost in them at any step – just bring your focus back to where you were.
- The last step is to intermingle all of the above. Watch whatever comes up. Let your attention skip back and forth, and let all of them garner your equal attention.
Personally, I find taking long intentional breaths allows me to focus better, but other practices say not to intentionally alter the breath.
Now, I said “a minute” for each step – but it could be an hour, or just 15 seconds. Play around with it.
Keep in mind – cultivating this witness does not mean detaching from your negative emotions. It’s simply cultivating a new relationship to them. And again, this is just one awareness practice, and there are many – but give it a try.
Time for more inspiration on mood improvement. Sometimes if we’re feeling depleted, or irritated by other people, we may not be connected with a larger source of energy. Say, for example, the earth. The ground is right there underneath you. Are you fully appreciating it? Try a grounding exercise.
- Sit with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor, or cross-legged.
- Close your eyes. Take some slow, even, deep breaths.
- Feel your spine. Perhaps wiggle slightly to get in touch with it.
- Imagine that, growing out of it, are roots, or cords. Either way, they’re made of light, and can be clear, white, or whatever color you prefer.
- Visualize them growing out of your spine, down your legs and out your tailbone. See them shooting deep into the earth. Instantaneously and easily, they shoot miles down into the earth.
- As you continue to breathe deeply, visualize them going deeper into the earth on the exhale. On the inhale, feel the energy of the earth rising up into your body.
- When the cords or roots feel very deep – perhaps, at the very center of the earth – imagine that they wrap around a very large rock, anchoring you there.
- Continue to picture energy rising up. Perhaps see the energy as a color – whatever at that moment feels most nurturing or supportive. Imagine that this light and color fills your entire body, and even spills out into the space around you.
For the rest of your day, let this be your source of energy, inspiration, and life.
Another inspiring tip on mood improvement: connect with yourself in a new way.
- Close your eyes, and take some deep breaths.
- Imagine that your grumpiness is actually just one part of you. If you like, try to picture what part of you it is – for example, your inner child… your inner jokester… your professional self.
- Ask it why it’s unhappy, and what it needs. If this is difficult, just make it up – use your imagination until you come up with an answer that somehow feels satisfying or brings out a feeling of relief.
- Visualize giving it what it needs. Or, a big hug. Or, picture The Wise You, At Your Very Best, giving love to El Grumpie.
- Return to your day. Anytime you like, close your eyes, or simply shift your focus away from other activities, and reinforce this self-love.
Let’s face it: just about everyone has grumpy days (and, as my partner well knows, myself included). Maybe you didn’t sleep well… get tired of routine… had an unpleasant interaction… were affected by a disturbing world event… maybe even an upsetting dream. So, can we still find inspiration when we feel like we’re a step behind?
You bet. It’s time for some focus on how to Turn that Frown Upside Down! …Okay, now, don’t throw up. We’re going to address several practical techniques. They’ll will be given in several postings, so you can keep coming back to the blog for new ideas.
Mood Improvement Tip #1: Help someone in need. Whether you give money or food to a homeless person or help a friend (or, even better, a stranger) move, try redirecting your attention toward assisting others.