Our self-help columnist Athena Laz is a psychologist and the creator of the signature online e-course Master Your Inner Critic. She works with women worldwide, helping them to reclaim their ability to feel good. You can see her work here.
Every so often I catch myself in a low funk for no good reason. Maybe you are the same? In times like that, I like to re-set my automatic response pattern and get back to feeling good. Here’s what works:
Step 1: Recognise What Triggers You
Pay attention to what you were doing and thinking when you started to feel frustrated, bad or generally not so great. When you begin to gain awareness around what triggers you, you start the journey in reclaiming your ability to respond better to things that happen outside of you. For example: if you always feel bad after an encounter with your boss (that’s the trigger) or get angry sitting in traffic (that is a trigger). Simply step back, mentally count to five, and actively choose to feel good for you. You can also learn how to set healthier boundaries here and communicate your needs lovingly but assertively here.
Step 2: Focus on What Feels Good
An easy way to feel good is simply by focusing on what feels good. Focus on the people, events and things that do make you feel good. You can do this by stating what you are grateful for out-loud (this act in itself is guaranteed to help you feel less serious!) or simply quietly and internally list what you are grateful for. When you do this you alter your focus from what is not working to what is working and through that simple mind-set adjustment you begin to feel better. You can even repeat this mantra: it feels good to feel good!
Step 3: Five Minute Feel Good Meditation
Step 1: Switch off your cell-phone and find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed
Step 2: The simplest way to meditate is to sit, with your legs uncrossed and feet planted firmly on the ground.
Step 3: Place your palms facing up and simply relax.
Step 4: Bring awareness to your breath.
Step 5: Breathe in and out (on a count of five). In other words, as you inhale, focus only on your breath, count for 5 and then exhale. Focusing fully on your exhale for the count of five. On each inhale mentally repeat the following words: I allow good into my life. On each exhale repeat the following words: I release all frustration, anger and pain from my life.
Step 6: As thoughts come up in your mind (they always do!), simply witness them and re-focus your awareness back onto your breath.
Step 7: Try to do this for a minimum of 5 minutes a day. As it becomes more comfortable for you to meditate, simply increase the time that you sit in meditation.
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