Stress can negatively impact relationships with friends, family or your partner. It’s easy to let the stresses of daily life overwhelm us and send us into unhelpful thought patterns.
Whether you suffer from anxiety, mild depression, or you just woke up in a funk and want to break the loop of negative thought and stop it from ruining your whole day, these mindfulness tips can help bring back the joy in your life and your relationships.
Become an observer
Slow down and notice what is arising. Observe your thoughts instead of being hijacked by them. Thoughts, feelings, and emotions arise and pass, if you don’t spin out on a story about them.
Try a meditation
Meditation slows you down and calms you down.
Offer yourself a gentle touch
Placing our hands where we find them most soothing releases oxytocin and opiates, helping us to regulate the cortisol and adrenaline stress hormones that flood us when we are upset.
Do something that brings you joy
Now would be a great time to make a ‘what gives you joy’ list. Life is full of emotional chaos, but bringing it back to focused activities that give joy to your soul can mean the difference between making or breaking it day to day, year to year.
Drop your attention to the soles of your feet; notice if they are warm or cold, moist or dry. Pay attention to your feet for a couple of breath cycles. Then move your attention to your breath, if breathing feels comfortable to you. Feel and see your body breathing in for four counts and out for six. When your exhale is longer than your inhale, your heart rate and blood pressure will go down, and you will feel calmer.
Change the channel
Invite yourself to change your channel of thought. Focus on something you are grateful for, perhaps going so far as to write a letter of gratitude to someone. (You don’t need to send it to get the mental health benefits.) Or pull up a wonderful memory, marinating in the warm and wonderful feelings to install the goodness in your body and mind – that pushes the mental state into a neural trait so the happy bridge gets reinforced in your brain.
If you’re still struggling, however, consider online counseling such as ReGain to help you get through troubled times.