3 Ways To Feel Good In 3 Minutes (Or Less)
“I just don’t have the time.”
This is the #1 objection I hear when I ask what people do to feel good. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t always need to take lots of time to give yourself a lift, refocus yourself, and start feeling better.
A quick fix might be just what you need, especially on those days where you are stressed and overwhelmed, but stopping completely isn’t an option because there’s still lots more to get done before the end of the day and you’re on a deadline. When you find yourself in these situations, I recommend a three-minute pause to just shift your state (physical, mental and emotional) and reset yourself.
Here are three ways to feel good in 3 minutes (or less), all of which have been proven to reduce stress and boost the feel-good chemicals and hormones in your body. But I know you’re short on time, so I won’t get into the “science bit” today.
#1 - Breathe
Right now! I’d like you to focus on your breathing. Take a slow, deep breath in – filling your lungs and belly - then pause for a second or two at the top, now exhale slowly until all the air is expelled, with another pause at the end of the out breath. Repeat two more times. Feel a bit calmer and more centred? Great! We call this the Freemind breath.
Taking just a few minutes – or even three deep, focused, breaths – can just help bring you out of your head where all that stressing is happening and back into your body.
Let it go!
I like to imagine that I’m inhaling what I want or need and exhaling whatever I am experiencing right then that isn't serving me, letting it go....
Inhale calm, exhale stress. Inhale love, exhale anger. Inhale light, exhale negativity. Inhale blue sky, exhale grey clouds. Or whatever works for you.
#2 - Take A Dance Break
We've all experienced the power of music... whether it's the rising fear as the Jaws theme tune speeds up, or a love song that never fails to make you cry, or that one song you just have to get up and dance to when it comes on.
If you're feeling tired, stuck and overwhelmed you might just be able to create your own positive energy by putting on one of your favourite songs and dancing it out. If you find yourself slumped over your computer, that physical state won’t help you to get unstuck or out of whatever stress of overwhelm you’re in.
Like buy one, get one free deal, you get a double-whammy because you not only get the health benefits of moving your body, music itself has a therapeutic effect too.
Don’t want to dance? Shake it out instead.
One of my favourite things to do which immediately revives my energy and mood is to put on Florence and the Machine’s “Shake it out” and just shake my body one part at a time until the song is finished – I like to imagine I'm litterally shaking off all the stress, tiredness and negativity. It scared Mr Fox a bit when he walked in on me doing this the first time, but he got over it 🙂
#3 - Try Speed Gratitude
When you feel stressed and overwhelmed, you are probably focusing on the negative or what you don’t have or what you haven't got done yet. Switching that focus to what’s good in your life for a few minutes helps to put things in perspective and remind you that things aren’t that bad after all.
Get out a journal or just a sheet of paper, set a timer for three minutes, and write down as many things as you can in that time. Make it as specific as possible.
What are you grateful for?
On some days you need to go back to basics, like the roof over your head. At other times you might get all creative and poetic. It's all good. Just write what you feel.
Maybe you’re glad that the sun is shining and creating a beautiful light in the room or the rain is watering the flowers in your garden. You might be grateful for the beautiful journal you’re writing in or the bottle of champagne in the fridge. You could give thanks for the smell of your child’s hair or for the fact that they’ve gone to school so you have some peace and quiet. Red wine and dark chocolate regularly make it onto my list 😉
There are no rules, just express your gratitude through your pen* and notice how your feel afterwards.
*Pencils, computer keyboards, paintbrushes, collages and other formats have also been known to work.
What Feels Good To You?
Those are my top three feel-good “quick-fixes,” what are yours? We’re all individual so what makes me feel good may be totally different to what works for you. So whether these ideas resonate with you or not, I hope that it's given you a bit of inspiration to sprinkle some feel-good factor throughout your day.
Of course these are not long term quick fixes - there comes a point when you need to address the deeper underlying causes of ongoing stress and overwhelm before it starts affecting your physical and mental health. Once these tricks have got you through the day, if you think you need further help, feel free to contact me here.
Over to you...
Do you have any "quick-fixes" that help you pick yourself up when you're feeling down, overwhelmed, stressed or stuck? I love to read your tips, tricks and insights, so please share in the comments box below.