The Top Four Ways to Feel Better Now
Yesterday, one of my teenage friends ask me, “What can I tell my friend who feels like she’s not enough?” Here you go, friend. Warning: The answers may not seem too exciting, AND they work!
1. REDUCE SCREEN TIME.
Do I really need to explain this one? Put your phones down. WARNING: It will feel AWKWARD. Tell your brain that awkward is just fine. Assure your brain that you are merely developing new habits that will make you feel better.
2. BE CREATIVE!
Start using that free time to connect. Connect with others. Connect with the outdoors. Connect with yourself. Go to the library. Read a book. Try out painting with watercolors. Dig in the earth and plant some flowers. Go for a bike ride. Call a friend and go on a hike. Look for someone to serve. LIVE LIFE, my friend, away from your phone. In fact, leave your phone home while you are at school. Learn to be uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. After all, discomfort is the currency for growth!
3. UNDERSTAND THAT LIFE IS 50/50, AND THAT'S WHAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE.
So many of us are unhappy because we are unhappy. We have forgotten that negative emotion is a healthy part of life and we do our best to run away from it whenever we can.
Try this little trick and allow yourself to feel your negative emotions without indulging in them:
“Of course, I am feeling sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, bored, unhappy. That’s what happens when I’m a human having a human experience.”
Did you know that your brain has a job? Its job is to protect you so that you survive. This is how it has been since the beginning of time. Often it uses our fight or flight responses to make sure we aren’t going to get eaten by a bear. However, our brains don’t realize that in our modern world, there are rarely any bears lurking around the corner, waiting to eat us for dinner. Instead, our brain thinks that it should protect us when we are sad, afraid, angry, frustrated, bored, or even depressed. When you feel terrible, your brain will want to run away from that emotion because it thinks running away will somehow save you.
Don’t layer unhappy on top of unhappy. When you let yourself BE unhappy and allow yourself to feel it (without buffering from it with media, food, self-harm, harmful substances), you will feel better, and the emotion will pass.
This is called processing emotion. It helps to pretend to describe what the feeling feels like to someone who hasn’t ever felt it before. “I can feel it in my chest. It feels kind of tight. Then it radiates out to my fingers and goes up my neck.” Often when you allow yourself to feel your emotions, they will dissipate in about twenty minutes. (I’ve got a whole process to help people do this. If you need some help, let me know.)
4. BE A ROCK-STAR THOUGHT LOOKER
Ask yourself: “What are the thoughts that I am regularly having and are they serving me?” What are the three feelings that I am experiencing that are coming from these thoughts? Are these thoughts and resultant feelings what I want to feel on purpose?
Look at your thoughts. Actually, choose your thoughts and live your life deliberately. You don’t have to leave your life up to chance. You don’t have to wait and see what will happen to show up in your life. You are in charge of your life. Why not choose the feelings that you want to feel and create thoughts that will help you feel those emotions? Then PRACTICE thinking those thoughts regularly. Make sure that these new thoughts are actually believable. Don’t create thoughts that are PIE in the SKY kinds of thoughts, unless you can actually believe them.
Don’t leave your life up to chance and live it the way it just happens to show up. You can actually CREATE your life by living from your future self rather than the self that just happens to be showing up, the self that’s often carrying a suitcase of baggage from your past that you could really just leave on the street corner. (You know the suitcase that I’m talking about, right? The one whose contents whisper things like, “You’re not enough. I can’t forgive. They made you feel bad. I’ve never done this before. Who do I think I am to think I could do something fabulous?") Just drop the suitcase and start fresh with thoughts that FEEL GOOD! Keep in mind that all emotions drive our actions. Pick thoughts on purpose that create the emotions that will drive your actions...actions that will give you the life you want!
Become the gardener of your brain. Thoughts that we think over and over and over again become beliefs, so take care of what thoughts you bring into your garden. Tend to your thoughts like as the loving gardener who loves yourself. Look around and get the weeds out of there! Plant new thoughts. Water them. Care for them. Understand that a flower is beautiful even when it’s a seed. Every part of its growth is magnificent.
Be patient and love yourself along the way. And, hey, if you would like a little help doing this for yourself, why not schedule a free mini-session? Go to my home page and click on the “FREE COURSE” button. You’re worth feeling better now, right?