So you’re in a funk or a bad mood. Perhaps something happened at work or with a friend and now you’re all bent out of shape. It could even be that you’re just feeling low, not exactly your enthusiastic self, but not sure how to change that.
I know we can all raise our hands in agreement that we’ve been there before. I know I have. I’ve dealt with depression, panic attacks, funks and mood swings my whole life, and what I’ve come to learn over the years are a few key components to actually shifting your energetic vibration to change your mood. It’s been through my personal wellness journey (and helping others in theirs), my spiritual journey through yoga teacher training and connecting more to the natural essence of life that I have tapped into how to make these changes happen and not let my mood be a completely passive experience.
This is about understanding your own life force and ways to balance yourself.
Here are 5 concrete actions to help you do this.
Movement is by far my number one choice to shake up (or shake off…thanks, T-Swift) that negative energy. My go-to movement is yoga; not just in finding strict poses, but actually moving through your body allowing yourself to sense your physical being.
Try moving, dancing, jumping up and down for at least 5 minutes, then stop. Stand in Mountain Pose with your feet hip width distance, core engaged and your arms extended by your sides. You can literally feel the energy coursing through your body, and you just created that all through movement.
Scientifically, what’s happening is your lymphatic system is moving and the body is releasing endorphins and all kinds of feel good hormones. In just a few minutes, movement can completely transform your perspective. And it’s within your capability to tap into that.
2. Drop into your breath.
You may think of this as meditation, but I intentionally don’t call it that. When I first started trying to meditate years ago I would get so frustrated with myself, and end up feeling like I’d “ruined” the meditation moment because I couldn’t do what everyone said and “quiet my mind.”
Well, this technique is meditative, but the goal here is not enlightenment. It’s connection. This will help you connect back to your body and your breath, which is the main source of your life force; without it, you don’t exist. In terms of energy, it controls everything.
Think of your stress response or what happens when you run. Your breath quickens, your heart accelerates and energy is being moved – you can control this. So lay down, or sit in a comfortable position. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes. Close your eyes (sometimes this helps to better connect). Just start to notice your breath, don’t try to change or manipulate it. Just notice it. Feel your breath expanding in your lungs. Stay there, feeling in your lungs and see where you’re not breathing in your body. Are you breathing only in your upper body and not so connected to the lower? Or maybe you’re not connected to your back side, etc.
Bringing your awareness back to your breath for a few minutes allows you to make space to reunite with your whole body, noticing where energy is lacking and restoring balance throughout.
Get up, go outside. I cannot implore enough the importance of rekindling your relationship with nature. If you’re the type of person who works in a city, in brick buildings and a crowded office, you especially need this restorative time.
Being outside changes so much in your physiological and physical being. Our human brains sometimes forget how much we desperately need the Earth. It’s electrically charged, and a sure-fire way to recharge yourself is to step outside. Better yet, go barefoot in the grass and practice some grounding. Watch as you soak up the energy and your perspective starts to get a little brighter.
4. Crank the tunes.
Music makes the mood. Seriously, there’s a reason for saying “set the mood” whether you’re talking about an epic party playlist or an intimate evening in with a special someone. Same thing goes for when you’re flying solo. Put on music that makes you feel alive, or rather, makes you remember how you want to live. Belt your heart out on your commute home or even at your desk if that’s where you’re at. Don’t be afraid to let the music melt into your bones. Feel how amazing it is to be uplifted by the pure joy of sound. And, if so inclined, a little dancing will never hurt that ‘tude either.
5. Change your thoughts.
“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” Rumi is right – our reality is largely based on our own conceptualization happening in our brain, and creates thoughts that we deem our reality. Or not. In fact, our thoughts are just that – thoughts.
Mindfulness is realizing that a thought is just a thought. Once you realize that a thought does not equate truth, you can devalue it and separate yourself from it. So when you’ve got that monkey mind exploding negativity like confetti in your brain, remember you get to choose. You get to choose what thoughts become truths, what thoughts become reality.
So maybe it’s not so much about “changing your thoughts” per se, but rather choosing your thoughts. And choose wisely, friends.