If you ask me what makes my day, or life in general, better, my immediate response would be food and books. But is that all? Of course not. I have a pretty huge list. Everything on “the list” makes me feel better when I am feeling down, overwhelmed, frustrated, demotivated, stressed, anxious, you name it. Yes, through all kinds of negative feelings and emotions.
My list (I call it “the feel-good list”) comprises all kinds of activities and actions, small and silly, that may or not apply to you. But trust me, they are worth a shot!
How To Make Yourself Feel Better?
I have not known a single person who hasn’t asked this question to themselves or others. Especially when everyone is trying to find things to do to make themselves feel good amidst all the chaos of modern life. We all need a time out for self care.
The world we live in right now can be cruel. If you turn on the news, all you can hear and watch is injustice and cruelty. If you flip through the newspaper, all you read is disturbing stuff. More reasons to make the first page for feel-good columns.
But that is not happening anytime soon. So, how to make yourself feel better? Since you cannot control the world or others, you can unbind the need for external conditions and factors to decree your happiness. In other words, looking inwards is the right and only way to find happiness and feel better. You have to take control of what you feel and how you process it(1).
All negative emotions and feelings have to be acknowledged, processed, and dealt with. But you cannot do any of that when you are not in the right state of mind. When you find it difficult to do the most mundane thing as showering, or when getting out of bed itself feels like a huge accomplishment, finding moments of levity is the key.
Be it when you are drained, depleted, or depressed, you need to have some kind of action that you go can go back to ground yourself. That’s how to make yourself feel better.
Try Doing These From The Feel-Good List
Let me just put this as a disclaimer again here: not everything on the list necessarily applies to you when you are down, but some surely will. I am sharing a few from my feel-good list here to remind you that you can pull yourself out of the mess and be happy(2). Like I do.
Take A Break
You need to give yourself a break and do nothing without feeling guilty. The hustling culture our generation is devouring is not only unhealthy but also toxic in every sense.
Start normalizing taking a break, even from the things you enjoy —it does not mean you are abandoning it. Taking a break for a few minutes helps you when you are stressed or exhausted. It only improves your ability to pay attention.
How To Make Yourself Feel Better? Go For A Walk.
Nature does wonders to your mind and body. Physical activity, in general, improves mood and has proved to link with reductions in depression. So working out is also a choice. When you go out for a walk and get fresh air, it instantly lifts up your mood, reduces anxiety(3) and stress, and improves overall health. Take in your surroundings, hear yourself think, and self-reflect.
Start A Gratitude Journal
Feeling grateful is a step forward to a better mood and better life(4). Appreciate the little things in life and jot them down.
Every day, after you wake up, list down three things you are grateful for in your life. When you practice gratitude this way, you will find joy in everything else as you are training your mind to do so.
How To Make Yourself Feel Better? Take Yourself Off The Grid.
Another break is from social media. You can turn off your gadgets a day and not let social media weigh you down. Unsurprisingly, social media has the power to pull you down and leave you to feel drained and heavy even without you realizing it.
So taking yourself away from the toxicity can actually charge you and prevent you from wasting your time on mindless scrolling.
Do Something For Someone
Volunteer to do something for someone because making someone else happy automatically helps you put yourself in a much better light. Step out of your comfort zone and give a selfless helping hand to someone —your family member, friends, or even strangers. It helps you develop a sense of compassion, find your joy, and feel lighter. The answer to how to make yourself feel better often lies in making someone else feel better.
Talk To Your Best Friend
Nothing feels better than talking to your best friend. It’s like wrapping yourself in a blanket of warmth and comfort.
Because social support is directly linked to human well-being. So, go pick up your phone and text or call your best friend right away, spend some time laughing your butt off!
Let The Sun In
If you are self wallowing in the dark, get up and leave the blinds open. Though it might sound silly, bright sunlight is an instant mood-booster especially when you are drowning in your self-pity and insecurities.
Cook A Healthy Meal
If you are a foodie, cooking and eating a healthy meal would make your day better. You can crack up the music and dance around the kitchen while you are cooking.
Or you can bake your favorite dessert. All three together can definitely pump your low-energy day.
How to make yourself feel better? Watch your comfort show.
Who doesn’t have a comfort show that they can go to again and again?
Be it a funny show that makes your belly laugh or an emotional one that you are “invested in” and makes you ugly cry, go back to it and rewatch it. Just like your best friends, it’s gonna wrap you in warmth and comfort. It could also be your favorite movie.
Reread A Book That You Devoured
Pick up a book you loved when you first read it and feel the emotions all over again. It could also be a book that inspired or motivated you, especially if you are demotivated. Besides distracting your mind to indulge in something else, it will ground you.
This is a snip from my feel-good list. I am sure you guessed a few of them as they are commonly advised among friends and therapists alike. Apart from the ones I have mentioned above, you can try tending your plants, taking a long bath, spending time with your family, having a conversation with a kid, or playing with an animal. All of these undoubtedly make your body and mind feel good. Though they seem small, they get the job done and help to get some energy flowing!
You should keep in mind that nothing should come at the cost of your mental health. If anything is draining your mental health, be it even someone in your life, a job that you worry about, or even an episode of embarrassment that happened years ago, eliminate them. I don’t mean it literally when it comes to people, of course. But then how to make yourself feel better? It is about cutting off what’s bothering you. This will ultimately bring you relief and detachment from toxicity and negativity. We got no room for them at all.