5 WAYS TO FEEL GOOD FOR FREE
Let’s get real, feeling good about yourself has become yet ANOTHER big money pit, and while you may get a sense of instant gratification, that hole in your wallet doesn’t grow back by itself. All the tea’s those insta-models are pushing, retreats that cost as much as a better (more drunk) holiday, and the multitude of vlogs promising you’ll notice a difference instantly if you just buy that black face mask that peels most of your skin off. Well, there are other ways to feel amazing for FREE. OMG. So put your overloaded credit card away and keep reading, for today, we feel good for free.
#1 – Walk
While the world is obsessed with Crossfit, the Kardashians, and trying to decide whether fats are good or bad, people are forgetting that a great way to relax, boost your brain function, and find quiet enjoyment, is to simply walk.
And I don’t mean “I’ve gotta hit 10,000 steps by 6pm” walk, I mean “oh look at that pretty bird in that tree over there” walk. Studies show that interacting with nature improves cognitive function, and that any act of exercise is better than a coffee at boosting your brains cognition and performance. Mood is improved through walking as well, so what’s not to love about heading to a park, or hitting the pavement to spy some urban, or wild, life. Feeling good doesn’t just come from within, it can come from outside of our bodies, the air we breath, the sights we see. So the next time you’re a bit fuzzy, or feeling a little down, head out for a walk!
#2 – Cuddle
I mean… this one is a given right? It is pretty universally known that touch is one of the most basic needs that humans have. As soon as a baby is born it needs the time, attention, and love to grow; without touch we could not survive. As we get older we become less physically dependant, but that doesn’t mean that we stop needing physical reassurance and love.
Cuddling is beneficial on a number of levels, it reduces stress and releases oxytocin – the feel good hormone! It’s calming, great for reducing blood pressure, and can even fight infection.
Whether it’s your Mum, your partner, or your friend… cuddling is super beneficial for you both. Get your arms ready to embrace those around you and let the cuddling begin!
#3 – Face to face conversation
You so know this, but maybe you don’t want to admit it. Get your face out of your iPhone or Tablet and get it in front of someone else’s. Face to face conversation is more than just talking, it is a multisensory experience that fulfils us on a deeper level. Exploring body language, socialising with another person, and feeling reassured are a few reasons why face to face communication can make us feel good. It is believed to increase creativity (flowing ideas between two or more brains instead of just one), improve mental health, and can increase cognitive function. Let’s put down technology for a moment and take some time to hang out with our friends, I’m sure Instagram can wait.
#4 – Mindfulness
Being mindful is not something we automatically do. With lives being as busy as they are, we are often thinking laterally about when our next assignment is due, can we fit in an episode of Game of Thrones before our appointment, or when the power bill needs to be paid. The act of being mindful increases cognition, reduces depressive tendencies, and can improve self-esteem. Performing mundane tasks, clearing your mind and focussing on your movements and senses can alleviate worries, with activities such as yoga and breathing exercises improving your mood and practising relaxation. A great way to practise mindfulness is turning your phone off and fold washing, do some yoga, or have a bath, and see the results instantaneously!
#5 – Compliment Someone Else
Imagine this: you’re sitting at your desk at work and you’re exhausted from all the work you have been doing. You’re feeling crap because you’ve been eating takeaways for like 5 days in a row, and your gym membership is 4 months old and you’ve been twice. Life seems ugh today, until Julie, the lady in an office down that hall sees you in the kitchen and says “You’re looking great today!”. Mood improvement activated. “Why thank you Julie, you’re looking lovely today too” you giggle. Julie smiles and you start a conversation about Julies’ new kitten. Warm fuzzies all round.
The thing to take away from this? Be Julie, and most of the time you’ll get a compliment back. See how this works on improving your mood and self-esteem? Giving compliments usually takes the focus off yourself and directs your attention to someone else, an activity that improves creativity and builds trust. Everyone likes to be complimented, whether they reply with “ugh I feel horrible today” or “thanks, I know I’m fabulous”, just know that you’ve made someone feel recognised and reassured, and made yourself feel better too.
Feeling good DOES NOT have to cost money. Emotions can be complicated by hormonal/chemical imbalances, and environmental factors*, however by utilizing small adjustments in your thought patterns and daily activities, it can improve your mood, and may even perpetuate a better perspective on life. In the words of the great Sporting Brand Nike: Just Do It.
*Please seek the appropriate medical help if you notice your moods are not improving.