It’s so hard to feel better sometimes; I’m familiar with this truth. If you feel stuck in a rut or deep in a hole and you kind of almost want to stay there, but there’s a part of you that knows there’s a better way, consider these three ways to feel better—they’re available to you right now.
“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.” – Christine Caine
There is hope…
3 Ways to Feel Better That You Can Try Right Now
1. Focus your attention on someone’s story.
Whether it’s reading a book, listening to an audio book, playing a video game, talking to someone else about their day or past struggles, listening to a podcast, or reading a heartfelt message online, get involved with someone else other than yourself.
I know this may sound counter intuitive to some, and I’m a big proponent of feeling your feelings and facing your negative thoughts with as much grace as possible (because what we resist persists). I also know how difficult and painful it can be to dwell in your dark emotions when you don’t feel strong enough to endure them.
If you feel so low that you can’t even force a smile, try to get involved in another story, whether it’s real or fictional. It truly helps me get out of my own head and remember that there’s always another way to look at things; it might work for you.
Once the acute pain has settled down, while you were redirecting your attention to something else, it’s likely much easier to face your pain with more self-compassion and hopefulness.
2. Reach for the closest better-feeling thought that’s available to you.
Focusing on a thought that feels just a TINY bit better than the last one helps. Not every “high-vibe” thought is available to us, but there’s a higher thought we can reach for—it’s the one that feels just a tiny bit better.
If you’re feeling depressed or powerless, or you’re grieving, reaching for jealousy, rage, or worry is (maybe surprisingly) an example of reaching for the closest better-feeling thought. The point is this: If you feel low, don’t force yourself to feel grateful or passionate; you don’t need to. Do what you can from this place.
The “Emotional Guidance Scale” is an idea that I discovered (and really liked) while reading Ask and It Is Given, an Abraham-Hicks book.
According to the book, a scale of our emotions might look something like this (in the order of our fullest allowance of our connection with who we truly are, which feels good, to our most intense resistance of that alignment, which feels bad):
- Positive Expectation/Belief
Basically, the goal is to consciously reach for an improved feeling. We can’t leapfrog from depression to joy, but we can slowly and deliberately move up the scale, and it’s empowering to know that we were able to cause even the slightest emotional improvement.On the other side of the pain is everything you've ever wanted or needed; you can get there. Click To Tweet
3. Pet a pet.
Entering the unconditional loving presence of an animal is almost instantly relieving. There’s plenty of research to show that dogs (and other pets) offer humans a gateway to healing—mental, emotional, and physical.
Pets have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve recovery from heart disease, and improve psychological well-being and self-esteem. In some places like Harvard University, a beloved furry friend is considered an anti-depressive and anti-anxiety agent, and pure therapy.
Whether you need to cry, vent, distract yourself, or not talk at all, consider a “therapy session” with your pet, or find someone else who’s willing to let you borrow some time with theirs. For me, I know that it’s hard not to feel a smidgen better when I’m petting a cat or holding my mom’s dog (who’s smaller than the cat).
Anthony Douglas Williams said, “When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.” I feel the same way.Humanity can be burdensome, but animals offer us a safe space to recoup. Click To Tweet
- What small steps have you taken in the past that have helped you feel a little, or a lot, better?
- Are there any other (readily available) ways to feel better that you’d add to this list? Someone reading might appreciate your input.
Please share your thoughts, any other preferred ways to feel better, positive practices and tools that help you maintain a sense of calm and hope, and any helpful or hopeful stories of a shift with me in the comments.
Share these three ideas with someone who might appreciate a reminder of their own capacity to rise again.
Hope outlasts every heartache.