December 1, 2017

Woke Up in a Bad Mood?

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness tagged , , , , at 8:09 am by kellyfdennis

photoIt happens to all of us at one time or another, we wake up cranky and/or grumpy. Sometimes we can identify the reason, we slept poorly, have a busy day, the kids are fighting, the cat puked (and you stepped in it), etc. However, sometimes the source of the mood isn’t easily identifiable. When that happens here are some things you can try to help yourself feel better:

-Try some self compassion. Just acknowledging to yourself know that you feel grumpy right now and that’s ok is helpful. This feeling won’t last forever, and you can love yourself even if you’re grumpy.

-Stop whatever you’re doing, take a deep breath and just notice your surroundings. What do you see, smell, hear, and feel? Sometimes just disengaging from autopilot for a moment is enough to lift your mood.

-Take a brisk walk outside. Physical exercise releases natural feel good chemicals in our brain which can help dispel a bad mood.

-Try just accepting it, instead of fighting against it. “Ok, this is how I feel right now, let’s just move on.”

-Think of situations and moods in the short term. A big contributor to a bad mood is catastrophizing about something. “Oh, no, this commute is going to be awful; this presentation is going to suck; this day is going to drag on forever” If we can think about just what’s happening now and stop ourselves from making the negative predictions, the bad mood may lift.

-Get out of your own head and focus on someone else. When we shift our focus to helping others or at least paying attention to them we engage the natural emotional warmth that occurs for us as humans when we are in relationship.

-Listen to some uplifting music and feel free to sing along at the top of your lungs!

I hope you’re bad mood has lifted by now!

Be Well and Have A Wonderful Day!

November 27, 2017

Need to Chill Out? Try This.

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness tagged , , , , at 12:55 pm by kellyfdennis

Goat┬áThese are trying times; add the holiday hubbub in there and you may be feeling stressed out! Of course, there are two kinds of stress, eustress and distress, but it’s usually the distress that we notice the most. It can cause irritability, difficulty sleeping, headaches, elevated blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar levels as well. So, what if you could do a few things every day to help you feel less stressed out? That’d be great! Right? Well, actually, even though we there are things we can do everyday to help ourselves with our stress, we are also really good at talking ourselves out of doing them.

So, do what you need to do to get yourself to try one or all of these things this week:

-Bring your attention to the here and now by focusing on a physical sensation for a few moments. One example is to pay attention to your feet, right now. How do your feet feel in your socks and shoes, or barefoot resting on the ground, or in boots standing in line? What do you notice about the physical sensations in your feet? Just notice, no judgment, just curiosity.

-Breathe. I know it sounds cliche or maybe too simple to actually work, but conscious breathing is a great thing because it reduces the over stimulation of the “fight or flight” response which contributes to your feeling stressed out. So, stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing your belly to expand, and then blow it out through your mouth. Do it 3 times, a couple of times a day, and I bet you’ll notice a difference in your stress level.

-Do some active muscle relaxation. Stand up and reach your arms to the sky, bend over and touch your toes, turn your body to the left and then to the right. If you have a little more time, practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation, a yoga pose or two, or take a nice warm bath. All the while noticing how good it feels to relax your muscles.

-And finally, Feel the Love! Place your hand on your heart (skin to skin contact is best), visualize someone who is dear to you, a person, a pet, a spiritual figure, and then allow yourself to feel the love coming from that person, pet, or figure, and allow yourself to feel the love flowing from you back to them.

Some pretty easy and not-so-time-consuming ways to de-stress this holiday season. I hope you’ll try it!

Be Well and Have a Wonderful Day!



ponderings on life, food, God, and love

Grace on the Moon

Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

on anything and everything

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