When life gets stressful and you feel like you’re losing your emotional balance, use one or more of these simple tricks to help you relax your mind.

  1. Wash your hands and face, and brush your teeth. – The simple act of cleaning these parts of your body is both reinvigorating and relaxing, and gives you that ‘fresh start’ feeling.
  2. Change your socks for refreshment. – It’s an odd trick, but it works.  Bring a change of socks to work, and change your socks midway through the day.  You’ll be amazed at how much fresher you’ll feel.  This trick is especially handy on days with lots of walking.
  3. Call a close friend. – Sometimes a quick conversation with someone you care about is just what you need to boost your mood.
  4. Stretch. – When you feel yourself getting stressed, get up, reach toward the sky, bend down and touch your toes, twist your torso from side to side – stretch it out.
  5. Go outdoors. – Getting some fresh air outdoors is always a good way to rouse your senses and clear your mind.
  6. Take a light exercise break. – Do a few sets of jumping jacks to get your blood moving, or take a walk.  Even the slightest bit of exercise can reduce momentary stress and re-energise your mind.
  7. Dress to feel your best. – When we know we are looking our best, we naturally feel better.
  8. Listen to your favorite music. – If it’s not too much of a distraction, listening to your favorite upbeat music can be a great way to boost your spirits.
  9. Watch or read something that inspires you. – Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk.  Watch a motivational video or read something that inspires you.
  10. Have a good laugh. – Watch a funny video clip or read your favourite comic strip.  A good chuckle will stimulate your mind, giving you a renewed sense of optimism.
  11. Take a few really deep, controlled breaths. – Deep breathing helps reduce stress, a source of fatigue, and increases the level of oxygen in the blood.  Techniques can be as simple as inhaling for five seconds, holding your breath for four seconds and exhaling for four seconds.  You can also try more elaborate techniques which require different positions
  12. Clear your stuffed nose. – If allergies have your sinuses blocked, you may be feeling more tired and cranky.  Rinse your nasal passages with saline solution.
  13. Cook a tasty meal. – Even if you are by yourself, preparing a tasty dinner, setting the table, and treating yourself to a wonderful culinary experience will lift your spirits.  Sharing it with someone you love or respect will make it even more nurturing.
  14. Walk away from energy vampires. – Energy vampires are people who always have something to complain about, or a problem that needs to be fixed, and they’ll drain your energy by making you listen to them about their problems or by giving them attention.
  15. Complete an important piece of unfinished business. – Today is a perfect day to finish what you started.  Few feelings are more satisfying than the one you get after an old burden has been lifted off of your shoulders.
  16. Work on something that’s meaningful to you. – Engage yourself in a meaningful personal project.  Or pull the trigger on doing something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t yet had the resolve to do.
  17. Assist someone in need. – In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less.  I promise, it will be an extremely rewarding experience.
  18. Think about your latest (or greatest) success. – Think about it for at least sixty seconds.  Taking in your success as often as possible will help you reach it again and again.  Quite simply, it reminds you that if you’ve done it before, you can do it again.
  19. Act like today is already an awesome day. – Do so, and it will be.  Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act.  A great attitude always leads to great experiences.
  20. Notice what’s right. – Everything that happens in life is neither good nor bad.  It just depends on your perspective.  And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  So stay positive, appreciate the pleasant outcomes, and learn from the rest.
  21. Take a moment to acknowledge how far you’ve come. – Look around you, remember that you started with nothing, and know that everything you see, you created. We can all lose our feelings of self-worth, especially when something goes wrong in our world. The truth is that if you have done it before, you can do it again, no matter what.

Finding simple ways to give yourself an emotional boost when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut is a vital skill to master.  It’s a timeless practice that truly happy, productive people use on a regular basis.

What do you do to make yourself feel better when life gets you down?