The Next Step

When you aren’t in the middle of a drama or crisis and when you have a relatively good day and can get some perspective on your situation, you may actively want to feel better in yourself.

So if you have practised the process in Processing Emotions – Part 1 a few times, you can begin to practise lifting your emotional state.

1) To begin with, you can use some quick tricks to lift your mood. Listen to your favourite piece of upbeat music. Go for a walk – even if it’s just round the block, some fresh air and moving your body can improve your mood. If you can get to a park or out into countryside, that’s excellent. But I want you to know that any time spent outside, walking, running, moving your body, is going to be incredibly beneficial to you.

2) Think of three things (or people) that you are grateful to have in your life. If you can take a couple of minutes to write them down, that will make this exercise more powerful. (See Your Notebook).

3) What, or who, makes you laugh? Laughter is the most healing thing we have in our life. Think of a time when something crazily funny happened and you couldn’t stop laughing. Was there a time like this at school, or at work, or in any place where you weren’t allowed to laugh and the more you tried to stop laughing, the more the laughter just bubbled up in you? Close your eyes and see the scene in front of you. See the faces, hear other people laughing, and begin to feel that ‘bubbling-up’ inside you. Can you laugh, or giggle just a little? Practise this and you will get better at retrieving that delicious laughter.

Listen to something funny on the radio or online. Watch a comedy programme on TV or a comedy film on DVD. Schedule a couple of nights a week to do this. Get jokes from the internet. Write them down and swap them with friends.

Look for a laughter yoga class near you. Try it – I dare you. Yes, I’m giving you the possibility of emerging from the swamp of despair. Once you have cried your eyes out (which you needed to do), you can make little trips out of your Vale of Tears.

You can practise entering the Aladdin’s Cave of lifting your mood. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes at first. As you build up your good-feeling muscles, you’ll find you can enter this Zone for longer. You will have more times during your week when you are feeling good.

Go on – you know you want to.