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Have a Dose of Feel Better by Vicki Tillman LPCMH

When we are hurting emotionally or have challenging circumstances in life that leave us feeling stressed and depressed, counseling helps! We all know that. We also know that, like any healing process, emotional healing takes time. That is perfectly natural.

However, it is nice to get a dose of “feel better” to help strengthen you till you are all better! If you haven’t had a chance to try these feel-better activities yet, I encourage you to jump in. They will help give you some strength and peace while you go through the healing process.

So, here are some ways to feel a little better until you feel all better.

Go outside (or if you can’t get outside, look at something green and growing).

There’s a growing body of research that shows the benefits of nature on our brain and body health. For instance:

• Seeing or hearing nature reduces stress hormones and helps the calm-down systems in our bodies work better.

• Research at the Greater Good Science Center has found that if you practice looking for beautiful things in nature around you, you are likely to develop the skill they call, “awe” (that feeling of wonder, even if fleeting, that feels good and makes you healthier).

• One study in Great Britain found that even looking at a photograph of nature for forty seconds during a demanding cognitive activity helped improve performance (compared to a group that looked at a photograph of a building).

Nature is a natural dose of “feel better”!

Take some photos daily of things that make you feel grateful.

Here’s an easy dose of “feel better”. Take a few minutes each day and click a photo of something that makes you feel grateful. This can be anything:

• Your pet
• A pretty sunset
• Your favorite coffee mug
• A tasty meal
• A flower blooming

When you take a moment to capture things that help you feel grateful, you lower your blood pressure a little and release calming hormones. Gratitude also helps you develop a more positive mindset that will help your therapy process. It is an excellent dose of “feel better”!

Do a good deed daily.

This might seem strange: even though you are not feeling healed yet, if you do a good deed, it can have a positive impact on your wellbeing.

Research has found that doing good (or kind) things lowers stress hormones and increases feelings of health. Here’s an experiment:

Try for a week to do a small, daily good deed (one that you do not already do as part of daily life). For instance:

• Smile and say “thanks” to the cashier at the local Wawa or grocery store
• Hold the door open for someone going into a store or building
• Allow someone to merge while you are driving down the interstate
• Send someone a message on your favorite social media, thanking them for something they have done

Good deeds are easy doses of “feel better”!

While these activities will not heal your emotional or relational problems (that is what the counseling process is for), they can give you a dose of “feel better” until you do feel better overall.

Vicki Tillman
7 Sisters Homeschool

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