Every once in a while I feel the urge of writing one of these huge lists. The last one was written almost a year ago, so you can understand my eagerness. But I can’t write something that big without a very specific topic, preferably one that I usually enjoy. So, since feeling well was one of my top priorities in the last year, I thought that would be a good candidate.
Without further ado, let’s start it:
They’re called endorphins, and they are a reaction of the brain to the extra effort you put in when you’re working your body really hard. It’s like saying to your body: “I know you’re going through some pain, here, take something to fell better”. Works every time.
2. Run Outside
I don’t really know what it is about running, but it always refreshes me, even when I’m so tired afterwards that my knees are trembling. Doing it outside is also one key factor of all this well-being sensation, if I run on the platform it’s a completely different story. I suspect it’s because all the people that I meet outside. 😉
3. Put On Some Music
I think music works like a vibrational channel that can put our souls in direct contact with higher spheres. But that’s just me. You may enjoy putting on some music just because you definitely looooove that tune, man, ya’ kno’ whatta mean?. Fair enough. As long as it makes you feel better. 🙂
4. Talk To A Friend
We usually do this when we feel bad (turning our friends into emotional dumpsters, that is). Skip that. Just talk to a friend for no reason. Call him or her just to see how’s the weather down there, what’s the deal with the love life, or how’s gonna be the next trip. Casual chat. It’s useful, sometimes.
5. Finish Something You Started
Yeah, I know it’s difficult. It’s always far better to just start something. But here’s the catch: in order to feel better, you don’t have to finish a ginarmous task each and every day. Do small bites, but do each of them until you finish the whole bloody thing. It’s from the small things that great stuff is born.
6. Start Something New
Like a habit, for instance. Or just painting the kitchen. Crafting a new table or a chair. Just start something from scratch. Shifting focus to something that you’ll have to finish sometime, versus your current (allegedly boring) reality, will create a positive tension. And positive it’s good. Even if it’s tension, if it’s positive, it’s good.
7. Read A Book
It’s that rectangular thing made of perfectly aligned sheets of paper, with familiar black signs on them. They’re called letters. Seriously, can you remember when was the last time you read a book? You may not remember the title or plot, but you will remember that you felt good while you read it.
8. Take A Walk
Slowly, outside, in the park or on the busy streets. I love to walk slowly on busy streets and watch the shapes of the buildings changing as I approach them. It helps tremendously to switch the focus from my own tiny problems. The end result: I feel better. 🙂
9. Watch A Nice Movie
Visual stories are like drugs for many of us. Yours truly included. A good movie will always lift me up, drag me down into the deepest corners of adventures, then free me to this world again, as a better person. A nice movie will do almost the same.
10. Consume Some Art
Yeah, I’m talking about picture, or sculpture, or, if you’re more of an urban style, architecture or design. Harmony, contrast and colors, these are a few of my favorite things (for your information, the last words are a partial quote from a very famous movie, I just couldn’t refrain from doing it).
11. Play A Game
Nope, not on the computer. Outside of the computer. Yes, there are games outside of the computer. Yes, I’m serious. Hide and seek, for instance. Or throw and catch. Just engage with somebody else for the sake of interaction. Games are the natural realm of kids. Ever wondered why kids are always feeling good?
Now that’s serious. Try to master some form of meditation and then practice, practice, practice. As a matter of fact, among all of my friends who have done some form of a meditation, I could barely find a few having sadness episodes, and those episodes were really short. Meditations calms the mind. And, believe it or not, pretty much all of your misery is in your mind only.
13. Clean Up Your desk
Or your house, or your work space, or your clothes. Cleaning up is so underrated. We delegated this very intimate task on so many levels, whereas, instead, we should take care of it ourselves in every tiny aspect. Cleaning up means revival, rebirth, starting afresh.
14. Do Some Gardening
Or take care of your flowers, if you have some. Trees and flowers are alive, just like us. They only live on a different level. And every time you sync your current level with their level, you gain balance, calm and serenity. Have you ever see two trees arguing? Me neither.
15. Take A Joyride
By car or by bus. Or by bicycle. Or go out roller-skating. The thing here is not to plan your short trip in advance and focus only on the landscape and not on the arrival. You’ll arrive at some point anyway, so you’d better enjoy whatever looks enjoyable around. Easier done than said, believe me.
16. Write In Your Journal
Most of the time, the real reason for our stress is our own inability to properly process all our mental garbage. One of the easiest ways to safely take it out is to have a journal. Just sit down and write everything that crosses your mind in that journal. I usually feel better after less than 10 minutes of emptying out my mental recycle bin.
17. Read Jokes
I started to intentionally search for jokes while I’m working. Humor is such an incredibly human quality and so hard to explain, if you really take the time to think at it. Animals can’t laugh (and don’t get me started with the funny cat pictures). But we can. So, finding some nice jokes and enjoying them is one of the cheapest ways to instantly feel better.
18. Craft A Toy
Usually, I do paper planes. Sometimes I do frogs. I learned this trick from my kids. It’s so easy to take something as dull as a paper sheet and then turn it into something that you can use for playing. It takes only a few seconds and it instantly making me feel lighter and more relaxed.
19. Pay A Bill
This may have mixed results, but, usually, it works for me. Every time I pay a bill I have a real feeling of relief. Looking at your bills like being chores will eventually make your entire life looking like a chore. Because, like it or not, we’re gonna live with bills for a while. Just have fun paying them and think as if you were one step ahead on your journey.
20. Review A Nice Day
Just try to remember one of your best days. Might be a trip to an exotic place, the day you met your partner, whatever works for you. We all have these resources inside, but we seldom take the time to actually use them. We carry around our successes in our memory anyway, so why not putting them to some work when we want to feel better?
21. Watch People Faces
And try to guess things about them. What are they doing for a living? Are they in a relationship? Do they have kids? What are the things they like the most? I usually do this in a subway, for at least a half an hour, but a walk in a park could work just as well. It instantly will shift your focus to something more interesting than your own problems.
22. Take Something Off Of Your Chest
I’m not talking about arguing here. But if there’s something that was bothering you for a long time, you should let it out. Clean the air. Express your true feelings. If you keep it too much inside, it will ventually rotten. And fall apart. And we don’t want that.
23. Practice (Or Start) A Hobby
Something that matters only for you. Build real size race cars out of matches or build tiny vessels in bottles. As long as you can be on your own, doing what you like and enjoying it. It will lift your spirit instantly.
24. Solve A Riddle
Again, this may have mixed results, but for me, it works. We’re wired for mystery and we’re filled with curiosity. Every time you exercise one of those (or both) you actually feel better. Just pick an easy riddle, for starters.
25. Play With Your Pet
If you don’t have a pet, get one. If you never had one before, be prepared to do some work (and mess around the house) but believe me, in the end, it will well worth the trouble.
26. Cook Something
Try pancakes if you think duck tongue is a bit out of your reach for the moment. But do mix some ingredients, boil some water, get a sip every now and then from what’s cooking, and, without even noticing, you’ll start to feel better.
27. Share Something With Somebody
A meal or just some time together. Be with somebody else for a little while, but be in the same vibration. Tell a story, listen to a story or just watch the people together. The mix of the two of you will change the energies. For the better.
28. Give Away An Object
Like in completely and totally and randomly get rid of an object. If you think somebody else will need it, just wrap it up nicely and leave it outside, somewhere handy. A person in need will find the way to it.
29. Make A Gift
Not the process of giving a gift. But the process of creating a gift. You may assemble from various tiny pieces, or you can just craft something yourself. For me, just putting together the goods, the wrapping, the presentation, all the mix is lifting me up.
30. Surprise Somebody
Pleasantly, that is. If you do it the other way, you may still feel better, but it may have unexpected consequences 🙂 Act silly, if you’re generally serious. Be serious, if you’re generally silly. But do it in some way that will pause the other person mind for a second. You’ll thank me for this one.
31. Plan A Trip
No need to actually go on a plane right now, just do a bit of research. It doesn’t really matter if you have the resources to go on that trip, what matters is that your mind is now focused on a journey you’d love, rather than on the dull and gray surroundings.
32 Meet Someone New (For Real)
We live in the social media age. You do have a Twitter or a Facebook account, don’t you? Why don’t you try to actually meet in real life some of your “online friends”? I was a bit reluctant in the beginning, but as I went through more and more encounters like this, I realized it’s a real benefit. And a nice way to feel better.
33. Do Nothing
Sometimes, we just have to feel whatever was meant for us to feel. Life’s not always right, but it’s beautiful. Enjoy the moment, no matter how you feel about it. Because as long as you can feel something, you’re still alive. 🙂
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.