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3 Ways To Lift Your Spirits
By Art Ramsay

 What do you do when you feel anxiety, worry, or disappointment creeping into your life; or worst, you are already in a place of despair? Some people eat a lot of chocolate, have a few alcoholic drinks, or pop a few anti-depressive pills. While these and other ways of dealing with negative feelings might work in the moment, they have side effects and are short term.

 The obvious answer to the above question is to not have these kinds of feelings in the first place. If you have followed my newsletter for awhile, read the articles, and actually put into action what I have suggested to make your life better, you probably do not have as much negativity as most people. But having zero, or almost no negativity is rare.

 We all have the occasional ‘attacks’ of anxiety, frustration, and such. So what are the best ways to deal with them or prevent them from occurring? While there are many, I have picked three that I feel both get you out of the slump in the first place, but also help prevent future events when used regularly. Let’s look at them.

 1.      Breathe.

              a.      Take a deep breath. Hold it for a count of five. Let it out. Repeat four more times.

 b.      Then put your hand over your heart, breathe in deeply visualizing the breath flowing in through your heart. Hold it for a count of five, then breathe out the negativity (what you are feeling) and give it a name (fear, failure, lack and limitation, etc.) Repeat five times.

 c.      Repeat (b) above, and this time name the in-breath  as Love; so you would breathe in Love and breathe out the negativity as above. Repeat as many times as it takes to let go of whatever you were feeling.

 2.      Smile, laugh.

              a.      Smiling is a way to release negativity, because it takes effort to stay anxious while you are smiling.

 b.      Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. You may burst into laughter if you hold the smile long enough.

             c.      After smiling, begin laughing. If you need something to laugh at watch a funny movie or other source of funniness. Look in the mirror, find something funny to laugh at or just start laughing.

3.      Give Thanks

             a.      Gratitude is one of the most uplifting practices you can use. It not only helps in the moment, but if used consistently is a major source of less anxiety and other negative emotions.

 b.      Begin your mornings by saying how grateful you are for the new day and all if brings. Give thanks for all of the people, animals, things, events, and other aspects of your life you can think of.

              c.      Throughout the day, thank people for what they do. Greet people with a smile. Praise people for their accomplishments.

              d.      Finish your day by giving thinks for all that you accomplished, all you experienced, all the beautiful people you met, and all of the people in you life in the moment.

              e.      Gratitude is a major life changer. Your life can only get better while using gratitude. You cannot go ‘wrong’ by the constant use of gratitude.

              f.        One caveat: for it to work well, you must be sincere. Tossing around ‘thank you’ without sincerity buys you nothing. In this case, they are only words with no meaning. Be sincere. Really mean it when you say ‘thank you’.

  Consistent use of the three practices above will change your life. You cannot stay in a ‘negative’ mood, or hold a ‘negative’ attitude while practicing them. Sometimes, when feeling really low, it may take a ‘kick start’ to begin any of the practices. Have someone help with that. Of course, it may take a bit of diplomacy of the friend’s part to avoid a rebuttal from you. Sometimes people want to stay mad and attack anyone who tries to pull them from the negative emotions they are feeling.

 While I used words like anxiety, frustration, and depression, it all boils down to stress. The above are only the way we humans describe different levels, or sometimes different stages, of stress. But using these words makes it easier for you to identify the feeling you experience during a stressful time.

 I have written several articles on stress, and you can find them in the Archives, although their titles may not have the word ‘stress’ in them. The only way we can move past stress is to identify when it occurs and how we feel during the experience. The three outlines above should give you the elements to pull yourself up and move on to a happier you.

 

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