Life is full of up and downs. It is totally normal to feel down, but many people don’t know how to feel better. Here are 11 things you can do when you’re feeling down.
Deep breathing has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and tension which leads to happiness. It’s great to try if you are learning how to feel better. There are several different techniques you can choose from too, so you can pick whichever one is best for you. Here are a few to try:
- Belly Breathing
- Find a comfortable position
- Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest
- Fill up your belly with breath and feel it expand under your hand
- Try not to move your chest
- Exhale through pursed lips to make a whoosing sound
- 4-7-8 Breathing
- Breath in for 4 counts
- Hold for 7 counts
- Exhale for 8 counts
- Mindfulness Breathing
- Close your eyes
- Take a few deep breaths and exhale completely
- Let your breathing resume as normal
- Observe your breath
- Feel it go through your nose, feel your chest rise and fall, etc
- Try this for about 2-5 mins to start
- Rolling Breath
- Similar to belly breathing
- Fill your belly up without your chest moving
- Exhale out the mouth
- Now, fill up your chest and exhale (your tummy can move a little bit here)
- Follow the alternating pattern
Here are some extra tips when practicing deep breathing
- Make sure you are comfortable
- Make sure you will not be interrupted
- Make it a routine
Watch A Movie
When I am trying to figure out how to feel better, movies are usually my go-to. I either want to escape to a new world, have a good laugh, or be uplifted. Here are some of my favorite movies to watch when I’m feeling down.
- Lilo and Stitch (my favorite Disney movie!)
- Emperor’s New Groove
- Harry Potter
- Pitch Perfect
- Princess Bride
Go Out With Your Friends
If you are more extroverted, going out with friends is a great option! If you aren’t extroverted, you might need to modify this just a smidge. If you choose to go with friends, make sure they are friends that lift you up and make you smile. Stick to what you like to do or just go along for the ride.
If going out isn’t really your thing, try just calling a friend and venting. You can also invite them over to have a movie night.
Journaling is a great way to just let it all out. It’s like venting, in a way, but more. You have the opportunity to be completely raw and real with yourself. Even if you are talking to your closest friend, there is probably going to be at least a little censorship.
With journaling, you get to be real with yourself and see the raw emotion on the page. As a bonus, you get to organize your thoughts and feelings. It helps you see why you are upset and the root of your feelings.
Snuggle A Pet
I mean if you are trying to find out how to feel better, this one is obvious. Snuggling a pet always makes people feel better. If you don’t have a pet, ask your friend if you can cuddle up with theirs. you can also go to an animal shelter and visit the pets there.
Practice Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations help your brain rewire itself to look at the positives of life. Having a positive affirmation practice has been proven to help you reevaluate your outlook on life, de-stress, and just feel better in general.
When doing a positive affirmation practice, it is also helpful to combine it with deep breathing practices so your mind is focused in the moment.
Elle Woods from Legally Blonde said it best… exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands.
This iconic statement is very true! Exercise is a great way to feel better. If you are anxious, your body needs to move to get it out and if you are sad…well endorphins happen. There are a lot of different ways to get moving such as:
- Lift weights
- Go hiking
Getting creative is a great way to express yourself and your feelings. This is one of my favorite ways to feel better. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a world-class painter to be creative. Even if you don’t feel like an “artist” there are a lot of ways you can express yourself creatively. Here are a few you can choose from:
- Tie-dye a shirt
- Write a poem
- Write a short story
- Find an easy DIY
- Play with some clay
- Do your makeup
Maybe not the most *fun* way to feel better, but effective. You know that feeling of a deep cleaned room and you light a sweet smelling candle at the end? That is so satisfying and just a generally nice feeling to have. Plus, having a clean room gives you the space to just be. Clutter is stressful, clean is relaxing.
Cook or Bake
This is technically another way to be creative! You are experimenting with different flavors and ingredients to make the most tasty treat for yourself. The process also gives your brain something to focus on.
If you choose to decorate your baked creation, it is just another way to get creative with art. You don’t have to be a professional, in fact the messy baking and decorating is more fun.
Address and Allow Your Feelings
When thinking about way on how to feel better, usually we are looking for a distraction. Sometimes, its best to fully feel your emotions and then allow them to be there. This is something that I had to be told by a therapist. It’s okay to have feels, it becomes a problem when you attach yourself to them. If you look at your emotions like ocean waves, they will wash over you and then retreat back.
Did you learn how to feel better? What helped you the most? Let us know!
Hi! I'm Jayde. Communication expert and your relationship guru. I'm just living life one word at a time and trying to take it all in. You can catch me sipping an iced coffee and snuggling an animal.