When things get out of control and you momentarily lose your emotional balance, there are any number of little things you can do to regain it. Here are ten tools to help get you started.
By Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.
Originally published on Psychology Today
1. Wash your hands and face and brush your teeth. It cools and cleans the parts of your body that you use most frequently, which is relaxing, and gives you that “fresh start” feeling.
2. Put on clean socks and some shoes that you haven’t worn in a few days. Shoes take a day or two to release any moisture they have absorbed, and this is a very easy way to put a little pep back into your step.
3. Give yourself a good shave (face or legs). This is another instant refresher. Especially if you have sensitive skin or the weather is dry. Plus, when we know we are looking our best, we naturally feel better.
4. Look at any trophy, diploma, or certificate of achievement that you have earned. And if it isn’t framed and on the wall, frame it now. These are reminders of your accomplishments, and taking in your success is important to maintaining your self-esteem.
5. Remember your last (or greatest) success and think about it for sixty seconds. Taking in your success as often as possible will help you reach another and another. Quite simply, it reminds you that if you’ve done it before, you can do it again.
6. Know you are the person your loved ones think you are. And yes, that goes for your dog too. Knowing that you are unconditionally loved can’t help but make you feel good about yourself. It’s so easy to beat yourself up, I recommend pulling yourself up instead.
7. Wash your car, inside and out. Hey, when our wheels are shiny, we feel better. If you don’t think this applies to you, just remember how you felt the last time you got a ride in someone’s very funky car. Race you to the car wash.
8. Old clothes may come back into style, but you really don’t want them on hangers for the next twenty years. Throwing out the old makes room for the new. For some, the feeling they get from putting on a new “power suit” fills them with pride.
9. Cook a lovely meal. Even if you are by yourself, preparing a tasty dinner, setting the table, and treating yourself to a wonderful culinary experience will lift your spirits. Sharing it with someone you love and/or respect will make it even more nurturing.
10. Look around you, remember that you started with nothing, and know that everything you see, you created. We can all lose our feelings of self-worth, especially when something goes wrong in our world. The truth is that if you have done it before, you can do it again – no matter what.
None of these tasks has to be uncomfortable or take you much time. Finding ways to give yourself a little boost when you’re not feeling like you’re at the top of your game is a trick that truly happy people use on a regular basis.