Finish that sentence. Think long and hard about what makes you feel good. It sounds so simple, I know, but it is not something that we actively think about as often as we should. Here is why you need to finish the sentence, ‘I feel good when…’
FINISH THE SENTENCE – I FEEL GOOD WHEN…
- I have had enough sleep and wake up to the rising sun
- I put my expensive make up on
- I eat my favourite food at my favourite restaurant on my favourite table
- I see my best friends over lunch and coffee at my local bistro
- I talk to my mum and tell her I love her
- My partner gives me a hug before bed wearing his soft pj’s
- I’m drawing my feelings through art therapy
- I’m writing about my feelings in that particular moment
- I practice yoga in my pants and bra
- I paint my nails teal with glitter on top
- Re-read my favourite book sitting on a specific bench in the park
- I have a hot bath with candles, a glass of wine and a sherbert bath-bomb
This is an example of what my list might look like. It is simple. These are small things that can be done daily to give me an instant pick up, a quick uplift.
So what would your list look like?
I encourage you now to sit down with a notepad and pen and write that sentence at the very top in big, bold letters before you sit and think.
Do not rush to write this list quickly and sporadically so that it’s done.
Sit down, maybe with a cup of tea, and try to find some honest answers to the question, what makes you feel good?
THE PURPOSE OF THIS EXERCISE?
If you suffer from anxiety then perhaps you will agree with me when I say that we spend a lot of time fixating on the negative.
Instead of running toward the feel-goods we instead try desperately to avoid the feel-bads.
Unfortunately this is a rather twisted by product of this mental health condition. We are filled with worry and angst, focusing constantly about situations we would like to avoid and conversations we would rather not have because they make us feel…… Fill in the blank.
Without realizing we spend a great deal of our time and energy nursing negative thoughts and feeling.
And guess what, negativity breeds negativity when it is not managed correctly.
Interestingly, if you ask someone what makes them feel good they are not as quick to answer as you might think.
There is a long, slow pause before they might say, ‘I don’t know. Drink with the mates?’ You might even hear that question mark on the end of the sentence. Are they asking me if this answer is correct?
There is no correct way to finish the sentence – I feel good when…
The important thing to note is that only YOU can answer it.
The purpose of this exercise is to try and refocus your energy to give time and attention to POSITIVE things that provide comfort and less time focusing on the NEGATIVE things that fuel anxiety and worry.
FINISH THE SENTENCE WITH THING YOU CAN DO DAILY
The reason I ask you to sit and think carefully before compiling your list of positive actions is that it can be quite easy to jump to the big, grand ideas of what makes us feel good.
‘I feel good when I go to Australia for 4 weeks’
‘I feel good when I don’t have to work over Christmas’
Unfortunately, these are not going to help you in day to day life.
If you’re waiting until Christmas every year then that’s a long wait and a lot of misery. So, what you need to do is write down the smaller things in life that uplift you on an everyday basis.
Something that could be a quick go to when you’re in need of a happiness boost.
We overlook these little moments as we give all of our attention to our negative fixations so we don’t appreciate their VALUE.
It is assumed that the bigger feel good factors, like the two above, are the only ones worth while because they give us a huge feeling of relief and provide greater happiness.
But what i’m talking about here is giving yourself the best chance of finding snippets of moments like this on a regular basis.
Why do we not give enough time to realizing what makes us feel good and implementing those actions?
It’s a disservice to yourself. Write the list. Think carefully and make sure it is detailed and specific.
If you feel good when you have a nice hot bath, what specifically makes you feel good? Do you add bubbles, light candles, drink a glass of red wine or read a book? Is it best when you play your favorite soothing jazz?!
Be specific, don’t generalize. This is important.
WRITE THE LIST AND TAKE ACTION
You’ve finished the sentence. The list is complete.
Now all you need to do is take action.
If you haven’t taken this time to properly think about what little things make you feel good before then you finally have a list that you can add to or re-read whenever you might need.
However, there is no point in knowing this information and clearly seeing right in front of you the things that can help you to feel good if you don’t action them.
We live in a world where global anxiety has sky rocketed.
Constantly we live in a state of fear, worry and angst over our current situation and the imagery of a less than hopeful future.
You MUST provide yourself with some form of relief from all of this. Writing this list may seem simple. Perhaps you might think it is obvious or redundant but I want you to know that I can guarantee that you do not indulge in these things as often as you should.
I believe wholeheartedly that you do not actively think about these things on your list and I have no doubt that you certainly do not action them regularly in times of need.
Wherever possible, take a moment to look at your list and pick something, then do it.
Finish the sentence – I feel good when…
Do it for yourself. You deserve it.
Anxiety Relief: The Ultimate Guide – A Resilience Mindset
Test: What makes you happy? – Psychologies
24 easy habits that psychologists have linked with health and happiness – Business Insider