We are all aware of the various breathing techniques, yoga or other ways to relieve some of our built up anxiety. At the same time, many of us are aware of some of the less known but simple activities which can go a long way in relieving some of the mental, emotional and perhaps physical pain as well. As always, they require little time investment and are non-committal.
Why the following ideas work is not nearly as important as the fact that they actually do something to release tension!
#1) DINING at a new restaurant: When you do so, order a dish that is completely unlike anything else you have ever ordered.
#2) GIVE something to someone else, just for the sake of building friendship or providing pleasure as opposed to any clear or tangible reward.,
#3) LAUGH!! Find the dumbest puns out there if you’re desperate! Find the dumbest puns out there if you’re desperate! Laughter helps the immune system, increases positive activity and energy as well as improving self-esteem. Immeasurably improves home and work environment and engenders good will and trust
4) ADMIT! To someone else that your wrong. (Don’t ask me why but it feels INCREDIBLE once you do it)
#5) APOLOGIZE AND BE SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT IT IS (no, “in case I did anything that may have inadvertently, accidentally given you the wrong impression leading you to the mistaken conclusion that I may have done something to offend your easily ruffled feathers etc…”)
#6) FEED A PLANT As Ralph Waldo Emerson observes, there is an occult (or unexplainable) relationship between us and the natural world. When you give intently give something to it, it responds to you in mysterious yet magical ways (naturally magical, nothing to do with the occult).
#7) LISTEN with your eyes. Instead of being glued to an electronic device, give the person with you your complete attention. Watch their face and listen to what he or she is telling you.
#8) POLITICALLY INCORRECT- Do something slightly (or very) out of the norm which is in line with your value system. An example: I once turned off the TV in the gym because of inappropriate material being broadcasted to children in the room (and adults). Or perhaps giving a really big smile to someone (really big). Just a word of discretion with that one.
#9) ANIMALS-Take the garbage out and spare some of it to feed the stray animals or birds or bugs. Just do it, you’ll see what I mean. A word of discretion with this one as well. Double check that Crocodiles, Alligators, Bears, Raccoon’s, Chupacabra’s, County inspectors, litigious neighbors, “concerned citizens (my least favorite)” or any other less than desirable creatures at that place at that time will be frequenting your preferred place of disposal
#10) CHANGE SCENERY and routine as often as you can, such as driving home or walking to the park using a different path.
A common thread among all these themes is the idea that anxiety and depression, thrives on your mind body assumption that gloom and doom are a definite and expected factor of your life. These thoughts thrive on a narrow and limited perspective which the body feeds by sticking to a strict habitual daily habit routine. If you change that routine even slightly, you create a sense of curiosity in your brain which fosters an immediate opening of the thinking and executive function of your cerebral cortex, allowing more opportunities for perceiving opportunities for pleasure!
Let me know other ideas you have! Melech@cincinnaticlaritycounseling.com or 513-666-8436