Try to follow their example – in the fight against the pre-autumn blues, all means are good.
How often do experts follow their own advice? Psychologists and psychotherapists told HuffPost that it helps them personally to cheer themselves up in the morning. We advise you to take a closer look at their life hacks for those who wake up in a depressed or anxious state. Especially these methods will be useful in the coming autumn when the blues can overtake from scratch.
Keep a diary
Jack Turban, a research fellow in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, said he begins his day by writing down all plans in a diary to reduce anxiety.
“First, I write down my tasks for the day. This immediately dismisses the worry that I will forget something or not have time. Then I write down the mantra of the day— a short positive phrase that I will repeat to myself throughout the day. Finally, I add a few sentences, for which I am grateful for the coming day.”
Daily journaling is comfortable because it gives a sense of confidence and removes worries about the unpredictability of life. It is not necessary to write the same thing that this particular psychologist does. You can limit yourself to a to-do list or just thoughts about a new day.
Take a walk outside for at least 10 minutes
“When I wake up in the morning, I usually take my dog and go for a walk. We walk together for about 10-15 minutes — that’s enough to start the day with activity and good decompression,” says Jessica Gold, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Even a short time spent outdoors can instantly calm and cheer up. This has long been proven by scientists.
Focus on the present moment
“When I wake up stressed, the first thing I do is allow myself to enjoy the beginning of my morning without thinking about anything in terms of work and business,” says Neha Chaudhary, a child, and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. I focus on the sensations I feel from the morning coffee, from the smell to the taste and warmth of the mug in my hands. Sometimes I listen to soothing music at the same time.
Scientists say that even 5-10 minutes when you calm your mind and focus on sensations rather than thoughts, help a lot to cheer up.
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Read or listen to something inspiring
When you wake up, try to see or hear something that inspires you and brings joy. It can be reading an excerpt from an inspiring book, or a podcast about a person who serves as an example for you, even an Instagram post from your idol.
“In the morning, I set aside 10-15 minutes to read, which will set the tone for me all day,” says Riana Alice Anderson, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. “It could be a piece of a biography of someone I admire, or a short video of a speech that motivates me, or even reading affirmations.”
Stay under stress for a while
It may seem counterintuitive, but the secret here is to normalize that feeling.
“Every morning after Waking up, I spend up to 10 minutes feeling any negative, heavy or stressful feelings I may have during the day,” said Brittany Johnson, a psychotherapist in New Albany. “I try to visualize my thoughts and feelings as images that I then push away from myself.”
Do breathing practice
Christine Mikhof, a therapist and co-author of the book “A Guide to Healing,” said she just breathes deeply in the morning for a few minutes to get rid of stress. One of her favorite soothing practices is called “alternative breathing through the nostrils.” The technique described below takes only five minutes:
- Step 1. Press both nostrils with your little finger and thumb and hold your breath for four seconds.
- Step 2: Open your right nostril and exhale for four seconds.
- Step 3: Inhale through the right nostril for four seconds.
- Step 4: Close both nostrils and hold your breath for four seconds.
- Step 5: Open your left nostril and exhale for four seconds.
- Step 6: Inhale through the left nostril for four seconds.
- Step 7: Repeat for five minutes.
Soak up in bed
“Don’t rush to jump out of bed, slow down. Hug someone or something — whether it’s a soft blanket, your partner, pet, or a stuffed toy. Hugs help relax the nervous system and reduce stress, says psychotherapist Caitlin Anderson. that’s how I “ground” myself before a hesitant day.”
The conclusions of scientists confirm the effectiveness of this method: after all, endorphins are released during hugs, which help reduce anxiety and increase the level of happiness.