Updated: Jan 24
Technique 1: A Relaxing Tantrum
Ancient Greek plays were so filled with conflict, treachery and death, they were called tragedies, but they gave their long-ago audiences something special. It was an experience so powerful, they created a special word for it: catharsis (an emotional draining).
In our society, we tend toward an opposite word, stoicism, (the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feeling).
We are pressured to be less emotional and more logical; in fact, those who are too publicly emotional (whiny, angry, hurt) can be looked down upon, even shunned.
In such a setting, it is easy to end up pent-up. And the more pent-up we are the more difficult it is to relax.
Movies are a release if they are teary, scary or action packed, as can screaming in a sports or concert setting. A loud, laughing time with friends can help too, and tears are amazingly cathartic.
If you don’t have enough cathartic events in your life, or if the thought of release just appeals to you, consider having a good, old-fashioned tantrum.
I know you are too old, and tantrums were probably a big No No! even when you were the right age; but we are just looking at this, right? No commitments in sight.
Imagine lying on the bed, on your back. Slowly begin to hit the bed with your fists, kick with your heels and say the word No.
Fists. Heels. No.
Increase the speed and effort of all three, including the volume of No! (screaming is encouraged).
The point of exhaustion will come quickly, and you will have done something extraordinary—an in-your-face, I-don’t-care, explosion of cathartic tantrum. A release of most) everything negative.
If this seems like something you want to try, make sure strenuous activity is okay with both you and your doctor. Then take it easy the first times; keep yourself strain and pain free.
And, most of all, enjoy the relaxing calm after the storm.
Technique 2: Relax in Chaos
This quick stress-relief technique can release the negative even as it is happening (and in the most chaotic situations).
It can also be done standing, eyes open; and, it only takes a bit of practice at home before using it out into the world.
Start by choosing a good memory, a happy, relaxed time. Then, choose a word (or two) that represents it.
If you have trouble coming up with a memory (and some of us do), choose a word like calm, peace or sunset.
When you are ready, find a quiet place and a comfortable chair. Then, take a deep breath, and when you let it go, breathe out the tension and mentally think your word.
Think it so quietly that it is barely there (just the word, not the memory).
Note - Why use a word? After some practice, it will bring a conditioned response, and your body (you) can find deeper relaxation faster.
Then, with every breath that follows, let go of more tension and softly think your word.
Once relaxed, give yourself permission to stay there, enjoy there, as long as you like.
After you have had some practice (6 sessions over 2 or 3 days), you can use this technique anytime, even in the most chaotic situations: closed eyes are good but not necessary; a comfortable seat is nice but not needed.
If you find yourself standing in the midst of bedlam, use breath and word to bring you back to calm.
If you want to refresh (even energize) yourself, find a seat and close your eyes.
This is a gift you can give yourself daily; and with some practice, you might find yourself wanting to skip that cup of coffee or energy drink.
Note - If you only use this technique out in the world, you might occasionally need to strengthen the effects at home.
Worth the time? The McKinley Health Center reports "Regular practice of relaxation techniques will assist you in relieving muscle tension, reduce anxiety, and improve your overall well being... on a daily basis (it) can produce, over time, a general feeling of relaxation and increased well being that benefits every area of your life."
6 Ways to Feel Better When Feeling Badly
# 1. Do it for YOU - When feeling 'down' or negative, be kind to yourself, especially when you do not feel like it. Schedule less of what you do not want to do and more of what you do. And give yourself an extra treat (activity or healthy food).
If you do not have enough 'extra' good things/treats, go on a search (locally or Google): find more things you like to do, along with healthy treats. Each reward you find can raise your quality of life.
# 2. Activity - Moving can release a lot of negativity. Sure, you can go the gym, but exercise can feel hard and boring. Instead, do something fun and physical with friends, or dance at home to loud music, while singing even louder. Another option is to beat on the bed and scream or use the technique at the top of this post.
# 3. WATER - There were times I was feeling angry, took off my clothes and jumped in the river; and jumped right out (too cold); but I felt better and ready to be with my children.
No water nearby? Use the bathtub or shower. Make it cool first, then warm/hot.
# 4. CONTACT - Holding/petting an animal can be very soothing to us, and human contact can be even better. Talk with someone who will listen, but make it clear that you are not looking for advice.
Or, instead of talking, consider asking someone to sit with you silently; maybe with a hand on your shoulder or even a hug.
# 5. GIVE - Give the next person you see a compliment; or give money/food to someone in need; or volunteer in a soup kitchen. You can be the one who benefits.
#6.) Feel Better Permanently ?
No technique can completely stop negative thoughts and feelings; they keep coming up simply because they are trying to release.
Let them go. Instead of turning to a distraction, face them. Here are 2 quick tips:
Claim them - Blaming keeps bitterness, and other negative feelings, deep within. Claiming them as our own (even when it does not feel that way), gives us the foundation to let them go, completely. Those feelings are, after all, within us, which does make them ours.
Relax - even the smallest negative feelings automatically tightens the body and restricts the breath. By using breath and word to relax, you will release them faster and forever.
With these 2 techniques and 6 tips, I wish you the ease in life you deserve.
For more info on feeling better when you feel feel badly:
Greater self-esteem can come from even our (worst) mistakes:
The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love, at this link: