Managing how you feel - Tip #7

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This is the seventh article in my series about Managing How You Feel.

Yes, tip 7 already, and many more to come.  This series is hopefully revealing how many options you have to influence your feelings, through using your body, the way you take in information, and the way you represent things to yourself in your head.  You are so much more than just what you feel, or just what you think, in this series I want to help you become more of yourself.

So, the tips so far have been:

1.  Change where you are looking (up to lessen intensity, down to increase it)

2.  Move

3.  Use your breathing

4.  Pay attention to what you sense right now (what you can see, hear, feel, smell and taste)

5.  Recall a memory when you had the emotional state you want now

6.  Ask yourself what would someone you trust/admire say?

Tip No 7 - Count Gratitudes

This week it is a simple, and ancient, piece of wisdom that I am offering.  Every day, sit down and notice what you are grateful for, right here, right now.  However bad your day has been, whatever is going on, just take a few moments to identify three things that you value and appreciate.

Positive psychologists have studied this exercise and have found it can help shifts in mood.  It apparently causes us to release two feel good hormones.  Firstly, while you think of what you appreciate, you get a dopamine hit.  Then, as you savour what you come up with, you get a seratonine boost (this is the hormone many anti-depressants try to give you more access to).

I've recommended this exercise to many clients, and have frequently been humbled and grateful for the difference it seems to make.  Deliberately noticing what you are grateful for seems to shift focus to what is good and help people counter the negative bias that low mood and anxiety can bring.

For more support in influencing your way of being, get in touch.

Go to the profile of Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

I am here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to clients based in Durham. I am UKCP Accredited and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists locally. I have worked in private practice, the NHS, and in charitable organisations, with a wide range of clients and conditions.

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