Mood and energy are directly linked. Energy naturally ebbs and flows throughout the day. Strategies such as the One Minute Mood Shifters help you shift your energy and thus your mood, preventing large spikes or troughs in your energy levels. Awareness of your present state enables you to choose actions to support change.
From a yoga perspective, the three states that energy takes are referred to as the Gunas.
The rajasic state is necessary to help raise our energy levels when we’re feeling down or lethargic. The intent is to be moving towards Sattva – a more balance state. Equanimity, another way of describing Sattva, is the art of letting go. Being present in the moment, simply noticing what’s happening and then releasing it as the next moment unfolds. Just like breathing. Every exhale is a letting go.
Research has shown the present moment awareness and worry are incompatible meaning you can’t do both at the same time. Use the sounds around you to help you become present in the moment. Add deep inhales and long slow exhales to facilitate calming. Listen to your breath. In and out. Once present to the sounds try singing E-I-E-I-O (see below) or another mood shifter. The objective is to get present in the moment to interrupt the worry loop. If you sleep with someone who snores, try focusing on the sound instead of trying to shut it out. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can fall back asleep. I use this trick all the time!
Using your voice in combination with deep inhales and long slow exhales is grounding. Singing E-I-E-I-O requires an automatic deep inhale and then a long slow exhale – naturally and spontaneously without thinking. Most importantly, it is silly. It has the added benefit of bringing a smile to your face. The fun aspect can shift your brain’s response and calm your nervous system. Keep singing until you feel a shift. Don’t be shy. I once stood outside a grocery store and sang E-I-E-I-O to settle myself on a day when I was feeling quite emotional. It really does work. It’s a quick way to steady yourself and it doesn’t require any thinking... You just have to remember to do it!! Try it with your kids too. Perhaps in the grocery store!
Move your body. Physical movement enables your energy to move. When you are feeling stuck mentally it drains your energy. Moving your body gets everything moving. If feeling anxious, shake off the stress like dogs do. Go for a walk. Try some free flow body movement or dancing – with or without music. Singing as you move gives added benefit. Get outside if you can – the outdoors amplifies the feel-good factor. If you are feeling more depressed, try a few easy stretches or get on your yoga matt for a few minutes to more gently raise your energy levels.
Just a few moments of moving your body can create a shift. Remember to breathe! If emotions arise, let them flow. Holding onto emotions drains our energy too and can magnify the negative impact. “What we resist persists.” It’s not only ok to feel, it’s necessary to feel. Allow the energy of your emotions to move too.
Moving your body, moves energy and brings that important present moment awareness to calm and enable you to be more reflective and creative in your circumstances. Remember to meet your mood where you’re at meaning if you have anxious energy, more vigorous movement will help calm. If depressed or low energy, slower gentler movement to start will help bring you towards balance. My go-to movements are running and yoga. Running always makes me feel better. Moving my body in yoga with attention to the breath is a way of creating stillness inside.
Establishing a connection to the present moment allows us to become aware of our patterns, interrupt them, choose our next action consciously and influence change as a result. The critical first step is to become present in the moment. These quick mood shifters will help you do just that and bring a smile to your face too.
Want more ideas? Read One-Minute Mood Shifters, Part 1.
For a more in depth lesson on mood, energy and breath, check out my free course Simple Practices to Shift Your Mood And Improve Your Energy.
What are your favourite ways to shift your mood? Please let me know and we can add to the list.