My name is Lou and I am a Holistic Health Coach… I specialize in helping people dial down stress, overwhelm and anxiety and helping them to dial up energy, positivity and a healthy mindset! I take a holistic approach to wellness which combines tools to nourish yourself ON and OFF the plate – on the plate I help you nourish yourself with nutrition and OFF the plate I help you nourish yourself with selfcare, mindset, mindfulness, and self-love.
Today I am really excited to share 3 of my favourite mood boosting tools with you – they are Simple Joys, The 3P’s Gratitude Practice and Positive Affirmations.
- Simple Joys
It’s all about finding joy in the often-overlooked things. When we feel stressed, anxious, fearful or uncertain our minds can start to spiral into quite a negative headspace. So it can be really helpful to root yourself in the present moment. Being in the present moment can really help to calm your mind. When you are fully in the present, you aren’t thinking about the past or worrying about the future. The past and the future are where most of our worries and stress come from. The ‘what’s if’s’. The ‘I should have’s’. ‘Why didn’t I’s’. By being fully present, you give your mind a break from these worries for a moment. It can help make you feel calmer and more positive. Taking time to appreciate ‘simple joys’ is a great way to root yourself in the present moment.
To practice the ‘simple joys’ practice, you simply need to try and tune into the little magic moments all around you. They are there to be found, even on the toughest of days, and when you have found one, when you notice one, just briefly go into slow-mo mode and really appreciate it for all that it is. Really try and soak up all of the goodness it has to offer you. Bank these magic moments, these little highs, they will help you ride out the lows. It’s a mindfulness moment that’s also loaded with gratitude too – double the mood bosting benefits!
Try and rack up as many mindful moments of simply joy throughout your day today and notice the effect it has on your mood. By being present in the moment a bit more, by focusing on joy a bit more – even fleeting joyful moments – you will start to feel a little brighter. You will begin to appreciate that a lot of what makes life worth living isn’t to do with the great, the super exciting, the big things, the costly things – it’s to do with the simple joys and simple pleasures that are all around us. IF you can just slow down a little, and be present – you will start to notice them more and more. And the more you notice them and appreciate them with a little moment of gratitude – the more happiness you will feel. When you start doing this practice, the more you practice it, the more simple joys you will notice and so the more joy you will welcome into your life on a daily basis.
Some examples of simple joys are the beautiful sky, the smell of fresh rainfall on damp earth, a friend who understands how you feel, a favourite jumper, a warm cup of tea, that pleasant exhaustion after a productive day, a child’s laugh, a great book….appreciate the often overlooked ordinary and remember that life is richer and more filled with joy than we generally realise or allow.
- The 3P’s Gratitude Practice
Cultivating a mindset of gratitude has been linked to helping to make you feel more optimistic, positive and inspired. I would like to invite you to exercise gratitude just as you exercise your body, because by exercising gratitude you can really shift your mind into a much happier place. With the law of attraction, like attracts like. Your mind is like a magnet, so if you think of positive things and blessings, you will attract more positive things into your day. The more you practice gratitude, the more you subconsciously train your brain to notice more positivity all around you!
So we know gratitude has immense mood boosting benefits BUT sometimes trying to think of ways to keep your gratitude practice meaningful and varied can be challenging. Sometimes the standard gratitude practice of writing down ‘three things’ you are grateful for at the beginning or end of each day can start to get a bit mundane, it can feel a little flat, and it can be challenging to think of fresh things to be grateful for. So this 3Ps practice is a great way to keep your gratitude practice fresh, it involves writing down three things, starting with the letter P.
The first P stands for a PERSON – so who has made your life a little better today, even in a small way. It could be as subtle as a smile from a stranger, someone making you a cup of tea, a cooperative child, an act of kindness from a friend. The second P stands for a PLEASURE – something you have experienced that has made you feel good. I often find that these are associated around the senses – the beautiful golden hour light, a delicious warm cup of tea, a delicious meal, a great song. The third P stands for a PROMISE – this is something that you are looking forward to – a promise for the future. The thing you are anticipating could be later that day (even as simple as a favourite tv show) or something you have planned for later in the week or even later in the year – a post covid promise to yourself maybe.
- Positive Affirmations
They are powerful mood shifters! Affirmations are important because they shift the way you deal with what’s happening to you. Our brains are naturally inclined to remember negative situations more than positive ones – it’s called the negativity bias. If you’ve ever wondered why you can remember every single critical thing anyone has said to you but can’t seem to recall the compliments, this is why. Negative memories stick because of the way our brains are wired. Luckily, the neural pathways in our brains are not fixed. Rather, they are flexible and can be altered over time. This means that our minds can literally be rewired, which is great news if you thought you might be stuck in the same thought patterns forever.
In order to change our brains, we need to provide our minds with frequent reassurance…and that’s where affirmations come in. When I choose an affirmation, I try to acknowledge my situation and feelings and focus on how I want to cope — so what I want to think, feel, or do in response. And the good news is that you don’t need to say affirmations to yourself in the mirror, or even say them out loud, for them to be effective – so don’t worry if that has put you off using affirmations in the past. Rather than saying them out loud, all you have to do is write them down.
You want to repeat the affirmation you have chosen regularly throughout your day. I find that it really helps to pop the affirmation on a post-it note and stick it somewhere I will see it regularly that day, so it acts as a reminder to repeat the words to myself. I also like to pop mine on a piece of paper and then fold it and put it in my pocket. Feeling it there in my pocket acts like an anchor to remind me to repeat the words I’ve chosen each time I feel it. With regular use, affirmations rewire your system both energetically and physically. Regular practice helps to overwrite old thought patterns and old self-talk, and negative chatter in the brain and body. The timeline is going to look different for everyone, however, many people experience huge benefits after a few weeks.
Here are a few of my current favourites:
- I feel my best when I practice self-care and relaxation
- I am making positive, healthy choices that will help in the long-term
- I choose peace over perfection
- How I feel right now doesn’t have to determine my whole day
- I give myself permission to thrive and I allow the positive energy of love to flow through me
- I regularly do those things which energise and replenish me
- I give myself space to determine what I need from the day, not what the day needs from me
- Today I choose to find small pockets of joy, even on a tough day there are tiny moments of joy to be found
I hope there has been a little useful tool here that you feel you can lean in on to help boost your mood…simple little mindset aids like the three I’ve shared with you today don’t take much time to do but have the power to make a big difference to your mood. It’s the small habits, the small change sin our behaviours, actions and how we talk to ourself that make a BIG difference to how we feel.