Do you ever notice that you’re in a funk? Maybe you don’t feel so well or you’re feeling “down”? In our society, we don’t typically use energy-conscious language. It might feel a bit “woowoo” to hear someone say, “I’m in a really negative vibration right now.” How often have you heard someone (sober) say, “I’m in such a high vibration!” Probably not a lot – if ever. Yet if you’re feeling “down” that’s a huge indicator that your vibration is down, too. Let’s all say the v-word: vibration. All humans are just clusters of atoms vibrating together and by changing our thoughts or actions, we have the power to shift our energy.
So, what do you do when your mood (aka) vibration is low? In addition to therapy, here are a few in-the-moment techniques I like to use to boost my vibration – yep, I said it.
1. Practice Mindfulness
I have a few guided practices on my website (audio and video versions) to help you to stay present and calm the nervous system: www.healingwithhannah.com/meditations
Give paced breathing a try – inhale 4, exhale 8 (or you can double it if you have a larger lung capacity -> inhale 5, exhale 10, etc.).
Complete one activity per day mindfully – eat a meal, put on lotion, wash a pan, etc. During this time, notice the experience with each of your five senses.
The app Insight Timer has lots of great free meditations, too. If you’re newer to mindfulness, there are a few teachers I specifically recommend. Here are directions on how to access their guidance on Insight Timer:
i. Insight timer -> guided -> 15 minutes -> Tara Brach, Tich Nhat Hanh
ii. Insight timer -> guided -> 10 minutes -> Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg
2. Be Grateful
Write a gratitude list of 10 things in your life you are thankful for. Do this every morning or evening. It can be anything. Start with simple things – soap, water, shoes, the roof over your head, etc. I like to say, “If you look for the good, you will find God.” And GOD can simply be an acronym for “Good Orderly Direction” (not some holier-than-thou vengeful white dude on a cloud).
3. Ask for support
You’re not alone, so don’t try to deal with everything by yourself. If you’re going through a rough patch, reach out. Message a friend, your therapist, a family member, or join a peer support group. You can find lots of different kinds of peer support groups with a quick google search.
If you struggle with addiction, some recovery-specific possibilities can be found here: https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/psychiatry/programs/addiction-center/treatment-services/umats-recovery-resource-list.
4. Try Positive Affirmations
Louise Hay teaches us that “every thought is an affirmation.” We can choose positive affirmations (e.g. “I can do it!”) or negative affirmations (“I’m a failure.”). Find a new positive phrase that you can practice saying out loud in front of a mirror. It will feel weird. Do it anyway. As a child, brushing your teeth felt weird the first time you stuck a plastic stick with bristles in your mouth covered in minty paste that you weren’t supposed to swallow. You adapted to this routine and it probably feels icky now if you don’t do it every morning as an adult. Affirmations are the same way – it’s a new healthy habit to refresh the mind.
Explore this website for inspiration: https://www.louisehay.com/.
Want some more affirmation inspiration? Check out the book, “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain.
5. Read books that make you feel good
I always love Louise Hay's books or audio books. Listening to Louise Hay affirmations while power walking through the woods helped me get through some of my toughest times.
If Louise Hay feels too lovey-dovey or gushy, you might enjoy "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero.
6. Listen to Music.
Nothing can influence our mood more easily than a tune. I challenge you to watch this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws8PLGQXokQ
7. Dance it off
If you want to take it to another level, don’t just listen to music… dance to it. Shake it like a Polaroid Picture! Let the body be free.
Have a dance party - try dancing for the entire length of this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wfpXI5PKlw ;)
If Spicing Up your Life is not your jam, put on something that is. Maybe this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HKNAhAxMAk
8. Move a muscle, change a thought
A quick boost of endorphins is always welcome. Ideally you already have a regular workout routine to help your mind naturally boost those feel-good chemicals. Yet sometimes we need a quick release to shake off the negative residue and welcome the calm.
30 Jumping Jacks
90-second plank pose
1 minute of crunches
Lift some hand-weights – don’t have weights? Use soup cans or that old college text book you thought one day you might need again.
9. Laugh it away
Laughter is the best vibrational medicine. Go on Youtube and search for your favorite comedian or have some fun watching animal or kid compilations. If you’ve already watched the sneezing Panda ad-nauseum, try out one of these clips:
Best of BBC Talking Animals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExukCRD7gN0
Some old-school comedy clips:
Jean Carroll (1955): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNjM2C_9nHU
Joan Rivers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpPCFoXXhF0
10. Get outside!
Go outside and hug a tree – my personal favorite. Hug it like you would someone dear to you, that you haven’t seen in a while. Take three deep breaths with your hands on the bark and look up.
Walk around the block.
Stand barefoot on the grass for 10 minutes. Either just be and breathe, noticing your environment, or listen to music.
Call friend and go on a wilderness adventure – or just hang in the backyard.
11. Use the air element to shift the energy
Open a window or door. Burn incense or smudge I like white sage or palo santo. Go in a clockwise direction around your home with the sage or palo santo, allowing the smoke to shower the space. *Always leave the windows open until all of the smoke dissipates – this allows the low vibrational energy to leave the space and be transmuted into a higher vibration by nature.