Feeling good is powerful. We, at Feel Good Psychology & Counselling believe it is our often untapped superpower.
Feeling good can help inspire change, especially when your mental wellbeing seems in decline and at risk of tipping into mental illness.
Feeling good can remind you how good life can be; therefore, it is of great benefit to prioritise this feeling as you begin to move in the valued direction of improving all or some aspects of your life.
Feeling good really does help you to want to live your best life.
People often notice that when they change how they feel, the world around them naturally changes to reflect the way they feel—maybe you noticed this also?
Consider this. If your life is full of negatives and difficult challenges, and you are always negative about what happens, then that will affect everything in your life—it can seriously skew your perspective on life.
But if you work on acknowledging the tough situations, adopting a solution focused approach to the problems, find a way to move on with a positive attitude about life generally, your feel good vibe will help you navigate life’s hardships in a way that is progressive and forward moving.
It is well known, and quite interesting, that what you focus on is quite often what manifests in your life. It is good to remember that if your thoughts are positive, but you feel negative, you create a constant struggle between your mind and heart. It is not possible to have experiences that make you feel good when you feel negative about them. This is why you would do well to prioritise feeling good. It can help you feel better about yourself and most definitely improve your mental wellbeing.
What makes you feel good?
Why do some experiences and people inspire you to feel happy, feel good, feel joyful, or even feel calm and at ease? Undoubtedly, you can identify things in your life that inspire any one or more of the above emotions.
Feeling good can be anything that makes you smile and feel happy. For example, enjoying the sunshine, the smell of freshly brewed coffee (a favourite of mine), the perfume of flowers in the garden, growing your own produce to feed your family, sitting with your dog at the beach, cuddling up with your favourite person, adding a line to that drawing, that story or that poem, eating chocolate cake, sitting under a tree, listening to the wind, watching the stars, etc. These are small, simple everyday things that can make you feel good.
When you feel good, it activates a chemical reaction in your brain. These are messengers called hormones. You may know them as the happiness hormones. There are four main ones responsible for creating feel good emotions. These regulate how you feel and your stress levels. Your choices in life and self-care also impact your hormone levels which affects how you feel.
The four main happiness hormones are:
Serotonin stabilises your emotions and feelings. It can help decrease your worries and boost your learning capacity and memory. Everyday things trigger serotonin such as taking a walk in nature and getting a good night’s sleep.
You can also naturally boost your serotonin, by:
- Spending time outside on a sunny day.
- Consciously working on believing in your own self-worth. Remember, it is normal to win and lose, but if you focus on losing, you will lower your serotonin levels. Instead, a persevering focus on the pursuit of feeling good will help you move on from your losses, develop your character and help you keep your focus on your wins, both past and yet to come.
- Foods higher in tryptophan increases serotonin, for example, fish, cheese, peanuts, milk, chicken, pumpkin, and eggs.
- Exercise also boosts serotonin. Taking a brisk 10-minute walk not only has physical health benefits, it can also put you in a good mood.
Dopamine rewards you
Dopamine rewards you when you do something pleasurable. Eating a wonderful meal, exercising, do something kind for someone or a pleasurable massage are examples of what triggers dopamine. It gives you a sense of wellbeing, which inspires you to continue doing the things that make you feel good. Doesn’t this inspire you (and give you full permission) to regularly do the things you enjoy?
Endorphins help you deal with stress
Endorphins help you deal with stress and reduce the feeling of pain. Your central nervous system produces endorphins when you feel pain or stress. Endorphins also release into your system at other times such as exercising. The feeling endorphins give you is a brief feeling of euphoria so you can better move through any pain or discomfort.
Other ways to activate those wonderful endorphins is through laughter (think Patch Adams) as well as just a really, good stretch (cats have got it all worked out!).
Doesn’t knowing this inspire you to take even the smallest opportunity to feel good and ultimately find joy?
Oxytocin is the love hormone
Oxytocin helps builds bonds, love, and trust. This is known as the love hormone and links to greater satisfaction in life. Close relationships and affectionate touches trigger the release of oxytocin. With its release into your system, oxytocin stimulates dopamine and serotonin production contributing to lowering anxiety.
To boost oxytocin, listen to music, hug your pet, cook a meal for family and friends, take a yoga class.
There are so many simple things you can do to trigger your happiness hormones—great companions in the pursuit of feeling good and getting the best out of life.
Benefits of prioritising feeling good
Feeling good will increase your ability to live a satisfying life, cope with life’s challenges and contribute to persevering with a positive attitude. It is true that, depending on where you are at in life, you may need to work on prioritising feeling good with focused intention, mindfulness, and perseverance; however, a commitment to this path can offer many long-term, enduring benefits:
Improves your health
Feeling good improves your health, helps you sleep better, lowers your stress levels, and could even help you live longer.
Feeling good makes you healthier
Research shows there is a link between feeling good and improved health, including:
- Boosting your immune system
- Lowering the risk of developing heart disease
- Reducing your blood pressure
- Decreasing your perception of pain
- Better blood sugar levels.
Feeling good helps you sleep better
Not sleeping well can leave you feeling like you are sleepwalking, whilst awake and going through your day. A good night’s sleep is vital to your health. There are many sleep studies that find a link between sleeping well and feeling good. So, while sleeping well can improve how good you feel, feeling good improves you how well you sleep.
Feeling good improves your stress levels
Stress is as certain in life as needing to keep a roof over your head. Daily life can become a struggle when you experience ongoing pain and high levels of stress. But you can turn this around by intentionally improving how good you feel every day. By doing this you build up your resilience against stress. As you know, stress accumulates but so do the benefits of feeling good, which can combat to what degree stress affects your overall wellbeing and how you feel about life. It is so important to choose moments to feel good every day, don’t you think?
The more often you prioritise feeling good, the more natural it becomes a normal part of your day.
Feeling good promotes a longer life
Research shows that the more often you feel good and the happier you are links to how long you live.
How you feel about your lifestyle and the people around you is important to your health and longevity. It is interesting to note that the more proactive you are in improving how you feel, the more proactive you are in prolonging how long you live. So, the choices you make and the better mental health you have is potentially a feel good prescription for a long, healthy life.
Emotional resilience allows you to bounce back faster
Are you more likely to see the world in a positive light, or do you tend to lean into seeing the world as a difficult and hard place to live in?
Feeling good and having a practiced way to access positive emotions can help you recover from the harmful effects of traumatising experiences. By investing in the pursuit of feeling good and the cultivation of positive emotions, you really can become more resilient when facing the tough times in life.
Emotional resilience is fundamental to your mental health and wellbeing. It is often a reflection of how well you cope and adapt to stressful situations and navigate the ups and downs of life. How resilient you are is often measured as how well you bounce back from the setbacks you face.
Resilience does not mean you will never feel stressed or will eliminate the difficulties in life. What it does do is help you come to terms with the challenges, be more at ease with accepting what you have no control over and allows you to focus on what you can do from a solution focused perspective. It contributes to an increased confidence and resourcefulness about your ability to survive tough times and continue with your life.
When you have high emotional resilience, you stay calm in stressful situations and plan how to work through the stress to get back to feeling good. No matter how tough it gets or how difficult the challenges, you bounce back faster to your normal positive state of mind. You can feel grief, frustration, and emotional pain without falling apart—without disintegrating. You do not deny how you feel. Instead, you stay positively and proactively engaged, which helps you move through the potentially traumatising effects of a situation. You feel able to retain a sense of hope knowing that the tough times will pass. By, during those times, choosing to focus on the continued pursuit of finding sometimes small, yet meaningful, ways to feel good, this helps build your character and allows for ongoing personal growth.
If you have low emotional resilience, you may be reactive rather than responsive, or feel overwhelmed when faced with stressful situations. You may also feel victimised, perceiving the world as working against you. You may find yourself dwelling on the negatives in life and becoming increasingly negative about the future. You could even resort to risky behaviours, end up with an eating disorder or resort to substance abuse to help you cope.
Resilience will not make your problems go away. But it does give you the ability to see past them, find solutions and continue to feel good about yourself and your life. Developing emotional resilience feels good and the pursuit of feeling good helps develop emotional resilience.
Psychological flexibility helps you live in the moment
In life you consistently need to deal with tough situations and challenging problems, which can bring up a mix of unwelcome emotions. You can ignore or dwell on them, but they will unlikely resolve themselves. But if you are psychologically flexible you assess the situation rather than ruminate on your emotions and make good decisions while staying true to yourself.
Psychological flexibility helps you live in the moment while being fully aware of how you feel and what you think. It improves your quality of life because you can get through the tough times; you find yourself able to make more confident decisions with better clarity and purpose. You take responsive action influenced by your values rather than reactive action triggered by emotional overwhelm. This means you are likely to:
- Be proactive rather than reactive
- Regulate how you feel
- Be less likely to feel depressed or anxious during difficult situations
- Have better overall emotional resilience
- Build stronger connections with significant others
When you are psychologically flexible, you welcome constructive feedback and recognise when you need to change your approach from focusing negatively on the problem to being solution oriented, and ultimately achieve a better result. Psychological flexibility allows you to approach life with openness and curiosity, rather than limit yourself by a set of inflexible rules that ask you to conform to behaviours and beliefs, because that is the way it was always done.
People who are psychologically inflexible tend to react in ways that may not be congruent with their values. To cope with situations, inflexible minds may rely on avoidance as a coping strategy. An inflexible mind can become a worrisome mind, where individuals become less adaptable, can become increasingly overwhelmed with anxiety and lack a vision for their future. This can sometimes be a part of or contribute to mental health disorders. An example of inflexibility may be adhering to ways of behaving and thinking that you know do not to work rather than looking at things differently to get a different, better result.
Being psychologically flexible will contribute to feeling good.
Enhances your relationships
When you feel good, you accept yourself for who you are and do not need others to make you feel good. The happier and more positive you are the more it shows to the world. And this can be contagious—there is a flow on effect. People are drawn to you because you make them feel good too just by feeling good about you and within you. People want to spend more time in your company.
Good relationships are good for your mental health. They enhance and contribute to your emotional, social, and physical wellbeing.
Making feeling good a priority changes how you approach life. The more you purposely focus on doing the things that make you feel good, the better it is for your physical and mental health. When you choose to feel good and your thoughts are positive, you can manifest what you want out of life more easily. Remember, you can develop the skills you need to help you feel good even when facing difficult challenges.
If you have trouble feeling good and want to improve your mental health, Feel Good Psychology & Counselling offers you an affordable, 100% bulk billed, telehealth counselling service. Feel Good Psychology & Counselling is made up of a growing team of Feel Good High Quality Psychologists committed to a no-fee service for clients with a Mental Health Treatment Plan seeking Bulk Billed Medicare Psychology Sessions. For clients without a Mental Health Treatment Plan, our committed team of Feel Good Psychologist offer one of the lowest rates available for quality psychological services in Australia. For those women feeling good and wanting more, we also have a Dynamic Woman’s Life Coach for those dynamic women out there wanting to improve their Feel Good Life.
Why not browse our website and Contact us today to discover how we can help you begin on the road of feeling good about you, your life, and your future!