CAPS

Feel Better Now


This page is dedicated to strategies for reducing distress, improving one’s outlook, and striving to live a life with more joy and happiness. Achieving these things is not immediate, but comes from persistent practice of the strategies and interrupting the habit of negative thinking and self-talk. Through this you can develop an attitude of satisfaction, and your actions will match this, becoming self-rewarding.

Hope

In its most basic form it is a desire that something will come true; wishing.  However, when we do not get what we wished for then our hope is gone; this form of hope makes it fleeting.  Wishing leaves our fate to outside forces.  A deeper meaning of hope is the belief that things will get better, and with this form of hope we have the ability to impact those things.  Believing circumstances will get better allows us to persist, to keep going, thereby playing a role in changing our circumstances.  This type of hope keeps us going during difficult times; having a positive expectation that things will get better in the future. Hope comes from within each of us so check out these resources that can help you nurture hope.

 

Gratitude

A deep sense of appreciation that compels one into action.  It is not merely thanking someone or counting what you have.  When you focus on what you are grateful for, focus on your blessings, it can fill you with joy and deep emotion that gets spread outward towards others in how you relate to and treat them.  Practicing gratitude offers mental health benefits by constraining the use of words expressing negative emotions, which shifts attention away from negative emotions/thoughts.  For ideas on how to nurture a “gratitude attitude” check out the links below.

 

Kindness

Being friendly, considerate, and thoughtful-wanting what is best for another. Kindness is a choice, determined by you and your values.  Kindness is an action, not a reaction  towards external factors or people.  Kindness towards yourself is equally important as kindness towards others. Recall how someone else’s kindness touched you…that is the power of kindness! You have that power to act kind for your mental health and the benefit to others.

 

Silver Lining

A message of hope or a positive aspect in an otherwise negative circumstance. Finding the silver lining can be helpful to regulate our emotions, or give us a new perspective, in situations where we have no control.  Discovering a flat tire can be very frustrating, annoying and stressful–but looking for a silver lining such as “I’m glad it didn’t happen while I was driving” can help mitigate your emotions so you can problem solve the situation. Finding a silver lining however in situations where you have control can rob you of the motivation you need to take corrective action.  Imagine getting a D on an exam and saying “well at least it wasn’t an F”.  You would be less distressed and not motivated to study harder the next time.  Silver linings are beneficial, but only when used in a helpful way.

 

Playfulness

An attitude of lightheartedness and fun, while not taking things too seriously.  It is the ability to frame everyday situations in such a way as to be exciting, curious, or personally/professionally stimulating. Playfulness during stressful times can be a welcome relief, often bringing laughter and smiles that can be contagious.  Playfulness is a muscle that needs to be worked; find ways to be playful to improve your happiness and overall well-being.


Other Ways to Improve Well-being

Sleep Hygiene

Nutrition

Exercise

Nature

Meditation

Healthy social connections

Laughter

Pets

Positive self-talk

Pampering/treat yourself

Personal boundaries

Get your creative juices flowing