We all have those moments when we feel down or depressed. There are different ways on how to lighten up and have a better mood that can be achieved with simple lifestyle changes. These are the best ways to make yourself feel better. It’s all about understanding what your triggers are, avoiding them, and using the tips in this article to change your mood when you’re feeling blue.
It is all too common to let the grind of daily life steal a little bit of your flexibility from you. Getting from sun up to sun down every day can be daunting, and sometimes that leaves little room to stop and take a beat. But should you?
The subject of loosening up, as a person, in your way of doing things and how you approach life, in general, can feel offensive or like an attack on your character and processes, but it does not have to be. In fact, in many cases, the need to lighten up can actually improve upon the systems we already had in place.
Another piece of the puzzle that deserves your attention is subjective: being “carefree” or being a less rigid person. What this looks like from individual to individual will undoubtedly vary and can also be formed around how your life looks at the moment. Focus your energy on determining if you could stand to explore this type of change and how to accomplish it on your own terms.
Signs you are too uptight
You may have been operating in this manner for such a long period of time, and you might not even understand the signs to look for to help you determine if the need to lighten up exists. Here are a few suggestions.
1. You are always giving yourself a hard time
The amount of pressure some people put on themselves is significant. While there is nothing wrong with holding yourself to a certain standard, think about this in a case-by-case way.
For example, maybe you aim to graduate college with a certain GPA, and consistently low grades lead you to force a study schedule on yourself; that seems logical.
However, if you are trying a new recipe and realize halfway through you forgot to buy one ingredient and that innocent mistake stays with you for days, you might be too uptight in general. The truth is that when worry gets out of control, it can affect each area of our lives negatively.
2. You are always ‘too busy’
If your answer to every question, suggestion, or invitation, is that you can’t because you are too busy, stop and analyze that. We are all living scheduled lives full of responsibility and obligation, but if you are not leaving yourself room for any type of fun, freedom, or joy, you may need to ease up a bit to facilitate these things so that your life can feel full and well rounded.
3. You struggle with forgiveness
This goes both ways, struggling to show, and accept forgiveness can be a telltale sign of someone who needs to loosen up in certain ways. Of course, there are exceptions, such as things you may deem unforgivable.
However, on a daily basis, if you hold grudges, doing so can be holding you back from being able to let loose a bit. Being constantly fixated on the wrongdoings of others can lead to judgmental tendencies that are toxic.
4. You are married to the idea of routine
Having a life of routine can be great for your mental health and the daily productivity of your life. But, when yours has no flexibility, under any circumstances, you are doing yourself a disservice.
Sometimes the laundry can wait so you can take your dog for a walk, just because it’s sunny out and you want to. If even reading that sentence made you cringe, the issue of control may be holding you back from living your life to the full.
5. You are a rule follower
Sometimes, the rules were made to be broken. If even the thought of considering this has you spinning, it is likely that you should loosen up. There are major rules, and in many cases, laws, that are not up to you to disobey, but there are some that are totally up to you.
For example, if you wake up one morning and really feel like a donut but don’t have one for breakfast because you “can’t” because you believe that a donut is not an appropriate breakfast choice, you could stand to incorporate some bend into your routine of rules. Viewing every decision, every day, as an absolute is not going to allow for any variety in your life, which is something we can all benefit from.
How to loosen up independently
Think about how you, as your own person, can release a little bit of structure and find some independent freedoms.
1. Test your boundaries
Push yourself to try new things. Breaking yourself from routine can show you two things. Firstly, that there is a whole world out there for you to experience. And secondly, that may be what you thought you loved, was simply just the love of your routine.
An excellent way to do this, in a manner that feels approachable, is trying new foods. Go to a restaurant that you know you love, and order something you have never tried before. The safety of knowing the venue should give you enough comfort and confidence to test the boundaries of your palate.
2. Pay attention to your body
People don’t say to trust your gut for no reason. The adage that your body will give you insight into whether you are headed down a right or wrong path certainly has merit.
When you are doing new things, do they elicit laughs? Are you feeling more joy? These are positive affirmations. On the contrary, if your stomach gets a pit, your heartbeat accelerates, or your smile is non-existent, do not ignore these signs.
3. Give space and time for change
When you want to lighten up, you should include the word sustainability in your approach. Especially if you have been an individual of routine for many years, it will take time, practice, and consistency to get yourself to a place where it’s out with the old and in with the new, long-term.
How to lighten up in a romantic relationship
Relationships are complicated because they involve more than just yourself. It is not just your agenda, your feelings, and your choices that are involved. Sometimes we can get so caught up with life that we forget the element of romance within a relationship.
1. Emphasize communication
Sometimes certain events encourage us to retreat into ourselves, which is really counterproductive for romance and relationships in general. If your mood and happiness have soured due to what you consider to be an imbalance of emotional loads between you and your partner, you must speak up. Resentments build slowly over time, and a breakdown in communication can accelerate this.
2. Keep your individuality
There is still space within a partnership for healthy independence. One way to be less rigid is to continue to be yourself, even after you have partnered off. If you have enjoyed gardening as a hobby for several years, do not let go of this passion because you assume there is no room for it anymore. Love expands the heart, mind, and life. There is room for you to be yourself and still be a good partner.
3. Don’t stop dating
Couples who have been together for a large number of years may fall into this type of rut. Where the rigidness and routine of life has accidentally removed dating each other from their to-do list, do not let it.
Remind each other of the beginning, still cuddle during nightly tv viewing, be affectionate, laugh together. Reminding each other of these things more often will eliminate the feeling of stiffness or stagnation inside your relationship.
How to be less stiff as a parent
Arguably one of the most significant responsibilities in existence is being a parent. Because of this fact alone, it can be challenging to have bend and give in your style. Here are some tips to consider, though, that give honor to the significance of parenting while also creating room for flex.
1. Kill comparison
Stop comparing. No two children will ever be the same, no two households will ever function the same, and even twins have their differences. The sooner you learn to stop hinging your parenting style on comparison, the sooner you will feel comfortable to unwind a bit and enjoy this role.
2. Accept help
Accepting help from outsiders can be a considerable challenge for any parent, but it is truly essential. The term ‘it takes a village’ should be something you embrace in your attempt to lighten up. Forget about the fear of losing control.
Putting the pressure of feeling like you must do it all yourself on your life will eventually cause things to bubble over. Parental burnout is a real issue, and it can bring up a whole other host of problems if you do not address it. If accepting help while parenting is not something you can embrace just yet, consider offloading other tasks that you do, that once delegated out, can leave you more room for fun.
3. Encourage independence
Raising children in a manner that is geared towards their eventual departure from the nest can feel gut-wrenching. However, being too stiff and strict may not be setting them, or you, up for this inevitability.
Teaching them how to be self-sufficient does not have to mean they need or love you less. Instead, it can mean that you realize they will one day be in charge of their own lives, and you want to do what you can, while you can, to ensure that transition brings you both happiness.
The truth is, if you do not take the reigns and focus on finding and executing positive ways to unwind, unfortunately, it’s never going to happen. Your brain is a truly powerful tool, and it can be your biggest ally in this quest.
Laugh through the hiccups, and do not let them deter you. If you desire to create a life planted in authenticity, trial and error is the best path. Fun typically happens outside of routine, and relinquishing a little bit of control will leave room for more moments and events that are based in fun and less wound-up ways of living.