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Image / Self / Advice

5 easy ways to help yourself mentally reset


By Niamh Ennis
08th Mar 2024
5 easy ways to help yourself mentally reset

You know when someone asks you how you’re doing and you hear yourself automatically responding, ‘I’m great, thanks,’ but really, inside, you’re dying to say ‘well, actually, to be very honest, I’m feeling a bit bleh, a little flat, in a total funk and I can’t seem to snap out of it.’ But of course, you don’t. You’re Irish after all.

There’s little doubt that we need to work on getting better at asking people how they really are and also at creating a far safer space for them to deliver their most honest answer.

Let’s be honest, we’re all just too distracted these days to bother waiting for a wholesome reply and, dare I say it, a little too focused on ourselves, to really want to hear more. It’s a sad truth that shows us just how our modern world is crushing our spirit and revealing to us that we ought to commit to doing do all we can to stop this, before it’s too late.

This got me to thinking about those times when we know we are feeling flat and in a funk. What should we do when this happens? What can we do? Are there things that we could be doing to help speed up the process or should we simply get better at putting up and shutting up?

To help, let’s look at some simple tools that we each have access to, that will kick start our way back to happiness when we’re feeling a little lack-lustre. These suggestions won’t instantly bring you joy – but they will definitely point you in the right direction and begin the shaking off process.

Identify the source. Where did it start, when and with who. Is there an obvious event that you can attribute this feeling to? Have you had an argument with your partner, mother, friend or colleague recently? Have your sleeping patterns been disturbed, are you stressed or worried about something specific? Are there people in your life that you know after spending time with, leave you feeling a little less yourself? Helping you to understand what’s behind this feeling can really help determine what your next step should look like. If you get clear on the source the remedy will soon appear.

Move. Get out into nature. Now, before you perform an aggressive eye-roll, there’s a very good reason that this features in every list regarding your mental wellbeing. There’s so much evidence that physical movement will send the right kind of endorphins rushing around your body, but so too will spending even just a small amount of time in nature. We think of nature as somewhere we go to but I believe that we are nature and every time we step foot in the great outdoors the benefits are immediate. Preferably, leave your earphones at home and just get out and inhale some fresh air. I defy you to say, having done it, that it doesn’t leave you feeling better.

Journal. Decluttering for your brain. When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed your head can feel like it’s ready to burst. The reason is simple-there’s just too much going on inside that relatively small space. You need to remove some of those unnecessary thoughts and worries and the very best way to do this is to journal. Ideally, first thing each morning, before your mind fully wakens up, take out your blank page and spend just 10 minutes writing down what’s on your mind. Some people can find this hard, so perhaps start with a prompt or a question that’ll encourage you to think and write (see below for help). When you get into the daily habit of doing this, you begin creating space in your head and it is here that those new ideas and opportunities will now have somewhere to land. Journaling is about creating space and ultimately reducing overwhelm.

Ask for help. Going it alone is not a sign of strength. Knowing when and who to ask for help is a sign not just that you are connected to others but that you are also quite connected to yourself. You were never, ever, meant to this business of life alone; so, stop trying to. Opening up, showing more vulnerability and asking for, and receiving, help, can in fact be enough on its own to give you the lift you’re searching for.

Challenge how you feel. I’m going to guess that when you find yourself discombobulated your instinct is to point fingers and blame others for how you’re feeling. It’s easier to apportion blame than to accept responsibility. I get this and I know it can be easier to believe that what they did, or said, has caused you to feel like this. But what if you chose to challenge this. What if you allowed yourself acknowledge that while others may indeed have contributed to how you’re feeling; that it is entirely your responsibility as to what happens next. Resist the urge to feel sorry for yourself and don’t give in to the temptation to play the victim.

Whether you attempt one or all of these suggested tools, just promise me that you won’t wallow. You’re better than that. But do remember that it’s very natural not to skip gaily through each day, you’re not Mary Poppins after all! It’s also perfectly okay to experience those times where you just need to allow yourself feel flat. The key, however, is to remain a fleeting visitor and to never outstay your welcome.

Niamh Ennis is Ireland’s leading Change & Transformation Coach and Author of GET UNSTUCK who through her private practice, writings, programmes, workshops and podcast has inspired, activated and helped thousands of people to make significant changes in their lives. She is an accredited Personal, Leadership & Executive Coach and the Lead Coach in the IMAGE Business Club. If you are new to journaling then this free resource will help you. Follow Niamh on Instagram at @1niamhennis or niamhennis.com.

This article was originally published in September 2023.