Friday, April 12, 2019

How to Feel Better Instantly, Even In the Middle of Class

This is me every morning before school, sipping purple tea with magical flowers flowing from my fingertips.

You ever feel like it's early April, Spring Break ruined everyone's motivation including yours, and the school year just seems to drag on?

It may seem like it's impossible to shake off the teaching stress overload, but my friends, I'm here to tell you it can be done. Not only that, but it can be done instantly.

I went to Unleash the Power Within with Tony Robbins in November, and this was one of the skills that was hammered into our heads and bodies over and over in the course of the 4-day, 12-hour-per-day event.

To Change How You Feel, Change Your State

Tony Robbins is huge on changing your physiological state in order to change your emotions, and thereby improve your outlook, your health, your productivity, and even your relationships.

He always uses the example of people who are depressed. Their shoulders slump, they breathe shallowly, their head and gaze are down, and their voices become strained and quiet. Movements are slow, heavy, with sort of a hopeless or irritated tone about them. For me, when I'm in this state, I feel more pain in my body (back troubles, neck pain, TMJ pain, plantar fasciitis in my left foot, etc.) Compare that with the physiology of someone who's feeling happy, proud, blessed, excited, and well. They hold their head high and shoulders back. Their expression is relaxed and open, gaze up. Maybe smiling. Breathing from the diaphragm, deeply. Jaw relaxed, heart center open and softened. They move faster and with more intention, more "bounce." I will tend to dance around a little when I'm feeling good, make jokes to myself (and laugh at them, ha.)

So Tony would say, change your physiology to the happy, proud, excited one, and your emotions--and eventually, your health--will follow. Try it right now.

How To Feel Better Right Now

  1. Lift your sternum to bring your shoulders back.
  2. Raise your chin a bit.
  3. Relax your expression. Relax your mouth, jaw, eyes.
  4. Soften your gaze and raise it to a point just above your natural eye level.
  5. Smile gently.
  6. Smile bigger if it feels good; show your teeth.
  7. Inhale deeply into your diaphragm, but in a relaxed, confident way.
  8. Stand up if you're seated, and walk with intention to the kitchen.
  9. Get a glass of water, and squeeze some lemon in it if you have a lemon.
  10. Drink the water.
  11. Do a little dance.
  12. Think of one thing you are truly grateful for, and hold that thing in your mind, savoring it.
Do everything on the list. DO IT. Then, check in with yourself. How's your emotional state now? How do you feel? Did that process take the negative, depressed edge off, at least? I consciously do this in class while my students are working on something (sipping the water from a bottle on my desk, and skipping the dance part. :)) Then I stride around the room checking on their work, seeing if anyone needs help, and purposefully noticing the positive things.

I do this as often as I can, because I need it over and over all day long at school. Over time, it has become more of a habit, linked to "get them working on something independently" - i.e., Duolingo, Quizlet, a story translation, a 10-minute essay. (Supposedly if you train yourself that every time X happens, you do Y, you'll make it a habit that you don't have to remember or think about every time.)

I hope this helps someone. May your April blues dissipate, and may you have a wonderful rest of your school year.

And in the meantime, follow me on Amazon to stay up with my new releases. I'm working on some exciting new projects that I hope to have ready for public consumption by June 1. :)

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