I wonder how many hours of life we have lost to feeling rubbish and then allowing that feeling to hang out with us for far too long.

We’ve all experienced those moments where a bad mood just hangs in the air and will not shift! Perhaps the problem though is that merely waiting for it to go is not sufficient! If we want to reclaim our time from bad moods, low energy, not feeling motivated or getting stuck in the cycle of feeling life is happening to us and not for us, we need to be proactive but don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds.

We often refer to these low feelings as being a result of our ‘state of mind’. In fact, it is not just our state of mind, it is a combination of feelings, the energy we carry, the way we breathe, and how our entire body moves and feels, so instead we shall call it our ‘state’. Understanding when and how to change your state is a powerful key to life. Sadly so few seem to get taught this, and yet it’s of such high importance that it feels like it should be at the top of the curriculum at school.

Image courtesy of Frank Mckenna


How do we recognise our state?

Checking in with yourself and asking how you feel and why you feel it, is a skill in itself.

– Take a moment to observe your thoughts, being conscious of whether the thoughts are kind, are honest, and are of things you can control.

– Consider how your body feels, noticing pain, tension, numbness, or anything unpleasant.

– Become conscious of the energy that you are giving out at that moment, even if there is nobody else around.

What can affect our state?

Throughout just one day we can be tossed through a copious array of emotions, directed by our thoughts and physical state, the experiences and interactions around us, sometimes big traumas and sometimes small (that sadly often go unattended). Sometimes we can just find ourselves in a bad mood because we spilt our tea on the bed, stubbed our toe on the door and can’t find the remote!

What am I currently doing to change my state, and is it working?

It’s essential to recognise your current toolkit, even if you didn’t realise you had one. You may have already found some techniques that work well for you. Note them down and become conscious of them. Most of us have a list of ‘go-to’ things to do for when we’re feeling rubbish; however often, we can find ourselves reaching for the unhealthy choices. These are the things we want to step away from and start to replace with ideas from our tool kit below. Unhealthy techniques for coping with bad feelings might include smoking, overeating, drinking alcohol, connecting with toxic relationships, or falling into a lower state where we might get some sympathy.

When should we change our state?

Experiencing life’s full array of emotions is part of being a human being and is not something we should avoid. Having the toolkit and skills to change your state does not mean that you should avoid feeling anything, but it does mean that when you are ready, you can move into a different state. When you suffer trauma or are travelling through grief, sitting with those feelings is a challenging yet essential part of healing, but often to survive those very tough moments, you need a regular change of state, for a break from the pain. On the other end of the spectrum, if you have found yourself feeling low and don’t really know why or if irritation over the little things won’t leave you, you have the power to reclaim your energy and reclaim your time!

Image courtesy of Ivana Cajina


There are five ESSENTIAL key facts for SUCCESS that you need to know before you build a tool kit.

  1. Don’t wait until you feel like doing one of these things! That’s how we lose time to feeling awful, just do it! If you are in a bad mood, the last thing you might feel like doing is dancing, but it is likely to be one of the most effective techniques!
  2. Physiology and psychology are very closely linked. We know the physical feelings of nerves or stress. Now let’s flip the game and allow our physiology to impact our psychology.
  3. If the first technique doesn’t sit well, try something else, and if that doesn’t work, try something else, and if that doesn’t work….yes, you know.
  4. Every step of this take practice. Choose to become dedicated to observing your feelings, understanding when it’s time to change your state and what works for you.
  5. If you want to have your tool kit completely secure within you, teach it to someone else.


Many of the clients that I have worked with over the years have said that they wish they had some kind of elastic band around their wrist, that they can twang, that will snap them out of one feeling and into another. Below is a list of 25 elastic band techniques for you to put into your toolkit.

  1. Step outside. Look at the sky, feel a different temperature and take some slow deep breaths.
  2. Shake your ass! Whether you’re alone or in company, dance like a toddler listening to a busker on a hot day in town!
  3. Get out of breath. Run on the spot, jig about, leap to action with star jumps, get your sweat on for a minute or two.
  4. Play a track. Create a playlist of songs that sneak under your skin and move you.
  5. Place your hand on your heart. Feel your heart beat, and know what an incredible gift that is.
  6. Gratitude. Close your eyes and think of the people or things that you are most grateful for.
  7. Stand like a superhero. Shoulders back, chin up, legs apart and hands on hips, take your power pose with pride.
  8. Be silly. Being a grown-up can seem like a never ending list of chores, bills and worries, be more kid and jump in the puddle, start some play wrestling or throw a pea from your plate whoever is sat opposite.
  9. Change the scenery. As mentioned in point 1, this could be stepping outside but maybe take it a step further a jump in the car and head down the coast, or power walk to a local park.
  10. Hug someone. Find that human contact and allow your body to embrace it.
  11. Change your posture. Uncurl your shoulders, lengthen your spine, lift your chin, soften your jaw and reengage with the world around you.
  12. Reconnect with someone. Press dial and speak to a friend, get a different perspective on life and release.
  13. Take a goddess stroll. Walk through a doorway with your chin high, imagine that round of applause and lap it up!
  14. Jump into a cold shower. I resisted for a long time too, but it’s a game-changer!
  15. Give yourself a hand or a temple massage. The simple act of touch can be incredibly powerful.
  16. Jump on a trampoline. A mini home tramp works wonders.
  17. Rehydrate. Drink some cold water.
  18. Smile. Even if nobody is there. Let that smile be one of resilience, strength and determination!
  19. Leave it. Simply making a conscious decision to leave work at work or leave the stress from home at home can be an instant weight lifted from the shoulders. Take one hat off and put the next hat on.
  20. Make some bold plans. Grab pen and paper and make a list of things that you are going to do over the next five years. Be bold and brave.
  21. Change your walk! Ditch the stress walk and do a catwalk walk or a hip hop walk or skip! Bring some fun into the mundane and be more child.
  22. Switch off your social media. Switch off your phone and step into nature. Find a park or beach, lake or forest and leave your technology and all the life comparisons behind.
  23. Remember. Close your eyes and step into a memory, maybe a joyous memory, perhaps a sexy memory, perhaps a memory where the universe just came together and somehow helped. Instead of watching the memory like a movie, try to be in the movie, see, hear, taste, touch and smell what you did back then.
  24. Notice the good. Consider all of the moments that you did not get hit by a car, every time that you did not trip on the stairs and each time you did not get food poisoning. We can quickly lose perspective when we notice the bad things that happen and don’t notice the good that’s happening every single day, but that we consider it normal.
  25. Step into the moment. Whatever you are doing, be there and do it with all of your attention. What can you feel? Smell? Hear? See? Taste?

Image courtesy of Nathan Dumlao

It doesn’t end with these 25 ideas. Take this list, TRY EVERYTHING; then adapt it and shape it, take some things away and add others, practice and make new habits. Create YOUR tool kit for success.

Cover image courtesy of Baylee Gramling