Along my early journeys, I struggled immensely with getting into these negative downward spirals and having no idea how to break out of them. It even got to the point where I was the one unknowingly perpetuating these energetic cycles – sinking to devastating lows and rising to alarming highs.
I would spend weeks in depressive states where I was intensely suicidal and then rapidly cycle into days of sleepless mania. Wash, rinse, and repeat. I had created quite the toxic cycle for myself.
As I began to awaken to the fact that we each are in control of our internal states, I began to claim full ownership of my part in the decline of my mental health. As I began to leave behind the mindset of helplessness and victimhood, I took back my power, which meant the challenging path ahead was only beginning.
I cast aside my diagnoses and medication, and started to define for myself who I am and how I want to live my life. Rather than accept that I was cursed with a “mental illness” that I had no option to recover from for the rest of my life, I refused to let myself be defined by a mere label any longer. (Read more about my mental health journey here.)
Often, when we are in those lower energetic vibrational states (grief, shame, guilt, apathy, fear) it can seem like an impossibly daunting task to change these states. However, in taking responsibility for our energetic frequencies, we commit to becoming the alchemists of our energy. That is, taking our energy and transmuting it into an emotional state that better serves us.
What many, including myself in the past, fail to realize is that we all have the ability to shift our mood. We all have days where we wake up in a funk, where we become frustrated with life, or where we receive bad news. The difference lies in how we each CHOOSE to respond to these situations, if we actually WANT to shift our energies, and our belief systems towards how capable we are of changing our states.
Of course there will be times where we will need to take time to grieve and rest, to sit with and experience our emotions fully in order to process the information coming in. However, we must do so as a conscious choice, knowing that when we are ready, we are fully capable of rising to a higher emotional frequency.
How we shift our moods will vary from individual to individual, what works for one may not necessarily be as helpful for another. Here are some practices that helped me to become the master alchemist of my state. Take what works for you and leave what doesn’t. As always, be open to experimenting with new strategies!
1. Write It Out
Type or write by hand whatever it is you are feeling, even if it is in the form of thought fragments. Try some stream of consciousness writing – simply writing whatever flows into the mind without reservation or judgment.
Write letters to the person or thing that is fueling your ruminating thoughts. After you’ve finished, set the intention to release what is no longer serving you and then rip up or burn the letter.
Write positive reinforcement love notes to yourself as if you were speaking to a loved one or child. Remind yourself of all you’ve overcome and how you’ve grown. Try comparing where you are now to where you were one year ago – perhaps you’ve begun to love yourself more, maybe you are being true to your authenticity, or you’ve made progress in your career.
Notice how far you’ve come and make the promise to yourself that you will keep moving forward no matter what obstacles may fall in your path.
2. Walk And Talk
Go for a walk around the block and bring a phone or recording device. Word vomit whatever is on your mind into your phone or recorder. Don’t worry about how it may sound, just get it all out!
Conduct a therapy session with yourself by asking yourself questions to get to the root of your emotions. Try asking questions like what am I feeling right now? What could be causing me to feel this way? Why is this bothering me? What can I learn from this?
This may feel a bit odd at first, I know it certainly did for me. I was always worried about who would be judging me, but quite frankly, no one is that concerned with what we’re doing. That was simply my social anxiety trying to incorrectly influence me. It really looks like you’re having a chat on the phone! And who gives a flying butt how others perceive us anyhow?
When we unload some of the weight in our hearts by talking it out with ourselves, we gain deeper understanding of how our minds work and how they may inhibit us. Our greatest battles are often not with any external person or circumstance, but rather, with our own minds.
The fresh air helps us to think more clearly and as our surroundings change as we walk, we are presented the opportunity to adopt different perspectives. Recording your conversation can help as a reference point to listen back to for any insights gained or to identify any repeating patterns or false belief systems.
3. Blast Your Music
Make a go to playlist of your favorite tunes and jam on! I have several playlists on my phone for every state I want to shift into – everything category from love, feel good, work hard win hard, to feminine power!
Ancient cultures all around the world have used music as part of community events and spiritual ceremonies. Music is an incredibly potent mood catalyst. This means this tool can be used to elevate your mood or to perpetuate your current emotional state. Choose your jams accordingly.
Overload your senses by cranking that volume up! Devote a good chunk of time to connecting to the energy in your music – be that ten minutes or five hours – and fully commit to it. Listen, sing, dance, air box your shadow, jump, scream!
4. Go Into Nature
Reconnect with nature – go for a hike in the woods, visit your local park, take a stroll on the beach, or sit under a favorite tree. Fully immerse yourself in the present moment – being aware of the flora and fauna, the smells, colors, feeling of the elements on your skin.
Nature has this amazing balancing effect on all of us. We were created from nature and to nature we all return. For me, nature helps me to ground my energy and reconnect with my root chakra – the energy center at the base of the spine associated with survival and safety.
Try the practice of earthing or grounding – making direct contact with the Earth through your bare skin. How long has it been since your last ran around on grass with bare feet? I’d venture probably not since childhood! By developing this practice, we become more in tune with the natural flow and abundance of our Mother Earth. We welcome in her energy exchange.
To learn more about earthing, check out my post 7 Therapy Alternative For The Creative Mind.
5. Move Into The Body
Do some jumping jacks, hit the yoga mat, spar with a friend, scream until your throat is hoarse (think lilo & stitch guys), go for a swim – whatever you do, just get it moving!
When we move into the body, we give the thinking mind a chance to rest as we enter fully into the present moment. Like the rest of our animal brothers and sisters, humans were created with a physical form – translation: we are built to move!
Emotions are energy in motion. While it is perfectly natural to feel emotions, we must also provide outlets for these energies to move. Stagnant energies are what create blockages and keep us stuck in our current state. To change our mental state, we must first change the physical state.
Rather than stewing in our current emotional state, we shift our energetic frequency by tapping into our physical power. As we put our bodies through physical stress, we build endurance and the mental fortitude to persevere through anything.
For more on moving into the body, check out my post 7 Steps To A Healthy Body.
6. Connect With Loved Ones
Reach out to a friend for a chat, even if just to talk about something silly. Pick their brain about your current situation and gain a perspective you may not have considered before.
As social creatures, we do have the need to connect with community and to establish a sense of acceptance and belonging. Just as our loved ones support us, we also provide that some care and love to others in our lives as well.
Try talking to beloved friends or family about a situation that is pestering you and how you feel about it. If you’d rather process your emotions on your own, try doing something fun with your friends instead and schedule some time to connect with something outside of yourself.
When we feel connected, we understand that none of us travel life alone. This knowing makes everything a bit brighter!
We all need help shifting our energies at times, there is no shame in this. Of course, we should stay away from needing a third party to elevate our mood every time and develop practices that work for us over time.
7. Eat Something Good
One of the best kept secrets is that what we eat has a tremendous impact on our mood and the state of our mental health. Nature is so intelligent, it put the medicine in the food! How miraculous is that?
Reach for foods high in Vitamin C to boost your energy levels. Grab some seeds and nuts high in omega-3 fatty acids to combat depressive tendencies. Avoid processed goods high in sugar, refined grains, alcohol, and caffeine.
We can powerfully shift our energy by putting tasty, healing fuel into our bodies and returning the same love our bodies give to us every day through serving us. We build healthy minds by making sure the foundation, our bodies, are strong.
I find that I think more clearly on a full and satisfied belly. Suddenly all the problems of the world seem a little more manageable and I know I have taken good care of myself to better face my challenges.
I discuss in detail what kinds of foods to eat for optimal health in my post 7 Tips For How To Start Eating Healthy.
8. Meditate & Visualize
Schedule in some time to reconnect with yourself. Meditation is a recalibration tool for the mind. When we take this time for ourselves, we are saying to ourselves, “You are important. You are worth my time and my energy. You are a priority.”
Set aside five minutes (or several hours for you meditation junkies out there) and get comfy! Watch your thoughts come and go like ripples across a lake. Don’t give energy to any particular train of thought or judge yourself for not being able to completely enter that zen state. Simply observe and breathe.
When you’ve gotten the observation and breath down, try doing a simple visualization exercise. Create the imagery in your mind of the energetic state you’d like to be in, how you’d like your life to look. Visualize yourself feeling completely and utterly free, filled with love and purpose. What does this look like? How does it feel? What are you doing during this visualization?
Maybe you’re frolicking carefree on a beach in the sun or traveling the world with your loved ones. Perhaps you’re creating your dream and immersing yourself in your work. Pay attention to what’s going on in your visualizations. These are messages from your soul’s compass!
Curious about trying meditation? Check out my post 5 Meditation Tips For Beginners.
9. Make Some Art
Draw something, write a poem, compose a piece, color something, create an artful meal, doodle anything. When we want to get creative, we must shift out of the lower energetic frequencies in order to enter a state of flow.
The simplest way to do this is to just get into it! Pick your craft of choice and go to town. Glue some popsicle sticks scrawled with with patriarchal dogma together into a house and set it on fire (make sure you have fire safety stuff on hand first friends!). Bedazzle the crap out of a jacket and write badass or angel or whatever the heck you want on it! There are no limits in art, my loves.
Don’t consider yourself a creative person? I’d tell you how wrong you are, but we are what we believe in the end. I will instead say that EVERYONE has creative power within them. It’s a matter of connecting to it and maintaining a creative practice.
When we create, we are putting something new out into the world. Rather than being a subject in life, only experiencing life through what is happening to us, we instead take on the role of co-creator and bring something new to the table.
10. Try Something New
What better way to change your state than by humbling yourself and experimenting with something new? When we try new things, we enter with a beginner’s mindset – a state where infinite possibilities lie. From this state, we welcome in growth and change.
A phenomenal way to ensure we are not harboring stagnant energy is to mix things up by exploring the new. We allow unexplored energies in and incorporate knowledge we discover along the way. By consistently learning and striving for growth, we expand what we know – we expand our consciousness.
Take that salsa class you’ve been wanting to try. Explore mountain biking. Join that roller derby team. Treat yourself to a meal from the new restaurant downtown. Visit an animal sanctuary. Don’t know what you like? Try a little bit of everything that seems even remotely interesting! Trial and error is key here.
Broaden your horizons and watch your moods shift naturally as you explore interests that actually resonate with you!
11. Help A Fellow Life Traveler
Nothing feels better than knowing you’ve helped make someone else’s day brighter. If that is not enough, consider that the energy we put out into the world is the energy we will receive back. When we help others, we step outside of ourselves and determine how we want to show up in the world.
We can move out of lower frequencies by acting from the heart space. Put out into the energy the same energy you’d like to receive back. This doesn’t have to be as monumental as Tony Robbins or Teal Swan catalyzing spiritual awakenings in numerous individuals. It can be something as simple as calling a friend you know is struggling, helping an elderly person unload groceries into their car, or volunteering at your local community center.
When I was deep in my pits of despair, sometimes the only thing that could lift me out of it was to help a friend going through something similar. In talking my friend through a crisis and offering a listening ear and unconditional support, I reminded myself of all the things I too needed. Furthermore, knowing that I was able to help another meant that I was fully capable of helping myself.
Sometimes knowing we’ve made a difference, even a small one, in someone else’s life is the light we ourselves need in our journeys.
What is your favorite way to change your state? Share your stories with me in the comments section below!