How to feel connected in the next 5 minutes

Connect with others right now by posting a comment on the Moodnudges blog.
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For good reason you’ll notice I often remind us both of the benefits of connecting with other people (it makes us feel good) and the disadvantages of not doing so (it can feel isolating and will often lead to a general lowering of mood).

But today for once, let’s actually do something very practical right here. Let’s make some connection happen.

This Moodnudge goes out in two forms – as an email, and also as a post on our blog. At the foot of the blog you’ll find a Comments section, and I’d like to ask you to go there now and take two actions please:

1. Add a comment yourself, even (especially?) if you’ve never contributed to a blog before. Specifically, I’d like you to introduce yourself to other readers by briefly (one sentence will do nicely) telling us one little tip of your own for lifting your mood. What’s worked for you in the past, that’s just about guaranteed to raise your spirits?

2. Then pick one comment that someone else has made already, and add a further thought of your own to it – even if it’s as succinct as a “what a splendid idea”.

Although our Moodnudges community is growing nicely, I think it’s still cosy enough to enable us to get some inspiring conversations going.

Let’s see how many comments we can trigger today.

Let’s connect, and feel the warmth.

119 thoughts on “How to feel connected in the next 5 minutes

    1. I love to run too Ruth, although I have only ran half marathons so far… When I run I feel free and that makes me feel better

  1. 1. Dominic here. I find it useful to say ‘I an not this thought – I am not this emotion’. It helps me to remember that thoughts and emotions are only clouds that pass.
    2. Looks like I’m the first 🙂 My thought? Let’s see the goodness in one another!

    1. Oh yes, I should add that I am really grateful to live in the glorious city of Sydney, Australia! What a wonderful gift it is to live here.

    2. Hi I’m Nikki I really like your comment ‘ I am not this emotion …..’ Music lifts me when I am down, in my car, loud and alone signing my heart out 🙂

  2. the thing that lifts me up when I am down is a phone call to my daughter – we’re too far away to meet up often but just a few minutes conversation can make all the difference to my mood

  3. My tip for lifting my mood is reading positive inspirational quotes. I find reading positive affirmations can add a glimmer in the darkest day. Hannah x

    1. I find this true too and marvel at how just a few wise words can make all the difference to the way I look at everything. Kate x

  4. When I feel like a depression is lurking in the wings, I decide to be really kind and gentle with myself and look after myself

    1. A lovely long bath with nice smells, facepack and gunge on hair plus candles and an audiobook are a great way to be nice to yourself

    2. That’s really the key, isn’t it. I try to do this too and sometimes I can and sometimes the terrorists get into the control room and it’s a struggle to feel worthy enough. But I am practicing and slowly getting better. Thank you.

    3. I like this a lot — I don’t do it enough, but I like it. Years ago, during a bad flu season, my doctor told me “if you don’t want to get sick, act like you already are” — meaning rest, push fluids, etc. But it works for mood too. Thanks for reminding me.

  5. Hi Jon something that has helping me recently was being taught self hypnosis. I say, ” I am in control of my thoughts, feelings and actions ” this helps especially when negative thinking overtakes I just repeat that sentence. Thank you for moodnudges which is also a great help and I agree with you about Rotary I joined 18 months ago and love it. Sarah

  6. Lesley; this is a great idea. Easier said than done some days..!
    I find fussing my cat always improves my mood; a simple pleasure we both get so much out of.

  7. I struggle with depression all the time but I find that being outdoors, and looking at the natural beauty that I am so lucky to be surrounded by, generally lifts my spirits.

    1. Hi Jo, I’m always happiest when in water. I think it might be because I was born at a seaside in the UK and always feel a real connection with the sea. I love swimming too and always feel better from having made the effort. Gets the endorphins flowing, great exercise for my arthritic joints too so what’s not to like?

        1. I love the sea too. I made the massive decision last week to leave my property in the country where I have lived half of my life, and have rented an apartment overlooking the water, just half an hour away. I am soooooo excited that I will be near the sea every day!

    1. I knit too, usually listening to an audio book but in waiting rooms too, very soothing occupation, and in some instances better than yoga. 😉

  8. Walking along the beach – I’ve just moved house & I’m now just 5 mins away from the sea. So, for the first time in 40 years, I can start the day with a brisk walk – whatever the weather – my spirits are always lifted by the ever changing views of the coastline, the noisy seagulls & the friendly greetings of fellow early risers.

    1. I love the sea too. One of my best mood lifters is going for breakfast at the seaside cafe then walking my dog along the sand with my husband. It’s a great ‘be good to yourself’ way to start the day. x

  9. Hiya, I am ME, I practise meditation, and yoga as a preventative measure and try to make it part of my weekly structure so that its easy to continue when I hit a down time, and when I manage to continue during a down time I give myself a pat on the back, so it’s also something to feel positive about having achieved. ME

    1. This is a brilliant idea because it’s easier to continue with something when your down than to start something new! My meditation has fallen by the wayside lately as I have had spinal surgery but think it’s time to restart it! Thanks ME!

    2. You may see my comment below. Like you, meditation is key. Also, creativity, usually drawing or painting. Exercise always helped, but I have COPD, which is limiting me at present. Have you seen the YouTube clip of 10 Mindful Movements with Thich Nhat Hanh? They are gentle and soothing. Sending you loving kindness.

  10. I go outside and look at the trees, flowers, buildings or sky and remind myself I am part of a great big world as it’s easy to forget this when you are feeling down.

  11. Jon, Thank you for your emails. I find them really uplifting and always so relevant to my life. They make me stop and think. I have often been about to respond, but have always chickened out as I can never seem to get my thoughts down clearly.

    Just makes me wonder if this fear of not getting something just right also stops me from doing other satisfying things in life. And how much precious time do I spend trying to do a perfect job when ‘good enough’ would do just as well? Message to me; stop stressing myself trying to be perfect and just enjoy being.

    1. I have this problem too. Not doing something because it might not be ‘right’. It’s a very isolating fear and I’ve fought it hard – don’t want to pass it onto my children. With this fear I have to try and ‘talk it down’ and then act when my mood is up! x

  12. Hi Sally, I like re-reading a favourite book or watching a favourite film, but on the whole I try to help a neighbour or ring one of my aunts. The aunts need a call as they have lost their sister – I have lost my dear Mum.

  13. A simple physical action: deliberately “walking taller”, raising my head, looking around me. It works wonders psychologically!

  14. I try to acknowledge to myself that I’m feeling pretty awful instead of pretending otherwise and make a determined effort to be kind to myself. I try to give myself time, cuddle up with a blanket on the sofa, cup of nice tea, favourite TV. Or maybe go for a walk somewhere green and do walking mindfulness. TLC as much as is needed! Lisa.

  15. I try tell myself this is just the way I’m thinking at the moment, which isn’t helpful to me as 9/10 times it’s “no way true”, all in my mind.
    I try and go for a walk if it’s only to walk up to the village and get a newspaper and do a sudoku, anything to lift the “black cloud”

  16. Mindfulness meditation is my daily practice. Gentle yoga is part of this. Several serious family crises and physical issues have coincided with weaning myself off anti-depressants. I am struggling, hugely, but by resorting to breathing spaces and bringing my mind back to the moment I plan to pull through.

    1. Yoga and mindful breathing work for me too, Jackie. I’ve also used 3-2-1 to bring myself back to now. It’s 3 things you can see, hear and feel, then 2 then one. All different if you can.

      1. Yoga has healed my chronic (10 year long) back pain almost 100% – it took 1 year of hard work 3 times a week but worth every drop of sweat!

  17. I have several ways to help lift my mood., apart from checking Moodscope/Moodnudges which I really look forward to checking each morning, I love to listen to music or my son who is a musician playing the guitar. Daily mindfulness is also very beneficial. You can do this anytime, anyplace and anywhere, even for five minutes…. Try it!

    1. Great activity Janis! Recently, I have noticed as I have been feeling blue that listening to happy music that makes me dance or the one I can sing to my lungs really makes me smile and lifts my spirits.

  18. Yes, connection is the key! Even if it is just an email to or from a friend, or a phone call, that’s what lifts my spirits when they are low.

    1. Also to other mammals, my pony senses my mood really accurately, and will get especially close when I’m feeling down. His empathy and gentleness are very comforting. Dave

  19. I have two ways of avoiding that tumble into bleakness, I shout out STOP! And then find some upbeat music and make myself dance in the kitchen

    1. Upbeat music is a great idea – my husband always has Classics on the radio, so I go upstairs to listen to something more lively too

    2. I do this too, both the STOP! and the dancing. Reading a really good book too (Joyce Carol Oates is my favourite author) will totally take me away from my thoughts and problems

    3. Bronia, thank you for the reminder about music. I’m not someone who has music on all the time, so I forget how much the right music can boost my mood. I recently burned a CD of some tunes that boost my mood, to keep in the car. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. This is fantastic! My mood is lifted already 🙂 I love the 3,2,1 idea and being kind to yourself. I’m going be extra mindful of that today. I find singing a really good song loudly helps shift my mood and releases negative energies.

  21. When I’m feeling down I take myself off for a walk, preferably in a wood. The fresh air and the various shades of green all help to lift my mood.

  22. I often find myself caught up in my own head, focusing on the same negative thoughts. I’ve discovered that getting outside really lifts my mood, especially a walk surrounded by trees and water, with the sun shining or the wind blowing.
    Mandy – baking also helps me, there is something very soothing about it.
    Bronia – yes! Crank the music up and dance!

  23. I always have an idea for something to do ahead of that which I am doing now. And I always have to be able to see a lot of sky

  24. When I feel isolated I send a text to everyone I would like to hear from. Something short and simple, “How are you? Xx” works wonders.

  25. I go and spend time with horses – I don’t have my own but I know two lovely people who let me visit their’s. They always lift & inspire me.

  26. I get happy by reading inspirational quotes on facebook and pinterest, then posting them to help other people lift THEIR moods. And to because I do this, coupled with my ‘attitude of gratitude’ (ie being thankful for absolutely everything – even the small things), I don’t often feel down 🙂

  27. I’m not an exercise person, but swimming lifts the physical tension so relaxes my mind too. Or walking in some woods nearby

  28. I find doing anything that will help you deal with what is making you feel low will lift the spirits. This can be as simple as sending the email to your local MP or doing some job you have put off for months. Its called dealing with ones shit, a great sense of empowerment can come from doing this, and very often can lead to one doing other things. Then like last week for me, the response from that email can be something that really lifts ones spirits.

  29. Hi. I’m Julia and I live in England and sometimes France where I am now. I find a bike ride or a walk first thing sets me up for the day. I feel I have achieved something and had some exercise. I also like a glass of wine in the evening. Or two.

  30. I love drawing my own greeting cards, and thinking of somewon who wood like to reseave won, then thinking of a verse and words to suite that prsin.

  31. Being with grandchildren, vitamin B, brewer’s yeast, walking in nature, inspirational quotes, meditation, hugs, noticing beauty, playing with my dogs; all these help. Singing and praying are good too. Also a practice called ‘raising lungta’ which I learned from a Pema Chodron cd. Her CDs have been really helpful. As is this moodnudges email!

  32. I’ve been refreshing my mindfulness meditation practice with free/low cost apps (e.g. buddhify2, meditation timer, free resources from lately and getting back to writing down three things I’m grateful for –today I’ll definitely include this wonderful compilation of mood nudges thanks to you all…

    1. I am just starting out in mindfulness practice. Celia, thanks for the website information. It’ll be really helpful.

  33. I’m Toni, and I find that expressing gratitude always lifts my mood. We all have so many ideas in common – time in nature, connecting with loved ones, meditation. Really loved the 3,2,1 meditation idea. Going to try that today!

  34. I am Kathy and I am also in the UK, when I feel Low, I either take it easy and take care of myself, call a good friend from the US (or family) or cuddle with one of my animals as unconditional love does wonders. Animals don’t judge.

    1. Now that sounds like my kind of thing! The smell of home baked food sends my mood off the good end of the scale 🙂

  35. Exercise and getting enough sleep. That’s often easier said than done, and one runs right into the other. And like Patricia, it’s helpful for me to remember that it isn’t as real as I think it is, that it is just a trick my brain plays. Doesn’t fix it but does keep me from spiraling downward. It’s nice to see you all here and think that I’m not the only one.

  36. Hi everyone, I’m Helen. This is a very interesting list of good ideas, which I’ll definitely be re-visiting. I deal with depression in various ways, including mindful meditation (I use Headspace), getting ourdoors if I can, and painting. When I feel really grey inside, and it’s really grey outside, I get out my wax crayons and let out my inner child to create a bright colourful flower garden.

  37. Hi I’m Christine in the UK in Manchester. Like Jo- 3.31 am I love the water and am never happier than when swimming or gazing at the sea.

    Connecting with others is definitely life affirming and if I can’t swim I make myself go out and have a coffee and usually find I end up in conversation with someone and definitely feel better than I did.

  38. What a lot of great ideas and it’s so helpful to know that other people struggle too. I also meditate, using the Headspace app every day. And I’m starting to be able to observe my thoughts and see them as just thoughts which I don’t have to believe.

    I am not good at looking after myself, but I have learnt that tidying up can be incredibly soothing and that keeping the space around me tidy helps as well. And I remind myself that the shitty times will pass.

  39. Hi I’m Denise I live in Florida. Sometimes happy music and dancing in my livingroom will help me turn my mood around.

  40. Hi folks I like the fact I’m not alone when it comes to talking about our mental health, I need more nudges in life!

  41. Connect and feel the warmth, says Jon. This feels very appropriate in chilly northwest England on our bank holiday Monday. going for a walk helps me, as does seeing family.

  42. Hello, I’m Sophie. I have a tool kit for when I feel low, a little box full of things I can do when I feel low. For example, there’s my library card in there!

  43. Hello all. I am Kris and this is the first time I write in a blog. All the ideas to keep the mood up are very interesting and I will try to implement new ones to my routine. I find music very effective changing my mood. I listen to music that makes dance or that I can sing and exercise in the mornings.

  44. Love to be in my favourite coffee shop chatting to staff and watching people go by. Meeting friends their and checking social networks.

  45. This morning I woke up feeling really happy to be in my own bed again after a time away and it reminded of a question my therapist asked me a long time ago; Instead of ‘how do you sleep’, he asked, ‘how do you wake up?’. It wound up being a very important question to me….leading to me towards tangible changes in almost every aspect of my life. I think the transition from sleep and dream life to waking life is very important- perhaps because I honor the wisdom of my non-waking self nearly as much, and sometimes more, as my waking self. But even if you aren’t as interested in dreams or journaling or sweet coffee alone time staring out the window as I am, it still makes sense to start your waking day off feeling as good as you can manage and to cherish those first moments. soft blankets, a gentle alarm (if necessary), a long sensual stretch under the covers before rising…
    And as others have said, I completely agree….exercise! Preferably out in nature. A good run or hike in the forest has probably saved my life more than once. One, I think nature is simply soothing. Life IS, with or without us. And it can be beautiful. Two, I like to imagine that I’m replacing all the oxygen in my body with new fresh clean and purified air….. And if that visualization and just working up a good sweat doesn’t bring me out of my funk, then usually there’s an endorphin high that kicks in and helps out. 🙂

  46. Oh! And to add to someone’s comment above about texting a friend: I sometimes send (in words) flowers, thoughts, bubbles, something fun that simply says I’m thinking of you fondly (even when I’m just down and lonely). Something that >doesn’t< require a response… The receiver doesn't have to reply right away or answer anything, and as sender I don't have the anxiety of waiting for a response. It usually brightens their day and invariably brightens mine.

  47. thank you Jon for getting me to join in .. my cat cheers me/I look at him sleeping he is so completely relaxed ,and looks so beautiful then awake and moving so gracefully going out into garden and places beyond…. he never overthinks caught in darkness of pain and angst , he lives in the now, and rewards me with just showing how to be…I call him Oliver. he was a rescue kitten.on reurn a little chirp to say hello. he is now nearly 7 yrs old ..I live in the damp northwest with a lot of sea making it damper…

  48. thank you Jon for getting me to join in .. my cat cheers me/I look at him sleeping he is so completely relaxed ,and looks so beautiful then awake and moving so gracefully going out into garden and places beyond…. he never overthinks caught in darkness of pain and angst , he lives in the now, and rewards me with just showing how to be…I call him Oliver. he was a rescue kitten.on reurn a little chirp to say hello. he is now nearly 7 yrs old ..I live in the damp northwest with a lot of sea making it damper… i should say I m east side of pond

  49. In recent months I have made a playlist on my phone of “Feels Good” songs. If I combine listening to my playlist with exercise, the impact is squared. And if I’m feeling really low, I bust a move and dance (privately, no one would want to see this!) to get my body completely into the song. I like Dominic’s idea of reminding himself that “I am not this thought or feeling.” Good stuff!

  50. Running or a walk – two things for me that are without fail transformational. But sometimes there’s no time, or there’s little will, and during those moments I reach for a jar that I’ve filled over the year with memories of insignificant moments where an overwhelming sense of joy was experienced – noticing a mother look at her child, a cashier’s authentic smile, a glance and nod from someone passing by. I take one of the crumpled ripped corner’s of paper out of the jar, read, reflect, and most often I feel connected and re-grounded to that moment and sense.

    1. Thank you, Susan. I’m going to try your “moments of joy in a jar” idea. I might keep it in a list in my phone instead though, so I can access it anywhere:)

  51. I love looking into my soon to be son’s nursery. It reminds me why I’m fighting through this difficult pregnancy and that it will all be worth it in the end. Swimming is also a great pick me up to the physical pain I battle every day.

  52. Thanks for all of the lovely ideas. I’m having a very weepy day – so just went for a run, chanted “you are not your thoughts” and am petting the cat – why try just one idea? I like to put candles on. Something about the light makes it feel cosy. I have 3 on now trying to chase the blackness away. X

  53. Going for a walk down a quiet country lane really helps my mood. Looking at the trees and feeling so close with nature,maybe seeing wildlife,it really helps me to stop the downward spiral I often find myself in. Then having that well earned cup of tea when I get home.
    Jennifer I’m sure it will be worth all the pain and struggle of this difficult pregnancy to finally hold your precious son. Each day is a day closer so hold on in there.

  54. I find exercise is essential to my mental wellbeing. I go to fitness classes even if I cry en-route! The exercise itself boosts my serotonin levels and I’m in a social environment where I interact with others. This is so much the case that whilst I’m battling depression, stress and anxiety, I am studying to be an exercise to music instructor so I can help others to benefit from the many positives of exercise, not least the mental ones. There are so many great comments above and many I ha e yet to read. Thanks for sharing all of you! Kate xx

  55. Hi, Exercise really helps lift my mood as well as help my arthritic stiffness & pain. Also just keeping busy .Getting out of my apartment is a big one even if it is just going out to the store or talking to other people . Thanks Jon for Mooodnudges. Look forward to them . Eleanor

  56. Hi,
    Gardening is good for the soul, you cannot rush nature and nature will not rush you! A good combination I think! Just being in nature is just as good if you do not have a garden! Neil

  57. It was good to skim through the comments and tips, I particularly like the one about treating yourself as if you were ill, to stay healthy. I find that accepting I’m not feeling well, instead of ploughing on hoping it will go away, is the first step I need to take towards feeling better.

  58. I often feel low or overwhelmed. Remembering being in a place where I felt safe, happy and at peace often helps.
    Reading the comments I know that exercise helps as many have remarked, and I need to do more so thanks for the encouragement.

  59. Brilliant idea this. Just when you feel you’re getting all introspective, someone prods you into connecting and DOING something. Thanks Jon.
    So here’s my two pennysworth.
    Doing something, anything with a bit of energy. Dusting a shelf, putting stuff on the washing line, walking to the postbox and back. Sometimes it’s a swim. You water-babes are right, it’s a wonderful freeing feeling being in the water.
    And as people above have said – making some kind of connection with another living creature. Nice when it’s in the real world but I like the idea above of sending out a text to lots of people to see what you get back.
    On my better days, I’ve also got a stack of postcards I sometimes send – people don’t get much post any more and it’s really nice to just get a one liner from someone even if it’s just saying ‘thought you’d like this postcard’.
    And if I’m just slightly teetering I imagine Mel G from The Great British Bake Off saying in my ear ‘Get a grip, get a grip, get a ruddy grip’.

  60. Hello Patricia from Mexico, when i´m feeling down i read like a loot of motivational stuff or quotes there´s always some of them that work for my mood in that ocassion and makes me feel better, also a great way to change my mood in a second is veing with little cousins or babies it´s so amazing how they little minds and laughs make you feel better so fast 😀

  61. I’m Kathy, and I live in the Netherlands. I love all these ideas, and many ring bells for me. Singing is my number-one mood-lifter: I have NEVER come back from a rehearsal in a low mood! Exercise, especially a walk or run in the woods, is another great refresher, and working on a lovely piece of cross-stitch can give me total absorption and peace.
    I also keep a personal collection of ideas, thoughts and prayers that I can turn to if I feel down: there is always something that puts life in perspective, or offers a way to use my experience positively.
    I also value this community: just being around people who want to be open and supportive is a lift in itself, isn’t it?

  62. Going for a walk with my 2 year old daughter who sees excitement and beauty in all the small things we often don’t notice as adults

  63. Thanks for all these amazing tips, everyone!! Looks like the making of another post here, gathering and giving you all credit for your hard-won wisdom. Big hugs, and thanks for connecting 🙂

  64. Listening to “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie and other self help or funny audiobooks with Vivaldi, Handel, Locatelli, etc. classical music playing on Pandora in the background helps cheer me up. Also, like someone else said, cleaning; once you start you often forget your sorrow and then you have a nice, tidy house to enjoy.

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