Updated 23 June 2014

Feel better in ten minutes

All stressed out and ready to strangle someone? Before you explode, here are some suggestions on how you can feel better in 10 minutes.


All stressed out and ready to strangle someone? Or you might just be feeling down and gloomy - for no particular reason. These 10 things can make you feel better in as little as ten minutes. You have nothing to lose, so give them a try.

Get moving. Go for a short run or walk – ten minutes will be enough to improve your circulation and lower your tension levels. Exercise is always good for your general state of mind, and it helps you to get rd of tension and stress.

Get cleaning. When you're feeling down, being surrounded by an untidy kitchen is bound to make you feel worse. Get down and do the dishes – you will feel better afterwards. Or make your bed, take out the rubbish and get a load of washing into the machine. It's amazing how quickly it can make you feel virtuous.

Make that call. Phone someone who always makes you feel good. A friend, or an old acquaintance who has always liked you and been kind to you. Guaranteed to be soothe you.

Buy a magazine. This always feels like a treat, especially if it is one you don't usually buy. Go somewhere quiet and take some time out to page through it.

Put your foot down. Phone your mother-in-law and tell her that you will not be able to take her shopping tomorrow – maybe on the weekend. Saying no is an instant feel-good exercise.

Have a bath. A relaxing bath by candlelight does wonders for a bruised spirit and body. Gentle, soothing music could add to the atmosphere.

Take a multivit. Very often exhaustion is the result of vitamin and mineral shortages. Take a multivitamin and see whether you might not feel better very quickly. Alternatively hit the fruit and veg. When last did you eat something crunchy?

Buy fresh flowers. Go out and buy fresh flowers. It's good for the soul, makes you house look pretty and always feels like a treat.

Have a good cry. There is nothing quite like a bit of a weep to make you feel better. Crying actually increases your serotonin levels, like eating chocolate does, but crying is better for your waistline.

Make that appointment. Whether it is with a doctor, a therapist, a gym instructor, an aromatherapist or with the employment agency – you know what you need to do. Just do it. It will make you feel better. If you've been putting it off, just pick up the phone and do it now.

Let it go. Whether it is sibling rivalry, a feud with your uncle, a grievance that you're nursing about your spouse, or a desire to stick pins into a doll resembling your ex-husband's new wife – let it go. Grudges that you harbour only have a destructive effect on you and stops you from growing. Walk away from them. Remember the best revenge is feeling happy and looking good.


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Depression expert

Michael Simpson has been a senior psychiatric academic, researcher, and Professor in several countries, having worked at London University in the UK; McMaster University in Canada; Temple University in Philadelphia, USA.; and the University of Natal in South Africa.

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