Have a bad day? It happens to the best of us. No matter how much you try to put it into perspective (“there are so many people out there who have it so much worse!”), sometimes you just can’t help feeling down. Perhaps you had a particularly tough commute. Maybe you slept through your alarm and didn’t have time to stop for coffee. Perhaps you got a snide email from a friend. No matter how small the trigger may seem, sometimes you just feel down.
And that’s okay! After all, we’re human.
When you do have a seemingly unbreakable case of the bummers, you may have a few strategies you try to improve your mood. If not, or if you want to try something new, not to fret – we have a few ideas up our sleeves for helping you go from down in the dumps to high in the clouds.
- Smile. No matter how down you might feel, think joyful thoughts. What makes you smile on a regular basis? Perhaps its your kids or your significant other, a best friend, or even a character in your favorite television show. No matter who does it, envision that they’re there with you, and try to form a real, actual smile! Studies show that even feigning a smile can boost your mood.
- Move. Head to the gym, go for a jog, or even just jump around your living room. It turns out that physical activity isn’t only good for your body, it’s also good for the soul. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, a feel-good chemical that can help quell feelings of sadness or anxiety.
- Give to others. Doing something nice for another person – even just holding the door open or paying for someone’s coffee behind you in line – can get you in a better mood. It takes you out of your own head (and therefore your problems) and into a mode of compassion and empathy.
- Grab a quick hug. Physical touch with friends, family, or loved ones can decrease stress and improve your overall mood enormously. If your significant other or a close friend is around, try cuddling. If that won’t do, a hug might work. Even cuddling with or petting your dog or cat can help! And if you’re on your own, giving yourself a quick back or neck rub can actually work wonders for your mood.
- Get organized. Doesn’t it nearly always feel good when you’ve finished cleaning a room? Embrace that feeling and use your bad mood to compel you to organize. Doing a mindless task like laundry or washing dishes can offer just the distraction you need to relieve sad times. Getting organized will also instill you with a sense of accomplishment and poise, a guaranteed mood booster!
- Enjoy the great outdoors. There’s nothing like some wonderful sunshine to brighten even the lowest of spirits. If you’re feeling a bit down, head outside. Vitamin D from the sun can make you feel chipper, as can the beauty of the trees or the popping hue of freshly budding flowers. The wind in your hair and natural surroundings can also make you feel like you’re a part of a bigger, more meaningful world – increasing your sense of purpose, confidence, and happiness.
How do you improve your mood when you’re feeling down? We’d love to hear your best quick strategies!