We all feel a bit down at times. Perhaps you’ve had a stressful day at work, or you’re juggling a lot of different tasks at home. Maybe your plans haven’t gone as smoothly as you’d hoped, or you’re struggling to find your path in a complex world.
When you’re feeling low, it’s easy to let your mood get on top of you: by snapping at your partner or kids, or procrastinating on your work, or even turning to drugs or alcohol. There are plenty of simple ways to boost your mood, though – so next time you feel bad, try one of these:
Walking is one of my all-time favorite activities. It combines healthy exercise and fresh air, and it’s almost guaranteed to make me feel better about whatever’s getting me down.
Even if you just walk around the block, you’ll be getting your blood pumping and your body moving. You’ll put some space between yourself and whatever’s bothering you. Within just a few minutes, you’ll often find that you feel much calmer.
You might have heard the saying that “Laughter is the best medicine.” You’ve probably experienced this at time when you’ve felt upset or annoyed – a good laugh can instantly make you feel okay again.
Whether it’s a silly website or a video on YouTube, your kids’ antics or a humorous novel, think of something that’s pretty much guaranteed to make you laugh – and keep it on hand for the next time you need to boost your mood.
Talking to a good friend can make you feel much better, especially if you’re a bit lonely or worried about something. You might not need or want advice on a particular situation – but a sympathetic ear can make things seem much better.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and let them know that you’re struggling. Maybe you feel that you have to put on a strong front for the world – but your friends and family will want to be supportive.
One of the best ways to work through worries or other negative feelings is to write about them. The process of writing helps you to clarify and structure your thoughts, and it can be more effective than simply talking about what you’re feeling.
If you’ve been feeling a bit low over several days or weeks, you might want to keep a journal to help you analyze your mood. This can help you spot patterns (perhaps you feel more positive on some days than on others) and you can also try brainstorming ways to make life happier.
A long, relaxing shower (or a bath) can make a huge difference to your mood. It’s often invigorating, especially if you’re struggling to focus on whatever task’s at hand – and it can be a much-needed chance for some peaceful time alone.
You might even like to buy some nice shower gel or bath bubbles to save for when you need a pick-me-up. Giving yourself a small treat can help you feel better about things.
If your blood sugar drops too low, you’ll find yourself getting tired and cranky, and struggling to focus. When you’re fighting your way through a long to-do list, you might forget to eat, or end up grabbing something sugary in a hurry – which usually leads to an energy and mood crash.
A healthy snack or meal can lift your mood instantly. Keep some snacks on hand at work (perhaps oatcakes or fresh fruit) and make sure you’ve got a few simple, healthy, fast recipes on hand for busy evenings.
This is one of the simplest things you can do, in any circumstances: take a few seconds just to breathe. Concentrate on the breath going in and out of your body. You might want to close your eyes. With each exhale, feel the tension leaving you. As you inhale again, think of the life-giving air that sustains you.
This is a great technique if you’re stressed out about a difficult task, or if you’re getting angry. It helps you draw your focus away from the rush of the present moment so that you can see things from a broader perspective. Often, you’ll realize what seems vitally important right now won’t even matter in a month’s time.
Do you have any great ways to lift your mood? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments…