We all have days where we just seem to wake up on the clichéd wrong side of the bed. Here are some activities to try and pull you out of that bad mood and put a smile on your face.
1. Get out doors
Sometimes it can feel incredibly nice to sit at home under a blanket and forget about the world when we’re having a bad day. But this often makes the problem worse. If the very walls that surround you seem to trap the problems in with you and bounce around your heads like a child that has had too much candy, it’s a sign that you need to get out of that room. Get outside, into the fresh air, and around others and you’ll be surprised how soon you forgot about your problems.
2. Do something physical
Physical activity releases the feel-good hormone endorphin. Endorphins are natural hormones that are released when we do physical exercise and that makes the individual euphoric. Use your body’s natural chemicals to your own benefit. Go for a run, or a walk, or put music on in your house and dance like no one is watching.
3. Engage in visualization
Sit somewhere quiet and comfortable. Close your eyes. Breathe in and out a couple times. Now picture yourself in a favorite location. It can be real or fictitious. Perhaps you are in the deep forest sitting under a tree, or perhaps you are lazing in the sun on a Mexican beach, but wherever you choose, make sure you are imagining yourself happy and comfortable. Note the details of your imaginary place. Are you by yourself or with others? What does the ground beneath you feel like? What does the place smell like? Are there any animals, bugs, or vegetation there? Whatever you decide make sure the place is detailed and that you remain happy and comfortable there. Taking yourself somewhere that makes you happy, even if it’s only in your imagination, can do wonders for your mood.
4. Make yourself a delectable feast
Food is a mood stabilizer. Eating something delicious can not only help stabilize your mood, but is also a great way to practice self-care. Make yourself a favorite meal. This can be anything from Kraft Dinner to a homemade curry. Just make sure it is something that you love. As you prepare it, take your time and focus on it. Taste it often and allow your creativity to direct the making process. Prepare the meal as precisely as if you were making the meal for a loved one on a special occasion. After all, you are making it for a loved one: yourself.
5. Take deep breaths
Sometimes we get so stuck in our heads that it really wears us down. Take at least ten deep breaths (or more if you need it). Focus solely on your breath and don’t allow yourself to focus on anything but the long breath that you are pulling into your lungs, holding, and finally exhaling. Taking deep breaths helps to connect you to your body and will get you away from whatever you were thinking about. Enjoy the moment by focusing on your breath and forget for a while whatever was troubling you.
6. Take a second to see the roses
Sometimes we get so stuck in our own bad moods to realize that the world around us is full of wonder. There is beauty all around us and by focusing on it we can see the beauty in our own lives. When we begin to appreciate the beauty around us, our moods will brighten.
Find something that you haven’t spent much time looking at. It could be a gnarled tree across the road or an abandoned house that your bus drives by every day. Take as long as you can and note every small detail about it: the texture of the bark, the sound that it makes as the wind rustles its leaves, the way the window spiderwebs from where a rock had been thrown through the window. Just take some time and really NOTICE your surroundings. You’ll be shocked at what you discover and seeing the beauty that’s all around you will get you into the habit of seeing the good around you.
7. Name three things you are grateful for
When we are having a bad day, it is so easy to stay focused on what has bothered us. Mood actually triggers memory, so if you are in a bad mood, you are more likely to remember moments that put you in a bad mood. Disrupt this cycle by naming three things you are grateful for. Write them down. Say them aloud. Thank the universe for providing them for you. Appreciate that there are good things in your life.
8. Try something new
In a 2007 study, psychologists found that subjects who experienced curiosity on a given day also reported more satisfaction with their lives. The happiest people are those that know when to pamper themselves with familiarity and also when to push the limits and try something new.
Sometimes when you are having a bad day, getting out of the mundane circle of daily life can do wonders. So why not go to that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, or sign up for an exercise or art class. You only need to do it once, and if you don’t like it you never have to do it again. Pick something that interests you, but that you wouldn’t automatically choose, and see what happens.
9. Find something cute or funny
Moods can be affected by your smile. You can become in a better mood just by smiling. The reason for this is still unknown, but the link between smiling and becoming in a better mood exists. So get online or into a favorite book and find something that you think is incredible funny or incredibly cute. Keep searching until you start to laugh and smile and you will start to feel better.
10. Open the blinds
So you can’t get outside. Maybe it’s raining, or snowing, or there is something that makes it just impossible to take those steps into the outdoors. You can still lift your mood by brightening your day. For those of us who live in places where the daylight hours are a commodity in the winter months, take whatever steps you can to make sure you get some of the sun’s rays. Open your blinds at work or home, even if it’s just for a couple hours when the sun shines into the windows. Some people are greatly affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in which moods are greatly changed by the different seasons. These people can be prone to depression in the winter months. If you think you have depression, make sure to see a professional, but if you notice that you just have a little less energy in the winter and that you have a few more bad days, make sure that you put in an effort to get as much sunlight as possible. Open the blinds and get outside. Make the few daylight hours that you get actually count.