Whether you woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or are in the midst of a midday break down, your bad mood doesn’t have to stick until daybreak tomorrow. The bottom line: feeling badly feels, well, bad. So don’t wait for the negative feelings to pass and, instead, take control of your thoughts and adjust your feelings for a better end to the day with these ten simple steps to happy.
Breathe. This is perhaps the simplest tip of them all, yet one of the hardest to remember to do. When we get upset, our muscles tighten and tense while our breath becomes more shallow and frequent. Instead of hyperventilating, though, take 3 deep breaths (taking 10 seconds for each inhale and an additional 10 seconds for each exhale). This simple act will help bring new energy into your body and help you reconnect with your body, mind and soul.
Walk Away. Step away from whatever it is your doing, even if it’s supposed to be helping, and walk away, literally. In the office? Take a bathroom break. Inside? Go out. A change of scenery will force you to pay more attention to what you are doing rather than what you are feeling and will help you gain a new perspective so you can return to the task with a sense of calm.
Music. Compile a playlist of your favorite “feel good” songs and, whenever you’re feeling in a funk, pop in your earphones. Music releases dopamine, the feel good chemical in our brain; so, whenever you’re feeling down, give yourself a few minutes to turn the volume up.
Move. Even better then just listening to your favorite song, is moving to it. Get to the gym, go outside for a walk or just do some jumping jacks. Together, music and movement will increase your dopamine production and have you feeling happier in no time!
Phone. Calling a friend can often be one of the best ways to overcome a negative attitude, feeling or mood. Don’t, however, call a friend to complain – trust us, it won’t help. Rather, tell your friend both how you feel and (here’s the important part:) how you would like to feel. Placing the focus on how you want to feel, rather than how you currently feel, will quickly precipitate a positive shift in both your thoughts and feelings.
Smile! We know it sounds silly (and, we admit, it is), but smile, even if you’re not feeling it and even if no one’s around. Who knows, the silliness of it all may just make you laugh.
Google. Pick the word that best describes the way want to feel and do a google search for quotes on your word of choice. Whether you search for “quotes on happy” or “calm quotes,” countless results will appear. Take time to find one you love, write it down and read it throughout your day.
Reach out. Call a friend or family member and see how they are, help a stranger or smile at someone you don’t know. Being of service to others benefits us all.
Mantra. Pick the word that describes how you want to feel (perhaps the one you’ve already googled) and recite it in your mind. Focusing with intent on that which we desire brings it to us that much faster.
Stop. So often resisting our feelings, rather then just accepting them, causes our suffering. If you have tried the 9 tips above and nothing is working, surrender. Accept that you need to feel the way you do right now for some reason and that it’s okay – that you’re okay.