Most of the time when you are having one of these bad days and feels impossible to break free, and sometimes it actually feels much easier to just hope to make it as best through the day, rather than trying to get yourself out of it. Yet, did you know there are things you can do right now to instantly lift that extra weight of your shoulders, and turn that frown upside down.
1.) Practice Gratitude
The positive psychology movement might not be your cup of coffee — especially if you view it as some kind of Pollyanna sugar-coating of hardships, that’s superficial at best, downright denial at worst. Looking on the bright side all the time may simply ring false. But, there is one positive feeling that we would be wise to cultivate, if nothing else than for our personal well-being. That feeling is gratitude.
With simple practices like keeping a gratitude diary or writing letters of thanks, research has shown time and again that we can dramatically reduce depression and anxiety. We’ll also feel more socially connected with others. Other studies have found gratitude can increase willpower, keep you calm and even boost your morale. It can literally transform our lives.
2.) Get Up & Go for a Walk — Right Now
I don’t care if it’s snowing or raining, too windy, too cold, or too hot, there is one thing that I can guarantee that this walk will make you feel much better, certainly if you are able to take a walk somewhere green or down a seaside which has been scientifically proven to make you feel better. Yet alone just getting some movement and breathing in some fresh air can almost right away lift your spirit. When you are having one of those bad days, it might be hard to find the energy to even get up to do this, but be assured once you do, you will be glad you did.
3.) Get Rid of Your Negative Thoughts
Some people are overwhelmed by their negative thoughts and they have a serious problem in getting rid of them. A research at University of Madrid found that by actually writing these thoughts down on a piece of paper and then destroying them has a positive result. They recommended that you tear them up, throw them in a rubbish bin or just simply burn them! The fact of discarding them physically does help in reducing their toxic effects. Psychologists suggest doing this on a regular basis.
4.) Call a Friend or Family Member
Even though you do not want to burden anyone else with your bad day, sometimes a friend or family member is just what you need to lift your spirits. At the very least, it can help take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out or bringing you down. You never know, maybe they’ll have something to tell you that will make you laugh. Either way, sharing your feelings can often make your problems seem less severe than you first thought, and knowing that there are people out there who care for you can really help shift your perspective.
5.) Smile & Wear Sunglasses
Start your day with a smile and start “feeling happy” by convincing yourself you are happy. Sometimes things around you get confusing enough for your brain to not know how to “feel” anymore. Initiate a positive emotion until your brain is convinced that you are indeed happy.
Korb calls this biofeedback:
“Biofeedback is just the idea that your brain is always sensing what is happening in your body and it reviews that information to decide how it should feel about the world.“
Now about the sunglasses — the idea is to avoid squinting from bright lights that sometimes confuses your brain into thinking that you are not happy:
“When you’re looking at bright lights you have this natural reaction to squint. But that often has the unintended effect of you flexing this particular muscle, the ‘corrugator supercilii.’ Putting on sunglasses means you don’t have to squint and therefore you’re not contracting this muscle and it stops making your brain think, ‘Oh my God, I must be worried about something.’ It’s really just a simple little interruption of that feedback loop.
These are just simple things that anyone can do at any time. They have worked tremendously for me in past, but if you are struggling with more than just a bad day and you feel you’ve been stuck in an depressed state for some time, more may be required to get yourself un-stuck. Check out the following articles for some more advice, tips, and tricks to assist you on your journey toward happiness.