It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
Did this puppy cheer you up? Every once in a while we find ourselves in a bad mood in need of a cheer up. Maybe you got a flat tire on the way to work, or the coffee shop messed up your drink order, but either way, you need a pick-me-up. You need to change your mood to happy.
There are a lot of strategies a person can use to change their mood and outlook over the long term, however, not nearly as much attention is given to how a person can bust their bad mood fast.
Still, your attitude in the moment can have a big impact on your day and your life-at-large.
The good news is that if you find yourself slipping into a negative or self-defeating mood, there are ways to quickly right the ship.
The next time you feel your emotions veering toward a place you'd rather they didn't go, try one of the following methods for changing your mood in 60 seconds or less.
Studies have shown that putting on a smile - even if it is forced - can lead to an almost immediate flood of endorphins. This endorphin release is actually triggered by the movement of muscles in your face, meaning that smiling carries this benefit even when your heart really isn't in it.
Endorphins released by smiling serve to improve your overall happiness and reduce stress by triggering the stress-reducing hormone cortisol. Simply put, endorphins are feel-good neurotransmitters, and smiling can give you an extra boost when you need them most.
Second, you can do what is called a “Rampage of Gratitude”. Rampages are typically associated with being over-the-top expressions of negative emotions, but that doesn't have to be the case - they can be over-the-top expressions of gratitude and positive emotions as well.
If you find yourself slipping into a negative mood, spend the next minute going on a gratitude rampage.
Identify everything that exists in your life that you have reason to be thankful for, and spend a moment reflecting on each thing that comes to mind. Be thankful for the existence of those things, and be thankful for your own existence. It’s even more powerful if you express each thing you are grateful for out loud.
The truth is, everyone has countless reasons to be thankful, and spending a few moments focusing on those reasons can do a world of good for your mood.
What I like to do is just stand up and walk around for a few minutes and appreciate everything I see.
I appreciate the carpet on the floor. It makes everything much quieter and more beautiful.
I am grateful for the people who made the carpet and the people who installed it.
I am grateful for my computer and the internet that lets me interact with all my students around the world.
I am grateful for my cell phone.
I am grateful for my Amazon Echo and Alexa, whom I can ask anything of, and she always has an immediate answer.
I am grateful for Pandora, especially the James Taylor and Paul Simon channels.
I am grateful for the weather in Santa Barbara.
I am grateful for my stapler and my scotch tape dispenser that allows me to keep everything in order.
Even the little things matter.
Research has shown that as little as 3 minutes can begin to alter your state of mind. The short-term benefits of meditation are just as beneficial as the long-term benefits of meditation.
If you're in need of a relaxing pick-me-up, take a couple minutes to meditate or perform a few deep-breathing exercises.
Even just a few minutes of meditation can serve as sort of a mental reset button, reducing stress, calming worry and anger, and leaving you in a noticeably better mood.
The power of a few minutes of repeating positive affirmations is something that should be used.
Positive affirmations are a proven technique to improve your mood, reduce stress, and boost your confidence.
The trick is that your subconscious tends to believe what you repeatedly tell it. This is why people with a negative outlook tend to end up affirming their negative views as truth in what amounts to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Thankfully, the reverse is also true, and positive affirmations can be used to convince yourself that the positive things you tell yourself really are true.
Your positive affirmations will vary depending on your own goals, interest, and current situation, but choose affirmations that will uplift and inspire you, then spend a minute repeating them to yourself.
Here are a few examples of uplifting affirmations:
I am courageous and I stand up for myself.
I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.
I have everything I need to do anything I want.
I am becoming more calm and centered with every breath I take.
I am joyfully and peacefully completing everything I need to do.
I am using my limitless gifts and talents to accomplish all of my dreams and goals.
I always find solutions to any challenges and roadblocks and easily move quickly past them.
Music affects your mind, your emotions, and your soul in a number of ways.
It's no small wonder then, that music in some form or another has been around almost since the dawn of man.
A study published by the University of Missouri in 2013 concluded that participants who listened to upbeat music even for just a brief period of time reported improved mood and increased happiness. Just note that word "upbeat" is key; sad, slow songs won't have the desired result.
Create a personal playlist of upbeat songs for yourself that you can always access when you need it.
My playlist includes songs like Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, You Make Loving Fun by Fleetwood Mac, Celebration by the Pointer Sisters, Beat It by Michael Jackson, Brave Faithby Jana Stanfield, It’s a Great Day to Be Alive by Travis Tritt, Hands by Jewel, and All You Need Is Love by the Beatles.
The next tip is to simply go outside and get a little sun.
There's a reason that depression rates soar in the winter time when the sunshine is less frequent. In fact, some studies have shown that people who get more sunlight exposure during the day sleep better at night, are more alert and productive, and are less likely to suffer from conditions such as depression.
Sunshine can be just as beneficial for a quick mood boost, too. If the weather and your location permit it, step outside, take a few breaths of fresh air, and soak up a little sunlight. It shouldn't take long before you begin to notice the benefits.
The last tip is to give someone a hug. Physical contact is one of the all-time best mood improvers.
Like smiling, giving someone a hug releases a flood of feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters that are great for reducing stress.
These include cortisol and oxytocin - both of which are powerful mood improvers.
If there's no one around you that you feel comfortable hugging, try giving yourself a self-massage.
Rubbing your temples, forehead, hands, and neck is a decent stand-in for physical contact and has been shown to have many of the same benefits.
Working on improving your mood in the long-term can certainly boost the quality of your life. Changing your mood fast, though, can go a long way to improving your current day. In addition, quick, short-term improvements eventually add up to long-term results.
Try one of the tactics we just covered for changing your mood in 60 seconds or less the next time you need it. You should be able to curb your bad mood and quickly cheer up back into a beneficial state of mind.
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