Life isn’t always a breeze, but sometimes it can feel impossible to be positive when you’re feeling down. When you’re in a bad mood, the rest of your day can feel completely lost. Not being your best self can affect your work, relationships and personal life.
It’s tempting to indulge in some retail therapy once in a while to uplift your mood, but the thrill of a new purchase can wear off before you even bring it home. Stop the negative feedback loop and improve your perspective with one of these nine free ways to put yourself in a better mood.
Listen to Happy Music
Find an upbeat track or playlist that you love and let the music wash over you. It’ll be hard not to feel at least a little bit better while you dance and sing to your favourite song.
Give a Hug
A seven-second hug does a lot more than express love. Physical contact allows your body to release oxytocin into the bloodstream, which helps reduce heart rate and lowers the stress hormone, cortisol. Serotonin and dopamine levels increase, helping you stay calm and feel good, so hugging a friend helps combat a bad mood in multiple ways.1
Laugh It Off
Recognising the absurdity and finding the humour in a tense moment helps shed light on the issue at hand while diffusing the mood. Take a moment to realise that your situation is likely not as serious as it seems. If this seems difficult, watch a hilarious clip of your favourite comedian or cute animal to get your mind off the matter at hand.
Talk It Through
You might feel an incredible sense of relief just by openly discussing your thoughts and feelings, especially if you surround yourself with supportive and patient loved ones. As a bonus, letting your guard down helps others feel a deeper connection to you, reinforcing a stronger relationship. While it’s not free, online therapy can be a cost-effective alternative if you don’t have a support network or close loved ones.
Crack a Smile
Just force yourself to smile even if you’re not feeling it – the simple act of moving your muscles can make you happier. Doing so essentially tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually happy, so you’ll reap benefits like a lowered heart rate and stress level.2
Call a Loved One to Say “Hello”
Reach out to a close friend or family member just to brighten their day. Chances are, there’s someone in your life who could use an uplifting call, and you’ll feel better having paid it forward. It’s a win-win!
Go for a run or brisk walk outside for some fresh air and exercise while increasing circulation, stimulating attention span and soaking up some vitamin D. You’ll be even better off if you spend these few minutes catching up with an old friend or podcast.
Release the negative emotions by removing the power they hold. Meditation helps you separate your thoughts from the emotions they can cause. Choose not to fixate on the thoughts and feelings that negatively affect you, and you’ll realise the power they had over you.
Realizing that your bad feelings will eventually pass helps put you in control of your situation. Know that you aren’t your feelings, and you’ll be able to overcome.
If money can’t buy happiness, then you can improve your mood with these and many other free methods. It takes time and effort, but it’s energy well spent on yourself.
1Foley, M. (17 December 2018). Why you should hug more, according to science. Retrieved 4 March 2019, from https://www.bustle.com/p/8-health-benefits-of-hugging-that-will-make-you-want-to-snuggle-with-your-favorite-person-54770
2Association for Psychological Science. Grin and bear it! Smiling facilitates stress recovery. (30 July 2012). Retrieved 5 March 2019, from https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/smiling-facilitates-stress-recovery.html
The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.