Let’s face the facts, life isn’t always peaches and cream. Bad days happen, whether it’s a breakup, an argument with friends, a messed up job interview—you catch my drift, right?
We can’t control people’s actions, and yes, the negative behavior of others does often affect us. What we are capable of doing, however, is changing our reaction to people and things that upset us.
You are in complete control of your mood, but it takes consistent practice to get the hang of it.
There are plenty of ways to improve your mood, and while some of them involve time and dedication, others can boost your mood in less than nine minutes. Plantie narrowed down a list of our five favorite ways to reduce stress, anger, sadness and other unpleasant emotions. Test them out, find which works best for you, and utilize this list on a regular basis.
Keep a Nightly Gratitude List
Every night before you hop into bed, pull out your journal and start brainstorming. Think about what you’re currently feeling grateful for, from the big stuff to the little things, then write them down on paper. Keeping a list allows you to go back and read previous entries when you’re having a not-so-great moment or day, and it helps you count your blessings, which is known to improve mood rather rapidly.
Change How You React to Other People’s Bad Mood
Changing how you react to someone who is mistreating you and learning not to instinctively mirror that sour behavior is challenging but necessary for maintaining a healthy mindset. For example, when your romantic partner is giving you an attitude for no reason whatsoever, maybe because they are simply having a bad day and taking their anger out on you, don’t allow their irritability to steal your happiness.
Rather than getting upset and treating them the same way they are treating you, take a few deep breaths, leave the room to calm down if needed, and tell yourself you refuse to absorb their emotions. It’s okay to be disappointed or unhappy with someone, but it doesn’t have to ruin your entire day. You are in control, and no one can steal that power from you, not even your loved one.
Yoga, much like other forms of exercise, releases the “feel good” chemicals endorphins and dopamine. In doing so, most people experience mild euphoria, hence the term “runner’s high.” For those who aren’t familiar with yoga poses, you can watch tutorials on YouTube or perform a Google search for “how to practice relaxing yoga,” or “intense yoga.”
There are many different forms of yoga. For uplifting your mood, we believe in vinyasa and restorative. Vinyasa yoga consists of fast-paced movement, switching from pose to pose with each long and deep, four-second inhalation, followed by a brief pause and then a four second exhalation. That deep breathing mixed with an increased heart rate from the quick flow causes you to relax and brings that aforementioned sense of euphoria.
Restorative yoga, on the other hand, is the most relaxing form. Each pose is held for an extended period of time while you take deep, slow and long breaths. Much different than traditional yoga, props such as blankets and blocks are used to support the body and apply some added comfort. Some people set aside 15 to 60 minutes every day to practice. True yogis believe consistency is key. Others choose to practice for several minutes whenever they need to gain a sense of calm.
Play Some Happy Tunes
Did you know studies have proven that listening to music you love actually releases more dopamine? Dopamine is a naturally-produced chemical in our brain that plays a role in how we experience pleasure. The same applies for sad songs or music that reminds you of a bad time in your life; your mood naturally goes downhill and may even cause you to cry. When you’re feeling down, throw on happy tunes or some upbeat songs that you love for an instant boost in mood.
Create Your Very Own Bucket List
When you’re feeling extremely depressed and considering whether or not life is worth living, contact your doctor first and foremost. While you’re waiting for your scheduled appointment, the act of creating a bucket list is an effective method to help remind you just how many reasons there are to keep living. The best part is, you can continue adding more whenever you begin feeling sad or stressed out.
Everyone is different, so each person’s list will be different as well. One person may want to travel to the treehouse hotel community in Costa Rica, while another person might desire a trip to France and Greece. Traveling isn’t the only thing you can add. How about concerts, rekindling an old friendship, or starting to date again? The options are endless and entirely up to you.
Related Article: Healthy Habits to Develop Based on Your Zodiac Sign
*Remember: When your mood is interfering with your life or causing dangerous thoughts, you should visit your doctor, call a friend or a suicide/depression hotline, or call 911 when you’re experiencing an extreme emergency.