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How to Improve Your Mood Right Now: 3 Simple Habits

I sometimes write about how a good start to your day often leads to having a good day in general.

A social, an energetic or a productive start sets the context for your day.

But on some days you may not get a good start for some reason.

Maybe you slept badly. Or the maybe grey skies and cold summer rain is dragging your energy down.

Or you might have lost that positive momentum during a hard first part of the day and after lunch you feel tired, low or lost in a somewhat sad or uninspired funk.

What to do then? Is that day lost and should you just aim for a better day tomorrow?

Well, today isn’t over yet.

Maybe you can still make something good out of it.

Here’s how I do that by breaking the negative mood and getting a new start.

1. Appreciate what you have.

The simplest of my most commonly used pick-me-ups.

I take about 2 minutes and sit in silence.

I tell myself: OK, I might not feel so good right now, but what can I be grateful for and appreciate in my life?

I usually come up with one simple thing like:

  • My tasty food.
  • My health.
  • That I have a roof.

That one thing opens up my mind. It redirects my thoughts from the negativity.

Then I build upon that one thing. I make mental jumps from the roof, to the warmth in our home, to the clean water in the glass beside my computer, to that I can work from home as the rain pours outside.

I make those small mental leaps by just moving my attention around in the room I am in. Like skipping from stone to stone over a stream. And I take the time to slowly appreciate all those things.

This changes my mood to a happier, warmer and more open one.

2. Act as you would like to feel.

Emotions work backwards too. So if I want to become more positive or enthusiastic then I act in the manner of a person who is positive or enthusiastic.

I might not feel like it. But I do it as best as I can anyway. I may for example:

  • Think of the task I have in front of me as something exciting and fun.
  • Answer some emails or talk to someone in a positive and enthusiastic manner.
  • Assume rapport if I feel unmotivated, negative or nervous before some kind of meeting (assuming rapport is to think to myself that I am meeting one of my best friends just before the meeting and that puts me in the right mood and headspace).

3. Think for a minute and give someone a genuine compliment.

Here’s a fun one I use quite often and that will not only lift my own mood.

Spend 1 minute on coming up with something you really and genuinely appreciate about someone in your life that is in the same room as you at some point during the day. Then tell him or her the genuine compliment you have come up with.

She or he will be happy. You’ll feel good about yourself and get positive feelings too from the now smiling, happy and complimented person. And so the mood for the both of you is changed for the better.

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{ 49 comments… add one }
  • Adding to your first habit, writing a gratitude list has done wonders for me. Stopping every morning or night to write out three to five things I am thankful for has really grounded me.

    Great Post!

  • Manal Sul

    I usually dont do commented .. However this time I would like to comment cause I wish people like you live forever happy as you make us think reasonably , for make me think around my self and appreciate graces I have .
    big thumb and thanks for great and short talk …
    Be Happy

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