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How to Refresh Your Mood: 4 Simple Tips

I often 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 the winter snow and cold 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 is not over yet. Maybe you can still make something good out it.

Here’s how I do that by breaking the negative mood and getting a new start. When you need a reboot to your day and mood choose one of these tips and see how it works for you.

Appreciate what you have.

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

I take about 2 minutes and sit or stand 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. 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 fluffy cat sitting beside me on the sofa, 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, more warm and open one.

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 may not feel like it. But I do it as best as I can anyway. I think of the task I have in front of me as something exciting and fun. I may answer some emails or talk to someone in a positive and enthusiastic manner.

If I feel unmotivated or nervous before some kind of meeting I may assume rapport (I 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).

Work out.

If I feel negative and indecisive or just sort of stuck in in-action then I work out.

30-40 minutes with my free weights melts away tension and stress from my body.

It recharges me and my focus becomes much sharper and it becomes easier once again to make decisions and to take action to move forward.

The change in mood and headspace after a workout can be pretty big in my experience and the nice thing is that it works pretty much automatically. You only have to show up and start working in out and things change.

Think for a minute and give someone a genuine compliment.

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

Spend one minute 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.

Image by Camdiluv ♥ (license).

P.S: Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey I posted last week. Your answers will be a huge help.

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  • Trevor March 27, 2013, 2:01 pm

    All true points. Especially about working out. That one can work wonders.

    I’d also add a 5th tip — accomplish something worthwhile. Just the simple act of accomplishment can lift your mood like no other. It doesn’t have to be some great and noble task you complete, just something that was worth doing. Something that needed to be done. Whatever that means to you.

    The best turnarounds I’ve ever had from a seemingly bad day were when I was able to suck it up, do some work and get something accomplished. Try it. You’ll feel on top of the world for the rest of the day.


    • Henrik Edberg April 1, 2013, 4:34 pm

      Awesome added tip, thank you for that, Trevor!

  • Mohammad March 27, 2013, 7:42 pm

    Very true and motivated points to change your life within a minutes.
    Before this I do not apply the other points, one main thing which changes my feeling within a minutes is to workout, Everyday when I go to running then gym i feel fresh, full of energy.
    Thanks for the nice article.

    • Henrik Edberg April 1, 2013, 4:38 pm

      Thank you very much for your kind comment, Muhammad!

  • Vincent Nguyen March 28, 2013, 12:16 am

    Ah, yes. Acting like how you want to feel is POWERFUL. People think I’m crazy when I tell them that, but it is true! The thing about appreciating what you have is effective as well. Stoicism has an interesting technique where they tell you to practice “wanting what you have.” You can imagine how effective that can be in the long-run once you develop that habit. :)

    • Henrik Edberg April 1, 2013, 4:39 pm

      Yeah, it’s a bit of an odd technique but it can work really well. :)

  • Kyle Willkom March 28, 2013, 2:45 am

    I love that you included giving someone a compliment! Amazing the effect doing something nice for someone else can have on the person doing it. So here’s a compliment for you: great post. I look forward to reading more!

    • Henrik Edberg April 1, 2013, 4:39 pm

      Thank you very much, Kyle! I really do appreciate your kind compliment.

  • Michael Isla March 28, 2013, 6:37 pm

    Excellent advice and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I had very little sleep and told myself I had no patience for nonsense today. And guess what I didn’t! So I followed your steps especially the gratitude part and now I feel happy and ready to have an excellent day!

    • Henrik Edberg April 1, 2013, 4:40 pm

      That is awesome to hear, very glad to have helped out with your day!

  • Elle March 28, 2013, 7:55 pm

    I think you made some great tips! I agree that you don’t have to wait until the next day to feel better about yourself.

    Everyday is a new day and a fresh start, but every minute is also a new minute and fresh start.

    Appreciating what I have is also one of my top pick-me-ups. I think about how lucky I am to be living the life I have.

    There are some people whose biggest worry is not having enough to eat for the next day. It really puts my life in perspective.

    Building on to tip #5, I’d help someone else in need. Being productive definitely make me feel like I’ve accomplished something, and nothing feels better than helping those in need such as volunteering at the local food bank.

    • Henrik Edberg April 1, 2013, 4:41 pm

      Very nice addition to tip 5, helping someone is indeed very powerful to change one’s mood. Thank you, Elle!

  • Uzma | Embracing Sustainability March 29, 2013, 5:50 am

    Body achieves what the mind believes : ) Let your mind lead your day and not the mood. Exercise and leaving someone a sincere compliment instantly turns a frown into a smile.

  • Lauren March 29, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Nice little simple post. I also think that acting with compassion towards yourself is important. Nurture and take care of the little part of you which doesn’t feel happy that day… give it a little of what it needs, acceptance and a break from the never ending ‘striving’ attitude which is accepted as ‘normal’ and which rules our life.

  • Nick Goodall March 29, 2013, 11:07 pm

    Working out is brilliant! If you give it a real good go, train as hard as you can until you’re exhausted, I’d be damned if you weren’t smiling afterwards.

    Although I have a routine to workout and don’t necessarily do it spontaneously to feel good, it keeps a feeling-good routine throughout the week, and that’s powerful!

  • Ashley Poptodorova March 31, 2013, 10:15 pm

    Thank you for the great post! Very practical ways to improve your life!

  • Shawn Ryan April 1, 2013, 5:42 am

    Great post! Being grateful and appreciative for the things in your life has been one thing that I am focusing on lately. It really does make you feel instantly better and actually makes me want to treat others nicer and want to give them genuine compliments.
    I wish more people could identify with this lifestyle and the world would really be a better place!
    Another thing that has always helped refresh my mood is meditation. this is an instant mood booster.
    Thanks for the post!

  • rachid April 1, 2013, 11:18 pm

    For me , I think that get up early is one of the best ways to refresh your mood . rather than starting your morning with your usual frantic rush, set your clock back an hour earlier and use this time to engage in a productive task followed by an enjoyable one.
    Thank you so much Henrik for this great post

  • Nay April 3, 2013, 6:59 am

    Thank you for this post Hendrik, it really came in the right time. I was feeling out of tune this morning, and when my head told me how unmotivated, uninspired myself was, i simply told myself that i will lift my mood and find inspiration, and then comes your blog, bringing me the right answers. anyway i would also add another tip which is listening, reading or watching something that could lift your mood like funny movies, upbeat song that has positive lyric or biographical books.

  • Shawn April 3, 2013, 7:45 am

    Working out always puts me in a better mood. It gets the blood flowing and and you breathe more which is a great way to get the positive natural bldy chemicals flowing.
    Thanks for the post! This is a great blog!

  • Charlene April 3, 2013, 6:34 pm

    In our office we have a daily huddle in the morning and we are required to start the day with our good news, sometimes just having a laugh trying to find something is enough to get the positivity flowing!

  • Robert April 4, 2013, 10:24 am

    Whenever I get into a bit of a funk, I always think to myself about how fortunate I am. There are a lot of people who are in a much worse off situation than I am. Thinking of this refreshes my mood and makes me sad a the same time as I think of those batteling to survive day in and day out.

    When you feel sorry for yourself, remember there is always somone that is worse off than you.

  • Riz April 4, 2013, 12:02 pm

    Thanks for excellent tips. I liked first one. Just sit and think about what you have. when came around this kind of situation. Just reflect myself about what I came with in this world and what I have now. I always feel positive and also discuss thing that make happy with my lovely wife.

  • David April 10, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Got to be honest and say I’m facing a really challenging time right now. I’m constantly down, can’t stop binge eating, I’ve been this way for years possibly due to bullying back at school but I just can’t feel happy the eating is the biggest problem I cannot stop and it’s affecting my health as well as my daily life can anyone relate?

  • Steven April 16, 2013, 6:30 pm

    It’s good to hear such positive comments! Sometimes we get pulled down with negative thoughts and we don’t even realise it, it took me almost a year to get used to concentrating on gthe positive things in my life rather than worrying about the negative things that could happen, I eventually realised that the only bad things that happened in my life was me worrying about bad things happening. When you focus on the positive things you have positive experiences :-)

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