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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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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • There’s something to be said about “fake it till ya make it,” like you discuss in different terms in #2. I think it’s bad to use that as a strategy to bottle up issues when you should be working through them, but it’s great for when you have things to get through and need a boost. Great little post!

    – Shannon | http://www.goingwithhappy.com

    • I agree Shannon, we must must give acknowledgement to the what ever is bothering us. But controlling how much time we give to that is key.

  • Vanessa P.

    Thank you for this post! Very uplifting and helpful & so needed now a days!

  • Sometimes I get into a bad mood because of what I’m choosing to think about. A negative thought will pop into my head, and instead of just letting it pass on by, I focus in on it and start thinking about it, which results in a bad mood. I find that instead of thinking about every thought that pops into my head, if I instead return to the present moment, I’m instantly happier, even before I do anything else, such as also appreciating what I have (a great tip, by the way!).

    So what has also worked for me is, instead of thinking about negative thoughts that pop up, just let them pass on by without thinking about them. Most of the time it would only lead to a bad mood, and nothing useful. We can’t control having thoughts (they just happen to us), but we can control whether we think about them or not!

    Thanks for the interesting read!

  • Marsha

    I sometimes lie down in my bed as if I were going to sleep and get really comfortable. Then I meditate/deep breathe – and all the time, *do it with a smile on my face*. The smile usually has to be forced. It even makes those muscles quiver because I smile so rarely ( my life is very hard right now). But by forcing that smile and keeping it, I begin to feel more calm, happier and *less grim*. I feel grim most of the time these days or at best neutral. That forced smile also reminds me that I need to lighten up.

  • mia

    “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).”

    Well, you were right Henrik. I do this all the time when i need to. My dad thought me a lot something like this esp example no.1.
    :)

  • Wow! Thanks for giving me some simple handholds for my day. Simple. Positive. Practical. Love it! Keep up the good work.

    • Choose happy !:)
      Read about it here – walkingwithgrace.ca

  • mood improvement is needed seriously. when our mood was bad. we cannot do any work clearly.so it’s important things and helpful posts

  • I loved this!
    Stephanie – walkingwithgrace.ca

  • So true- “act as you would like to feel.” Although we don’t have control over everything that happens, we do have control over how we act. Good reminder that many times, we can bring ourselves out of those negative places.

  • Nikhil sinha

    What you have stated is nice and inspirational. However, my concern is that is it that easy to overcome the negative feeling? I mean is the feeling of goodness always tantamount to the degree of the consequences of the state of negative? Sometimes we may need a higher degree for motivation which in some cases might not occur as well.