3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Mood Right Now

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 autumn 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 over my head.

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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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehack, The Huffington Post and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

91 comments… add one
  • T Ha

    Great read! Thank you for your tips, keep up the good work!

  • Cynthia W.T.

    Love that your advice is short and to the point – makes it easy to apply to life. Thank you!

  • Lorene

    Henrik, you are a dear. It’s important to remember all I have to be grateful for, and that I can choose to boost my state of mind through kind thoughts and actions. Thank you.

  • Mary

    I love all these, especially gratitude, which I start every day with. Another trick I have been trying lately is to tell myself that my feelings don’t have to rule my day. I can make good choices and do good things. I can have a good day. I remind myself that I am in charge and not my feelings. Then I connect with positive things and positive people, saying, “This day I choose all the good.” This lifts me up out of my ruminations and serves to break any negative thinking patterns that keep me down; it opens me up to change and possibilities.
    This may be just another way of saying what you said so well. Thank you so very much for your wisdom that is grounded firmly in compassion and truth.

  • Tessa

    Good job Henrik,
    Awesome understanding of us humans .
    Wish more people were like you tbh. Your positivity has a ripple effect to all your readers. ??x

  • This is fantastic. Influencing people to be grateful.

    When I’m feeling hopeless for the future, I too, like to think of what I do have: food, clothing, shelter and the occasional beers. :) Some people don’t have these things and would appreciate them.

    It’s funny how blessed we are, and then let first world problems make us forget … momentarily, anyway.

  • Rita Wright

    Thank you so much for your confirmation.
    I am on the right path in Jesus Christ’s mighty name Amen.
    You are truly appreciated.
    Thanks for sharing and caring.
    Your Sister in Christ

  • Vickie

    If i’m feeling low, i try to think of the people who lived in dusty cabins, muddy roads, no running water, etc. who could only dream of a better life. What we have is what they wanted. That helps alot. Or think of things to be grateful for–i’m not on the Titanic, not part of the Donner Party, etc. Thinking about those things makes you feel pretty good about where you are today.

  • gSad

    I’ve been doing all the mindful things that you and others recommended. I’m still miserable, and I hate life. I don’t think you understand what depression is, especially when life deals you a number of bad things in a row.

  • Vikas kumar

    It is so helpful to improve my sad life and my heart, this article so helpful everyone thanks to provided this articles for us

  • I agree with number 2 the most.
    We can change our state of mind by acting how we want to feel.

    If we want to be in a positive mood, we can simply act positive to change our mental state to a positive one.
    Khun Greg

  • Another great article Henrik.
    As number 1 says, we should be grateful for what we have.

    So many people have lost their livelihoods during this pandemic, it is to to appreciate everything.
    Jason Andrew

  • Anonymous

    Your words are very inspiring .It is true that we have to appreciate every situation that we come across and take time thinking about it before taking an action.

  • Davis

    Your words are very inspiring .It is true that we have to appreciate every situation that we come across and take time thinking about it before taking an action.

  • Fiona Slater

    Thank you for your positive comments they do lift me I felt terrible just moved home and cant get the curtain poles up need a joiner I cant believe I’ve let this bother me so much. So I’ve decided to think positive and leave this task and put on something nice and go out in the fresh air feeling glad I am alive and well there are people far worse off than me in this world.??

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