Bad moods can happen in an instant.
This is especially true for someone who struggles with chronic depression or other mental illnesses.
One moment we’re just strolling along feeling good and then BAM negative energy hits us. Sometimes something triggers it – a negative comment from a co-worker or something else. But sometimes they happen out of nowhere.
Bad moods happen to all of us and it’s unrealistic to think we can ALWAYS be in a good mood.
But it’s always great to be proactive and have a few things we can do in an attempt to boost our mood and feel better.
So I wanted to share some of my proven “happiness hacks” in case you feel yourself heading down that negative slide and want to try and turn your mood around.
>> You might like: 60 Things to Be Happy About Today <<
Here are 11 instant mood boosters to turn to whenever you need them:
1. Think of 3 things you’re grateful for from the past day
This not only allows you to look on the bright side of things and think about the good in life, but it also keeps you in the present by thinking back on the past day.
>> You might like: How I Practice Daily Gratitude (Free Printable) <<
2. Get your body moving
You don’t need me to tell you how amazing exercise is for our physical AND mental health. We all know that there are many benefits but many of us still don’t get enough physical activity!
3. Cuddle a dog
Research has actually shown that petting a dog can have many mental and physical health benefits, including reducing cortisol (the stress hormone) and increasing oxytocin (the feel-good hormone).
4. Recite some affirmations
Daily positive affirmations can help you feel more confident, get rid of negative self-talk, help you focus your energy on what you want, and open you up to amazing possibilities. (Check out this deck of positive affirmation cards if you’re interested!)
>> You might like: 11 Things That Help When I’m Having a Bad Day <<
5. Journal your feelings
Take a few moments to write down your thoughts and express your feelings. This can help you release negative emotions and maybe even get to the bottom of why you’re feeling that way, which might give you a clue on what you need to do to overcome the bad mood.
6. Get outside
Did you know that getting out into nature for as little as five minutes can significantly boost your mood? Nature is one of the best things for our mental health, in my opinion. Go lay in the sun (with sunscreen of course) or go for a walk. Whatever appeals to you!
7. Do something spiritual
No matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs are, connecting to your own idea of the “higher power” can be one of the most powerful ways to not only boost your mood but also give you a sense of joy and purpose.
8. Call a loved one
Hearing the voice of a loved one can lower your stress levels and make you feel connected and supported. Maybe you can even talk out your bad mood and shake it off.
>> You might like: 13 Ways to Feel Happier Right Now <<
9. Do some cleaning
I don’t know if it’s just me but doing mindless activities like washing dishes or cleaning floors can put me in an almost meditative state. It always makes me feel like it gives my mind a break and I’m in a much more positive mood afterward.
10. Do something creative
Creative hobbies can put you in a sort of meditative state and they can even begin to train your brain to stop thinking so many depressing or anxious thoughts. Being able to express yourself, distract your mind, and create something is seriously so therapeutic and can turn your mood around quickly.
>> You might like: 30 Creative Hobby Ideas for Better Mental Health <<
11. Brighten someone else’s day
Did you know that doing something nice for someone else can be good for YOUR health and well-being? It’s been shown to lower stress levels, increase self-esteem, improve mood, and more. So give someone a sincere compliment, pay for someone’s order in a drive-thru line, tip a server way more than they expect, or anything else that might brighten someone’s day!
>> You might like: Making a Difference With Random Acts of Kindness <<
What are your favorite instant mood boosters? Let’s chat in the comments!