Everyone has the occasional difficult day, days when they feel a little low or stressed out. Sometimes it’s due to circumstances, sometimes it can simply be physiology. On those occasions, it’s a good idea to know what helps turn your frown upside down. With a few simple tricks, you could help get yourself out of that funk and feeling instantly happier.
Inhale Some Happiness
Our moods and attitudes can vary widely because of surroundings, thoughts, even the people around us. Because we are so easily influenced, small changes can make a big impact on how we feel, even something as simple as smell.
Many studies regarding the effects of smell on emotions have shown that smells can have a profound effect on our moods. A scent hits your olfactory center and can remind you of fond moments and memories. Scents like pine and citrus can have an energizing effect. Lavender, fresh-cut grass, and vanilla can bring about relaxation.
Going outside for a walk, tossing around a frisbee, or even just relaxing for a bit in the park can have a big impact on how you feel. Sunlight boosts levels of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that is responsible for your mood. Studies have shown that people who were exposed to just one hour of sunlight every day demonstrate better moods and reduced stress levels.
Listen to some good music
Jamming out to your favorite tunes can help you feel better — but there’s a catch: you must listen to music with the intention of improving your mood. Research from the University of Missouri found that upbeat music was successful at making people feel happier more so than somber music, but people reported higher levels of happiness when they attempted to feel more positive through the music. Looks like all it takes is a little effort and your favorite beats.
Call a Friend
Sometimes, all we need is a little bit of social interaction. While we may not be able to meet in person right now, a phone call or even video chat is a quick way to say hi. An article in Psychology Today stated that the quality of conversation mattered as did the person being spoken with. Most people felt happier after speaking with someone they felt close to but even a short conversation with a stranger created the feeling of increased happiness.
Watch a funny movie
Laughing can instantly boost your mood. Giggling and laughing releases the feel-good hormone, endorphins. If you’re feeling grumpy, grab the remote, pop some popcorn, and watch a favorite comedy. Studies have even shown that we’re more likely to laugh at something when with someone else. So, gather the family for a movie night.
Think of something you’re looking forward to
One study from the journal Applied Research In Quality Of Life showed that looking forward to a vacation can give people as much happiness as the vacation itself. Why not think about the next trip you’ll be taking, the next visit from a favorite relative, or an excursion to your favorite hot spot. Make some plans and hashing out some of the details could have you smiling in no time.
Even just forcing yourself to fake a smile can release endorphins. A study from the journal Psychological Science even found that pushing a person’s face into a smile using chopsticks helped lower people’s stress levels. That’s because your brain associates the physical change with joy, therefore it creates the associated positive mood.
Stay off Social Media
While the act of staying off of social media doesn’t have a direct impact on our health or mood, the effects of what we view on social media can hugely impact us. Whether it’s something that triggers anger, insecurity, or even fear, all of these can leave us impacted. Try taking a day off from social media to see if your mood improves just from the absence of it.