“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” Christian D. Larson
Let's just face the sad truth. Bad days happen, like when you find out your work proposal was turned down, when you plan a barbecue for the weekend and it's going to rain, when you want a cup of coffee, but the machine is broken, or when you step in dog poop. There will always be times when you feel down in the dumps, and your spirits are low.
In this article, we've put together eight things you can do that are backed by science and will keep your spirits up and bring you more happiness.
1. Have a good attitude when you start each day.
When you start the day with a positive attitude, it can help you deal with things in a positive way. Give yourself a moment when you wake up tomorrow to take a few deep breaths and think about what the day will bring.
Picture yourself feeling happy and proud of what you've done at the end of the day. Then, decide how you will approach the day with optimism, hope, and an "I can" attitude. When you start each day with a fresh outlook, little surprises of happiness will pop up throughout the day to keep your spirits up.
2. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is important to your health and well-being. Not getting enough restful sleep can make you feel sad and down. Try to sleep as long as you need to. People often say they need about eight hours of sleep each night, but this is average. Some find that they want more and some less.
3. Put yourself in the driver’s seat.
When life seems dull, remind yourself that you can get back in the driver's seat and decide where you want to go. Sometimes we have so many "to-dos" that we just react to what the day brings. Simply put, when you react, you are not in charge of your life. Instead, you are just following it.
Start breaking your pattern by giving yourself ten minutes a day to connect with yourself, figure out what your priorities are, and make a quick plan for how to handle them. Make sure to include self-care activities that are important to you, even if you can only do them for a short time at first.
There is something really empowering in remembering that you are in the driver's seat. You’ll feel more joy, you’ll feel more optimistic, and you’ll feel your spirits lifted.
4. Get out of the house.
If you're feeling down, don't stay inside. Instead, take a brisk walk around the block or do anything else that gets you outside and moving.
If you can get outside, that's great, but if you can't, try running, yoga, Zumba, CrossFit, or anything else that you enjoy and can do for a few minutes or more.
5. Get out of your comfort zone.
We all do it—sometimes we just get stuck in a rut. You may be stuck in your comfort zone, which is a place where you feel safe and at ease. You are safe and comfortable, and you don't have to face any new challenges for which you don't know what will happen.
Living everyday life is not the same as living life to the fullest. You miss many opportunities to learn new things, have fun, and get better at things. Try something new, push your limits, and give yourself the challenge to say, "I'll give it my best shot."
6. Stay away from people who make you feel bad.
It's impossible to stay away from negative people who drain your energy, and make you feel tired and sad. But others can't know what you're thinking. Most of the time, they don't even know they're bringing you down.
Don't spend too much time with these people and their bad talk. You don't have to be mean; just be honest and straightforward. Say, "I only have a few minutes left before I have to [fill in the blank]," and then leave the conversation politely.
7. Enjoy your small victories.
In our day-to-day lives, we often do things that can be considered "wins." Wins can be as simple as remembering to eat well or getting praise for a report you wrote.
Celebrating your small wins won't make a big difference in your life, but it will make you happy and boost your spirits.
8. Make someone happy.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Since you get more joy from making other people happy, you should think a lot about how you can make other people happy." Eleanor had a point! Making other people happy is one of the best ways to feel better about yourself.
When you think about making someone else happy, it comes back to you in a cool way. You'll feel better when you make someone happy, and you'll feel better because you did something good.
Grab your phone right now and text a friend to tell them how much you appreciate them, or take a break and invite someone whose company you enjoy out to dinner. It will make them feel better. And you, too.
Feeling lighter? Spirits lifting?
The next time your spirit sags, don’t let it unsettle you. Try any or all eight strategies to get yourself out of that rut and ready to grab the bull by the horns and go for it!
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