Any time you’re feeling down, you have two options: 1) keep doing what you’re doing, or 2) do something to try and pick yourself back up. Sometimes number 2 isn’t so easy, though. That’s why we came up with 10 things you can do when you’re not feeling your best to get that smile back on your face.

1. Stop being so hard on yourself.

We put a lot pressure on ourselves. While it’s beneficial to aspire to greatness, sometimes you need to sit back, reflect, and recognize all the good things you have going on right now. So when you’re feeling down, try this: think about the things in life you’re grateful for. Focus on what you have … not what you don’t. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Be content with who you are right now at this moment. And remember, happiness is a choice.

2. Get up and move.

One of the best ways to pick yourself up when you’re having a tough day is to get off your butt and do some exercise. For example, go outside and take a walk. Ride your bike around the block. Go to the gym. Don’t just stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself. Get up, get moving, and get over it.

3. Surround yourself with people you love.

Family and friends can be the best medicine when you have the blues. Even if you can’t see them in person, pick up the phone and call someone you love. Sometimes all you need is a friend to listen to you and help you get some stuff off your chest.

4. Find a way to laugh.

We take life a little too seriously sometimes. But let’s put this in perspective: how you’re feeling right now is one tiny moment out of the thousands you will experience in your life. Know that sadness is temporary. And pick yourself up by watching your favorite funny show, movie, or video online.

5. Eat something healthy.

Guess what most people eat when they feel down? That’s right, junk food. Do the opposite and your body will thank you. Eat healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Grabbing a healthy snack can help you feel better and fill your body with proper nutrients. That’s a win-win.

6. Take deep breaths.

Focusing on your breathing may not sound like much, but it can make a world of difference if you’re feeling down. So spend a few minutes focusing on nothing except your breath. Take long, slow breaths and get rid of all negative thoughts on each exhale.

7. Spend time with animals.

Pets are therapeutic. And they’re smart. They can sense when you’re sad. Even if you don’t have a dog, cat, or other pet, you likely have a friend who does. So try spending some time around animals and watch your stress melt away.

8. Do something spontaneous and exciting.

You may not feel like doing much when you’re down in the dumps. But one of the best ways to free your mind of those pesky negative thoughts is to go out and do something totally spontaneous. Take an impromptu road trip to go visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Visit your favorite store and treat yourself to a new outfit. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Create some excitement in your life.

9. Read something inspirational.

Words have the power to heal and pick you back up when you’re down. Go online and search for inspirational quotes. Watch a speech from a famous and inspiring leader you admire. Or read a thoughtful or inspiring book.

10. Get some work done.

Here’s an easy way to take your mind off negative thoughts when you’re having a bad day: do some work. Whether it’s your job, doing chores, or working on a project you’re passionate about, getting work done will help you feel productive and free up your mind.

Life is full of setbacks and heartache. How To Instantly Feel Better When You Are Depressed

Featured photo credit: ~Aphrodite via photopin cc

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