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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

Need a Mood Booster? Here Are 5 Ways to Get Happier in 1 Minute

Need a Mood Booster? Here Are 5 Ways to Get Happier in 1 Minute

Everyone hits rough spots. You might be sailing along, happy and content and then something out of left field gets you upset. Maybe you stub your toe, get bad news, or spill your coffee on your favorite pants. Little or big, there are times when you need a quick mood booster.

Happiness and contentment are often states that take a while to cultivate. However, there are things you can do to find a quick boost of happiness if you’re having a bad moment. While these things likely won’t fix your problems, they may help you approach them with a greater sense of ease.

If you want to get started improving your mood, here are 5 go-to mood boosters to get happier in a minute or less!

1. Take a Few Deep Breaths

Deep breathing is a great mood booster[1]. It is an efficient way to promote overall well-being. One academic review pointed out that deep breathing can effectively improve the body and mind’s response to physical and mental stress. The same review suggests that the optimal breathing rate may be between 6-10 breaths per minute[2].

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How to do deep breathing for a mood booster.

    A second study suggested that controlled breathing can improve attention and decrease levels of cortisol, a hormone released when we are stressed[3].

    If you only have one minute, use it to take some deep breaths, aiming for 6-8 in that minute. If you have more time, try extending the deep breathing for 5-10 minutes for even more positive effects.

    2. Doodle

    If you’re in a meeting and are struggling to pay attention, or even if you’re just bored at home, doodling can be a great way to occupy your mind for a few seconds and refocus your efforts. One study suggests that “doodling is a motor act, and when occurring under conditions such as impatience, boredom, and indecision, it seems to alleviate those conditions. This effect recalls other stress-alleviating motor activities such as fidgeting, scratching, and fiddling with different objects”[4].

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    Therefore, doodling can help you tune out information that is stressful, and it may also improve memory. According to Sunni Brown, author of the book, The Doodle Revolution, doodling can affect how we process information and solve problems. It can actually help us retain more information than if we just listen.

    Doodling is also just fun, as it helps us tap into our inner child, and most of us won’t be able to resist smiling as we’re doodling away. Give this mood booster a try next time you’re bored or lacking focus.

    3. Sing out Loud

    Karen Carpenter was onto something when she told us to Sing out loud, sing out strong! One study on cancer patients showed that singing effectively reduced stress and cortisol levels and improved overall mood[5].

    It’s impossible to ignore how good you feel after belting out your favorite song. Of course, if you’re looking for a mood booster, try picking an upbeat song, one that makes you feel good every time you hear it.

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    4. Write a Gratitude List

    Gratitude is a great way to make yourself feel good, and it only takes a minute or two. In a study comparing gratitude, hope, optimism, and life satisfaction, “gratitude was determined as the most predictive variable for well-being”[6].

    If you’re able to develop a daily gratitude practice, it will do wonders for your overall mood and stress levels. This form of mood boosting can even help reduce overall rates of depression. However, even just taking a minute to write down 3-5 things that you’re grateful for can help you turn a bad day around. Use this mood booster any time you’re feeling down or hopeless.

    5. Jump

    Have you ever seen someone who is so angry that they start pounding their feet or even jumping up and down to make their point? Jumping can be a great stress-reliever and mood booster.

    Jumping jacks, specifically, increase circulation and pump out endorphins, which will get you feeling good in no time. Furthermore, they increases bone density and oxygen intake, which helps you focus. Jump long enough and you get a cardio workout.

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    However, if you don’t like jumping jacks or have an injury that makes it impossible, any physical activity will help you get a quick shot of endorphins and act as a mood booster. Choose your favorite exercise and do it as intensely as possible during a few free minutes.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few quick and easy mood boosters, some you can do discreetly in a group and others that are louder and more active. Next time life is getting you down, choose to take action and help yourself feel happier. You don’t need a lot of money or vacation time, a minute or less will usually do the trick!

    More Tips on Increasing Happiness

    Featured photo credit: Fabien via flickr.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Tara Reed

    Tara is the founder of Pivot To Happy, a site with resources for families dealing with a dementia or Alzheimer's diagnosis.

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    Published on May 4, 2021

    How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

    How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

    They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

    In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

    How to Spot Fake People?

    When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

    Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

    1. Full of Themselves

    Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

    Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

    2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

    Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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    It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

    3. Zero Self-Reflection

    To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

    Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

    4. Unrealistic Perceptions

    Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

    A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

    5. Love Attention

    As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

    6. People Pleaser

    Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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    Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

    7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

    Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

    8. Crappy friend

    Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

    It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

    The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

    How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

    It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

    There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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    1. Boundaries

    Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

    2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

    Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

    3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

    If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

    4. Ask for Advice

    If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

    Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

    5. Dig Deeper

    Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

    Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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    6. Practice Self-Care!

    Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

    Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

    Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

    Final Thoughts

    Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

    We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

    More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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