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Need A Mood Booster? Here’re 5 Ways To Get Happier Within 1 Minute

Need A Mood Booster? Here’re 5 Ways To Get Happier Within 1 Minute

Let’s face it – everyone hits rough spots. (Unless you are Mary Poppins, she never seemed to get upset…) You might be sailing along, happy and content and then bam! Something out of left field gets you upset. Maybe you stub your toe. Maybe you get bad news. Maybe you spill your coffee on your favorite pants. Little or big, there are times when you need a quick way to get back to happy, pronto.

Over the years, I’ve tried lots of things to help me take life’s setbacks less seriously. I’ve asked my friends what they do to cure the doldrums and many times their suggestions simply take too long, too much planning or too much money. I can’t jet off to Tahiti because my performance review didn’t go well. I can’t take the day off to have a spa day and soak in mud with cucumbers on my eyes when my feelings have been hurt. I have responsibilities, time constraints and sometimes I just want to be happy NOW! I am, after all, part of the instant-gratification generation!

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Here are 5 of my go-to techniques to get happier in a minute or less!

1. Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breathes.

Deep breathing is a great way to lower your blood pressure, calm your mind and release endorphins. When my niece was about 2, she would get really wound up and I started having her do deep breathing with me. I made a game of it: we would face each other and I’d say, “Take a deep breath in…” and she’d watch me and breath in with all her might. “Now out slowly…” and we’d breathe out together. We’d repeat that three times, facing each other and end with a little bow. It was amazing how much calmer she became! It is still a go-to technique to calm her down – and now her brothers too! I do it myself when I find my mind racing or when something trivial gets me worked up!

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2. Doodle yourself happy.

If I’m in a public place, at a professional gathering or some other place where I need to be discreet, I grab a pen and doodle. Doodling can do one of two things: it can help me tune out information that is stressing me out or it can actually help me retain information. 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. (I wish Sunni Brown had been around to explain that to my teachers – I’ve been a life-long doodler!)

3. Sing out loud!

Karen Carpenter was onto something when she told us to Sing out loud, sing out strong! Singing boosts circulation, increases your oxygen intake which is good for your body and your brain, decreases anxiety and releases endorphins. If you aren’t the best singer and you don’t happen to be alone when you break out into song, you may end up laughing about the situation as you spread your joy – however out of key – with others.

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4. Laugh it off!

I grew up watching the Brady Bunch every day after school. One episode that stood out was when the girls were having a sleepover and they decided to play “Ha”. They laid on the floor, each girl’s head on another girl’s stomach. They started off saying “ha” and then ended up laughing for real. I tried it with friends one time, we thought we could do it without really laughing, but discovered it was just so silly we started truly giggling. Laughter has many health benefits. Laughing relaxes your muscles and relieves stress, improves mood and lowers stress hormones. So now when I’m feeling stressed, I often turn to quick and funny videos on YouTube to get me laughing – it changes my focus, makes me happy and has all the health benefits I just mentioned!

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? Have you then noticed that their mood begins to shift? Jumping up and down, as if having a mini hissy-fit, is actually one of my favorite ways to get my happy back. I find jumping to be a go-to stress reliever when technology is not my friend. When my software crashes or my DVR forgets to record a favorite show, you may find me jumping up and down in an effort to release my frustration.

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It turns out jumping is pretty amazing! It gets your blood flowing and your lymphatic system on the move. Jumping stimulates metabolism and releases serotonin – a stress relieving hormone that stabilizes your nervous system. It increases bone density and oxygen intake which helps you focus. Jump long enough and you get a cardio workout. Best of all – jumping up and down because things aren’t going your way doesn’t just make you look like a 2 year old, it makes you feel better!

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

Featured photo credit: Fabien via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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