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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

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    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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    Last Updated on February 11, 2021

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

    Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

    The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

    Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

    Perceptual Barrier

    The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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    The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

    The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

    Attitudinal Barrier

    Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

    The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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    The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

    Language Barrier

    This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

    The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

    The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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    Emotional Barrier

    Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

    The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

    The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

    Cultural Barrier

    Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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    The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

    The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

    Gender Barrier

    Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

    The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

    The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

    And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

    Reference

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