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15 Science-Backed Ways To Cheer Yourself Up

15 Science-Backed Ways To Cheer Yourself Up

It’s always useful to know how to cheer up, since the older we get the more stressed out we become. There are numerous reasons why we experience inner turmoil and start to feel a bit depressed. It can be a mid-life crisis, anxiety, stress at work, or even overthinking things that brings us down, but too much negativity is never good for one’s wellbeing, which is why the following techniques can come in handy.

1. Take some time off

If you are stressed out due to the nature of your work, it goes without saying that you should take some time off or ask for sick leave. Our jobs are daily doses of stress, and even though we are really resilient, pushing your limits won’t do you any good. The brain is like a muscle, it needs time to heal in order to be fully functional again.

So, by taking some time off, you lessen the strain on the stress neurotransmitters in your brain, allowing it to rejuvenate. If you nurture your brain properly, you’ll be far more productive and a lot less pressured.

2. Start to exercise

When you are angry, a good workout is great for blowing off some steam, but if you are generally running low on energy, then you should start exercising regularly and make it a new healthy habit. It’s good for your health, thus it directly affects your mood. You’ll be in shape and have more confidence, and you’ll have more energy, thereby feeling less mentally exhausted in general.

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3. Get up and start cleaning

Much like exercise, constantly maintaining good hygiene in your home is a healthy habit. First of all, when everything is in order and neatly organized, you get to experience a sense of achievement, which will always cheer you up. Second, if you live in a place with a nice scent, and filled with fresh air, you will feel good. If the space you are living in is cramped up, with all sorts of items lying around, the air cannot circulate as it is supposed to, and there is a chance of foul odors emerging over time.

4. Get a little shut eye

Not getting enough sleep is often a major source of unhappiness. As mentioned earlier, when we are awake and constantly thinking about problems, our stress neurotransmitters are more active. Their activity is significantly reduced during sleep, allowing us to heal. You know what they say: when you can’t make the right decision, sleep on it.

5. Plan your vacation

We all love to go on vacations, but unfortunately, we usually feel sad once our vacation is over. However, it was proven that planning your vacation and daydreaming about the various locations you are going to visit can have a positive impact on your health. The study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, revealed how planning and anticipating a vacation can boost one’s happiness for eight weeks.

6. Spend time with your friends

Spending time with your friends is a great way to cheer up, mainly because we are reminded of all the good times we had with those people. There is a tribe in Africa called Bemba (or Babemba) that has an incredible custom. Whenever someone does something wrong, the person is not punished, instead that person is placed at the center of the tribe and all of the tribe members gather around that person to tell stories.

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The stories are about all the good that the person has done so far, about all the positive traits that person possesses. This ceremony lasts for a few days and the person is embraced back into the tribe. They believe that when a person does something wrong, they need to be reminded of all their good deeds and get back on the right path. This is why you need to surround yourself with friends and be reminded of all the good times you have spent together, it will definitely cheer you up.

7. Move closer to work

Believe it or not, the mere act of commuting to work can make us unhappy, mainly because we are wasting precious time on the road. Therefore, if you want to improve your mood, you can change your location and be closer to work — this convenience will work in your favor. Of course, it may not be really easy to make happen, and you’ll need money, but the rewards are plentiful.

8. Become generous

Generosity will certainly make you feel good about yourself. You are making positive impacts and you are doing it because you want to, not because someone made you do it. If you are feeling guilty because of something, and need to reassure yourself that you are a good person, giving money or lending a helping hand to a good cause can help improve your mental state.

9. Adopt a dog

Sure, it can be somewhat troublesome to raise a dog, train them to listen to you, and teach them some tricks, but we all know that these lovely creatures are the most loyal of friends. Dogs won’t judge you, dogs won’t argue with you, they will simply be happy to see you. With a dog by your side, you’ll never be lonely. It is also worth mentioning that if you are allergic to fur, you should steer away from this suggestion.

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10. Accomplish tasks

To cheer up, you need to fill yourself with a sense of achievement. So, you can by start analyzing your situation and seeing all the minor improvements you can make in your life. These small tasks will easily motivate you to focus on something positive, and whenever you cross something off this list, you will be rewarded with a sense of achievement.

11. Try writing

Remember the time when we were kids and had diaries to write down our thoughts? Maybe this is not such a bad idea, even now. You can write journals, or even write novels — whatever helps you channel your negative feelings. Who knows, maybe it will turn out to be a good story, and maybe you’ll grow to like this new hobby. All things considered, this cannot be a bad thing.

12. Undergo self-hypnosis

Did you know that you can hypnotize yourself? It’s not the same as going to the therapist, but it has a real therapeutic effect. You can uncover what subconscious events have triggered your bad mood, and you can give yourself some constructive suggestions on how to be happier. Of course, you’ll need to be relaxed and create conditions for this to work, but it might be the self-help you need.

Here’s a more thorough guide on how to achieve self-hypnosis and help yourself overcome some of the psychological obstacles that were keeping you back.

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13. Seek catharsis

As mentioned, physical activity can be one form of catharsis for your emotions, but a good book or a movie can do the trick as well. You can also watch a sports game and yell at your team if they are playing badly, or cheer them on as they triumph — both have a positive effect on your mood. A video game can also help if you are sad or harboring some built-up rage.

14. Watch something that soothes you

Although it has not been confirmed, scientist speculate that looking at the color blue can have some positive effects on your mind. However, it was confirmed that looking at fine art or at old pictures of happy events can cheer you up. You can even look at funny pictures or memes on the internet — that usually works for me.

15. Work on your looks

Finally, if you look good, you’ll feel better. In other words, when you are down, try working on your style and looks. It will boost your confidence, bring some innovation into your life, and ultimately make you feel better. Just don’t go on a shopping rampage, because spending a lot of money will nullify these effects.

Well, there you have it, a number of (mostly) easy ways to cheer yourself up. Make sure you try some or all of them out whenever you are feeling under the weather.

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Djordje Todorovic

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

Having high self-esteem is important if you are aiming for personal or professional success. Interestingly, most people will high levels of self-esteem act in similar ways. That’s why it’s often easy to pick them out in a crowd. There’s something about the way they hold themselves and speak, isn’t there?

We all have different hopes, dreams, experiences, and paths, but confidence has its own universal language. This list will present some of the things you won’t find yourself doing if you have high self-esteem.

1. Compare Yourself to Others

People with low self-esteem are constantly comparing their situation to others. On the other hand, people with higher self-esteem show empathy and compassion while also protecting their own sanity. They know how much they can handle and when they can offer a helping hand.

In the age of social media, however, social comparisons are nearly ubiquitous. One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[1]. Basically, you will feel worse about yourself if you are constantly getting glimpses into lives that you consider to be better than yours.

Try to limit your time on social media. Also, when you do start scrolling, keep in mind that each profile is carefully crafted to create the appearance of a perfect life. Check yourself when you find yourself wishing for greener grass.

2. Be Mean-Spirited

People with low self-esteem bully others. They take pleasure in putting other people down. People with positive self-esteem see no need to down other people, choosing instead to encourage and celebrate successes.

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If you find that you feel the need to put others down, analyze where that’s coming from. If they’ve had success in life, help them feel good about that achievement. They may do the same for you one day.

3. Let Imperfection Ruin Your Day

Perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but obsessing over making everything perfect is a sign that you have low self-esteem and can lead to never-ending negative thoughts. This can turn into an inability to solve problems creatively, which will only make self-esteem issues worse. 

Those with high self-esteem disconnect from the results and do their best without expecting perfection.

People with that kind of confidence understand that messing up is a part of life and that each time they aim and miss success, they’ll at least learn something along the way.

If you miss the mark, or if your plan doesn’t work out exactly as you would have liked, take a deep breath and see if you can pivot in order to do better next time.

4. Dwell on Failure

It’s common to hear people dwelling on all the ways things will go wrong. They are positive that their every failure signals an impossible task or an innate inability to do something. People with healthy self-esteem discover why they failed and try again.

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People with higher levels of confidence also tend to adopt a growth mindset[2]. This type of thinking supports the idea that most of your abilities can be improved and altered, as opposed to being fixed.

For example, instead of saying, “I’m just not good at math; that’s why I did bad on the test,” someone with a growth mindset would say, “Math is difficult for me, so I’ll have to put in some more practice to improve next time.”

Next time you experience a failure, check out this video to help you believe in yourself again:

5. Devalue Your Self-Esteem

People with high self-esteem value their own perception of themselves – they understand that they come first and don’t feel guilty about taking care of themselves. They believe charity starts within, and if they don’t believe that, they’ll never have a healthy self-image.

Self-care is often top of the priority list for people with self-esteem. For some ways to practice self-care, check out this article.

6. Try to Please Others

They can’t please all the people all the time, so confident people first focus on doing what will make them feel fulfilled and happy. While they will politely listen to others’ thoughts and advice, they know that their goals and dreams have to be completed on their own terms.

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7. Close Yourself off

Confident people have the ability to be vulnerable. It’s those with poor self-esteem that hide all the best parts of themselves behind an emotional wall. Instead of keeping the real you a secret, be open and honest in all your dealings.

As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, points out, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”[3]. When you embrace each facet of who you are and allow others to see them as well, it will create deeper, more meaningful connections in your life. When that happens, you’ll realize that perfection doesn’t lead to people liking you more.

You can learn more about the power of vulnerability in this TED talk with Brené Brown:

8. Follow and Avoiding Leading

People with low self-esteem don’t believe they can lead, so they end up following others, sometimes into unhealthy situations. Rather than seeking a sense of belonging, people with high self-esteem walk their own paths and create social circles that build them up.

9. Fish for Compliments

If you’re constantly seeking compliments, you’re not confident. People with high self-esteem always do their best (and go out of their way to do good deeds) because it’s what they want to do, not because they’re seeking recognition. If you need to hear compliments, say them to yourself in the mirror.

You can even try some positive affirmations if you need a confidence boost. Check out these affirmations to get started.

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10. Be Lazy

People work harder when they have high self-esteem because they’re not bogged down by doubts and complaints. Those with low self-esteem end up procrastinating and wasting their energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than rolling up their sleeves and just getting it done.

This may also bounce off perfectionism. Perfectionists often feel intimidated by certain projects if they fear that they won’t be able to complete them perfectly. Tap into your confidence and simply do your best without worrying about a perfect outcome.

11. Shy Away from Risks

When you trust yourself, you’ll be willing to participate more in life. People with low self-esteem are always on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment to jump in. Instead of letting life pass you by, have confidence in your success and take the risks necessary to succeed.

12. Gossip

People with low self-esteem are always in other peoples’ business – they’re more interested in what everyone else is doing than themselves. People with high self-esteem are more interested in their own life and stay out of others’ affairs.

Instead of participating in idle gossip, talk about some positive news you heard recently, or that fascinating book you just finished. There’s plenty to talk about beyond what this or that person did wrong in their life.

The Bottom Line

Self-esteem is to success in life. People who maintain a healthy level of self-esteem believe in themselves and push themselves to succeed, while those with low confidence feel a sense of entitlement.

If you need a boost in your self-image and mental health, avoid negative self-talk and the other mistakes of people with low self-esteem. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

More Tips on Building Confidence

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem
[2] Brain Pickings: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives
[3] Forbes: Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better

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