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6 Hacks For An Instant Mood Boost

6 Hacks For An Instant Mood Boost

Do you ever find yourself feeling a bit low on energy or in a grumpy mood for no apparent reason? The good news is that you can choose to boost your mood whenever you wish, as long as you know how!

Follow the six steps below and get ready to feel better soon. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at work or home, these tips can be implemented almost anywhere.

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Make Use Of The Facial Feedback Hypothesis

When you’re happy, you smile. No surprise, right? Well, did you know that research suggests that the opposite is also true? When you adjust your body language and ‘act happy,’ then your mood will improve! Make a conscious effort to smile. Relax the other muscles in your face. Sit up straight. Talk in a light tone of voice. In other words, make-believe that you are in a positive frame of mind. These cues will signal to your brain that you are in a relaxed, happy state – and your mood should lift.

Do Something Nice For Someone Else

Have you ever noticed that doing a good deed leaves you with a warm glow inside? The next time you feel in need of a boost, take a few minutes to do something nice for someone else. It doesn’t have to be a grand or elaborate gesture – getting some fancy coffee for the communal break room or offering to carry in your neighbour’s shopping would do the trick! If you are alone, log on to The Hunger Site to give someone else free food at no cost to you.

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Exercise – Or At Least, Move Around

Exercise is a shortcut to a shot of endorphins – those feel-good chemicals that are released when we move. You don’t even have to leave the building to feel the benefits. Stand up and run in place for three minutes, and you should start to feel at least a little better. If possible, take a twenty-minute walk outside somewhere green. A nice park on a sunny day is ideal.

Drink A Large Glass Of Water

Did you know that even slight dehydration can impair performance and make you more prone to feeling anxious and low? Offset this problem by drinking two litres of water or more per day. Drink as soon as you feel thirsty, and carry a water bottle around with you so you remember to keep your levels topped up. Avoid or cut down on tea and coffee, as the caffeine they contain has dehydrating effects. If you can’t stand the taste of plain water, consider adding sugar-free flavourings or natural enhancers such as slices of lemon or lime. If you are exercising on a regular basis, drink extra water to maintain appropriate hydration levels.

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Cross An Item Off Your To-Do List

Nothing makes you feel quite so in control as a good to-do list. Feeling as though you have too much to do and not enough time in which to do it is a common cause of apathy, feelings of being overwhelmed, and even the sensation that you are ‘burning out.’ The next time everything seems a bit bleak and you feel ‘bleh,’ commit to crossing off at least one item. The sense of satisfaction can improve your mood.

Write Out Your Feelings

Did you know that writing out your feelings – known as ‘expressive writing’ – can help improve physical and mental health? The next time you are stuck in a negative mood state, grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down exactly what you are feeling. Try to be as specific as possible. For example, if you are feeling frustrated, is it due to the current challenge you are facing at work, or is it an ongoing issue with your partner or teenage child? Sometimes, writing about a situation helps you gain clarity.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash/Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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