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Published on October 5, 2017

15 Uplifting Movies You Can Watch to Beat the Blues

15 Uplifting Movies You Can Watch to Beat the Blues

We all get into a slump once in a while. Maybe you were excited about a plan that fell through, or things have been stressful at work. Perhaps you took a risk and met rejection. Whatever the circumstances, you might feel completely unmotivated.

You can either wallow in your gloomy feelings, or you can work to make yourself feel better. I have a few go-to uplifting movies that I watch that always make me feel better.

The next time that you’re feeling down, watch a film from this list. You only need the energy to push “play” and these stories will work their magic on you. By the end of each one, you’ll be ready to leave the pity party and get back to doing the things that matter to you.

1. Sing Street

    Sing Street (2016) takes us to Dublin in the 1980s, during a time when music videos are changing the way that people listen to pop music. The teenage protagonist, Conor, deals with a tense family situation and issues at school. He meets a girl and decides to impress her by telling her he’s in a band. The only problem is, he doesn’t have a band, and he doesn’t know much about music.

    Conor’s story reminds us that we can make the best of a bad situation. Even though his home life and school were difficult, he boldly reshapes his future. He sets a vision, and he goes for it. Sing Street reminds us that when it comes to life, we can’t control everything, but we’re still in the driver’s seat.

    Sing Street will remind you that you can manifest a better reality.

    2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

      Ferris Bueller fakes sick to skip school, but his principal suspects that he’s playing hooky. Ferris, his best friend, and his girlfriend have a wild adventure as they avoid Principal Rooney.

      You’ll get a few laughs out of this film, but this classic has a deeper meaning. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) reminds us that if we don’t stop to enjoy life, it will pass us by.

      Be spontaneous, and watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

      3. Little Miss Sunshine

        A dysfunctional family rallies around 7-year-old Olive, who has an opportunity to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine Pageant. They take a road trip from New Mexico to California to reach the pageant, and it seems like everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

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        Little Miss Sunshine (2006) will make you laugh while it addresses complicated personal issues. In spite of all the troubles that the family has along the way, they are determined to help Olive reach her goals. This film reminds us to hang on to our dreams and support one another, even when the chips are down.

        Let Little Miss Sunshine brighten to your day.

        4. School of Rock

          Dewey Finn is a loser living with former band member, Ned. Dewey is completely broke, and Ned is on the verge of throwing him out because he won’t pay his share of the rent. Dewey poses as Ned and takes a job as a substitute teacher at a stuffy private school. He teaches his students about rock music.

          School of Rock (2003) shows us that our passions always have a place in our lives. Dewey loves music more than anything. Even though his band didn’t work out for him in the beginning, his talent and dedication to his craft paved the way for opportunities and adventures he couldn’t have imagined.

          Watch School of Rock and rekindle your excitement about your unique talents.

          5. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

            Andy is a 40-year old nerd who has not lost his virginity. Even though he’s a nice guy, he’s just not had the opportunity to have sex, and as he gets older, being a virgin becomes more embarrassing for him. His friends attempt to help him meet a woman and lose his virginity, but the woman he falls for has other plans.

            The 40-Year Old Virgin (2005) is a good reminder that you don’t have to live your life the way that everyone else does. You have to find what’s right for you, and in the end, everything will be okay.

            The 40-Year Old Virgin lets you know that there’s nothing wrong with being unconventional.

            6. My Neighbour Totoro

              Two young girls and their father move into an old home to be closer to the girls’ mother, who is in the hospital. The sisters befriend spirits of the forest, who expose them to a beautiful supernatural world.

              The girls have moved to a new home because their mother is in dire straits, but they find comfort and friendship among the spirits of the forest, including Totoro. My Neighbor Totoro (1988) shows us that even in the most challenging situations, there are places to find joy and hope.

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              Remember that our bonds with others can help us overcome adversity when you watch My Neighbor Totoro.

              7. Babe

                Farmer Hogget wins the piglet, Babe, at the county fair. Babe befriends the other creatures on Hoggett’s farm and grows especially close to border collie, Fly. Babe learns a special skill set from Fly, which makes him the first pig of his kind.

                Babe was destined to be dinner, but his buoyant spirit and willingness to learn enable him to master a new skill. Babe (1995) shows us that it’s okay to be unique. Look for others who are willing to appreciate your dreams and help you grow, and you can achieve the impossible.

                March to the beat of your own drum with Babe.

                8. The Bucket List

                  Edward and Carter come from different backgrounds, but they are united by the common diagnosis of terminal cancer. The pair strike up an unlikely friendship as they set out to do all the things on their bucket list while they can.

                  When you watch The Bucket List (2007), think about what might be holding you back from the next great adventure. Every day above ground is a good day. Be open to trying new things to avoid stagnation.

                  Live life to the fullest when you watch The Bucket List.

                  9. Jumanji

                    Judy and Peter move into an old house with their aunt. They are learning to cope with the death of their mother, when they come upon a mysterious board game in the attic. The game turns their world upside down, and the only way to bring things back to normal is to finish the game.

                    Jumanji (1995) helps us remember the importance of finishing what we start. While you are unlikely to come upon a supernatural board game, you may be feeling gloomy because you haven’t been able to follow through on something that is important to you.

                    Play the Jumanji film when you need an adventure to break out of your slump.

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                    10. Amélie

                      Amélie leads a sheltered life that gives her a naive and sweet perspective on love. After she sees the way that kindness affects others, she dedicates herself to making a positive difference in the world.

                      Amélie learns that in order to help people and actualize her positive vision for the world, she has to stand up for what she believes in. Her kindness and sense of justice are strengths– not weaknesses. When you’re feeling down, Amélie (2001) can give you a fresh new outlook on the world.

                      Let Amélie remind you that life is beautiful.

                      11. Juno

                        When 16-year-old Juno gets pregnant, she decides to give the baby up for adoption. She meets the child’s prospective parents and strikes up an interesting relationship with them. Meanwhile, she grapples with her feelings about the baby’s father.

                        Juno (2007) shows us that even when life throws us a curve ball, we can still find a way to make things work. When you’re honest with yourself and commit to doing the right thing, you can find peace and love in challenging times.

                        Watch Juno to remember that sometimes doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it’s always worthwhile.

                        12. The Boss Baby

                          Tim spent the first seven years of his life as an only child, but all that changed when a baby destined for management at BabyCorp is accidentally placed in his home. The baby takes over Tim’s household. Tim is jealous, but he has to join forces with his baby brother.

                          Boss Baby (2017) has a star-studded cast of voice actors, and it’s sure to provide some levity on a tough day. Tim has to learn to overcome his dislike for his brother to combat a common enemy. Sometimes emotions can affect your ability to get things done, but if you view a problem objectively you can push forward for the greater good.

                          Let The Boss Baby remind you that staying focused and working as a team will make you stronger.

                          13. The Darjeeling Limited

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                            Three brothers struggle to get along as they take a spiritual journey together after the passing of their father. As they make their trip, it becomes clear that they are all grappling with personal problems.

                            The Darjeeling Limited (2007) is quirky and funny, but it also has a dark side. The brothers learn that they must accept one another’s flaws and work together. This movie will remind you that everyone has a complex inner world that affects how they handle situations. If you’re feeling down because you’ve had a disagreement with someone, it might be worthwhile to think about why they hold a different perspective from you.

                            See what’s beneath the surface when you watch The Darjeeling Limited.

                            14. Rocky

                              When boxing nobody, Rocky Balboa, gets the chance to fight the champion, Apollo Creed, he knows that this is his opportunity to change his life. He must overcome his circumstances to train for his upcoming fight.

                              Rocky (1976) reminds us of the importance of doggedly pursuing our dreams. Even if it seems like you are facing something that’s nearly impossible to overcome, you don’t stand a chance unless you’re willing to step into the ring.

                              Watch Rocky when you need to have the eye of the tiger.

                              15. Step Up

                                Tyler hangs out with a bad crowd, and he gets caught vandalizing a performing arts school. His punishment consists of doing community service in the place that he vandalized. He gains a new respect for the arts and wants to become a student at the school, but he has to prove his worth first.

                                Step Up (2006) reminds us that we do not have to be defined by our circumstances. If you’re struggling because you feel like you came from the wrong side of the tracks, know that your dreams are still possible.

                                Watch Step Up when you need to break the mold.

                                When you’re feeling down, bust out the popcorn.

                                If you can’t bring yourself to do anything else, settle in to watch one of these uplifting movies. Each one can illuminate possibilities for you so that you can break out of your funk.

                                Save this list and refer back to it when you need to feel inspired.

                                More by this author

                                Brian Lee

                                Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                                Last Updated on September 12, 2018

                                How to Be Happy Again: 13 Simple Ways to Shake off Sadness Right Now

                                How to Be Happy Again: 13 Simple Ways to Shake off Sadness Right Now

                                When you look at your own life, maybe you’re thinking about how time has gone by so quickly and you have no idea how you got to where you are at. You might begin to feel sad because you’ve drifted so far from where you wanted to be at your age. Life was much more difficult than you expected it to be, so you just settled and decided to accept that this is just how life is. You’ve given up and your goal now is just to get by.

                                However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Cultivating much more happiness in your life is a very real and close possibility. You just have to put in a little work.

                                Here are 13 proven ways to shake off your sadness and feel happy again:

                                1. Do what brings you meaning

                                We’ve all been there. A feeling of boredom and being stuck in our lives without knowing what to do. Rather than trying to figure out such heavy questions such as “What is my purpose in life?” it’s much easier to turn on the television and let the day go by.

                                “When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.” -Viktor Frankl

                                Many affluent people are experiencing unhappiness no matter how much money, respect, or fame they have because of one big reason: Our unhappiness stems ultimately from a feeling of meaninglessness.

                                Frankl has developed a process called Logotherapy to help people build more meaning in their lives. He was put in charge of the mental health department of the Viennese hospital system because they were losing too many patients to suicide. His practices were what prevented tens of thousands of these patients from killing themselves. He did this by helping instill a sense of meaning to their lives.

                                What you can do right now:

                                In moments when you are struggling with unhappiness, you can start applying Frankl’s Logotherapy in your life by doing the following:

                                • Work on a project that demands your skills and abilities. If you have trouble coming up with one, then look for something important to work on that will help someone in need.
                                • Immerse yourself fully in your experience and share it with people who love you in an authentic, non-judgmental manner.
                                • Find a redemptive perspective towards your suffering. Meaning comes in our lives when we change our perspective about our hardships in a way that it improves our lives rather than bringing it down. For example, I met a woman in Thailand once who ran an orphanage with children who were affected by the AIDS virus. She also suffered from cancer, but rather than viewing the illness as something that is ruining her life, she shared with me “It’s kind of like a death sentence when the doctor says to you ‘you’re HIV positive’ or ‘you have cancer’ and it gives me an ability to identify with these children that are HIV positive, so I’m grateful for cancer because of it, if nothing else.”

                                Recommended reading:

                                Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

                                2. Start killing your options and get crystal clear on what you want

                                “Too many choices exhaust us, make us unhappy and lead us to sometimes abscond from making a decision all together.”[1] Keep your options open” may be advice you’ve heard often. But if you keep your options too open, it usually makes you more unhappy, stressed out, and tired from having to choose between too many things.

                                When you have too many choices to make, you begin to make more poorer decisions as you make each following one throughout the day. This is what’s known as decision fatigue.

                                The most important thing you can do to increase your level of happiness is by effectively reducing the amount of any unnecessary decisions you have to make in a day.

                                What you can do right now:

                                Set up routines to help you accomplish the following:

                                • Make the most important decisions earlier in the day when your mind is more fresh.
                                • Try to plan out your day the night before whenever possible.
                                • Choose your meals in advance.
                                • If you have to make an important decision but you’re hungry, eat first.
                                • When you have too many choices, try to narrow it down to choosing between a select few.
                                • Automate your life as much as possible by doing the following:
                                  • Set up automatic payment functions on any bills you have
                                  • Use free software If This Then That , to automate your life . For example: instead of watching and refreshing to win an auction on Ebay or get that coveted item on Craigslist, have an email notification sent to you, so you can be one of the first to jump on the deal.
                                  • If your budget allows, hire a virtual assistant or a company like Fancy Hands to take a lot of menial tasks off your plate.

                                3. Create safe spaces to find yourself and beat the feeling of shame

                                We’re constantly bombarded with messages that tell us we need to look, act, or be a certain way in order to be happy and successful.

                                The average person gets exposed to over 10,000 advertisements a day and most of these messages are total nonsense.[2]

                                All of these false promises given to us each day are what causes us to portray ourselves in a way we think others want us to be so that we can fit in. The sad part is that many of us do find ways to fit in, but we never actually feel like we belong.

                                When we don’t feel loved and understood for who we truly are, there is no way we can ever be happy. The reason we are often reluctant to be our most authentic selves is because of shame.

                                At some point in your life, you will run into shame and it will make you feel like there is something wrong with you. Whether it was getting teased at school, not meeting up to your parents’ expectations, or being harshly judged by a peer, shame makes you hide your true self and wear a mask to show someone else.

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                                  Learning to have the courage to stay true to yourself is one of the keys to longer lasting happiness.

                                  Dr. Brene Brown, an amazing vulnerability researcher, explained in her TED talk that she once took put a poll on social media asking “How would you define vulnerability? What makes you feel vulnerable?”:

                                  Within an hour and a half, she had 150 responses. Here’s what some of them said:

                                  • Having to ask my husband for help because I’m sick, and we’re newly married
                                  • Initiating sex with my husband / wife
                                  • Being turned down
                                  • Asking someone out
                                  • Waiting for the doctor to call back
                                  • Getting laid off
                                  • Laying off people

                                  Vulnerable moments like these are when we are most prone to feeling shame. Learning about how to handle that shame is what will enable you to recover from it in a healthy way.

                                  What you can do right now:

                                  Practice vulnerability.

                                  Start by looking yourself in the mirror each morning and telling yourself “I’m not perfect, but that’s ok”

                                  Take Dr. Brown’s simple advice that she gave on the Oprah show. When you experience shame, talk to yourself like you talk to someone you love, reach out to someone you trust, and tell your story.[3]

                                  Recommended reading:

                                  I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough” by Dr. Brene Brown

                                  4. Engage your curiosity to supercharge your personal growth

                                  Some of the greatest things that exist in our world today were a result of someone’s curiosity. It’s the reason why people like Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford created some of the most innovative products of all time.

                                  Satisfying your curiosity releases dopamine in your brain.[4] This is also why we absolutely have to finish a great movie and watch it till the end. You want to know what happens and when you finally do, you get that rush of dopamine and get pleasure from it as a reward. The same applies with any habits we’ve formed, such as checking our social media feeds and emails.

                                  While these kind of things may give you a short moment of happiness, there is a type of curiosity that will give you a more longer lasting happiness. Dr. Todd Kashdan explains it in the terms of being a “curious explorer”.

                                  “Curious explorers are comfortable with the risks of taking on new challenges. Instead of trying desperately to explain and control our world, as a curious explorer we embrace uncertainty, and see our lives as an enjoyable quest to discover, learn and grow.”

                                  By using your curiosity to help you get better at something, become more knowledgeable or see something in a new perspective, you’ll find life to be much more enjoyable.

                                  What you can do right now:

                                  Kashdan’s suggestions on how to become “Curious Explorers” are summarized in Kari Henley’s Huffington Post article in the following way:

                                  • Try to notice little details of your daily routine that you never noticed before.
                                  • When talking to people, try to remain open to whatever transpires without judging or reacting.
                                  • Let novelty unfold and resist the temptation to control the flow.
                                  • Gently allow your attention to be guided by little sights, sounds or smells that come your way.

                                  Recommended reading:

                                  Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life by Todd Kashdan PhD.

                                  5. Help yourself by helping others

                                  The happiest people are ones who make a positive impact on others.

                                  “No man or woman is an island. To exist just for yourself is meaningless. You can achieve the most satisfaction when you feel related to some greater purpose in life, something greater than yourself.” ―Denis Waitley

                                  Every individual has something they can contribute to the world. The hard part is figuring out what that is. And the truth is, we’ll never figure it out until we actually do something about it.

                                  Science has shown data that supports the evidence that giving is a powerful way to lasting happiness. If done in the right way, giving can feel great and give you the much needed boost in your mood.[5]

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                                  “Happiness is only real when shared.” -Christopher McCandless, Into The Wild

                                  What you can do right now:

                                  Intentionally begin contributing to something or someone in your life.

                                  Check out these 20 small acts of kindness to do something bigger than just for yourself.

                                  6. Get out of your comfort zone to rewire your brain

                                  Chances are you are unhappy because of the routine. Simply put, you’re bored but at the same time, maybe you’re a little afraid of trying something new. Or, in a more extreme example, you might hate your job but you are too afraid to quit because you’re worried you may become broke with nothing better ahead for you.

                                    Whatever the case may be, bringing yourself out of your comfort zone as much as possible can result in a  much more satisfying life.

                                    Scientists have found evidence that if a person steps out of their comfort zone just enough, then they can increase endorphin’s in their brain, which creates increased feelings of happiness.[6]

                                    What you can do right now:

                                    • Create more experiences in your life that you can’t back out of. Think of a big goal in your life you’ve always wanted to accomplish, then create a situation that brings you out of your comfort zone that you’ll follow through with.
                                    • Travel more. Neuroscience has shown that new experiences can build new neuropathways in the brain.[7]When this occurs, it promotes mental health as a result. There is a joy that comes from traveling and whether you’re visiting a foreign country, a nearby city, or even a staycation to a new local restaurant, discovering and experiencing new things can do the trick.[8]

                                    7. Kick materialism in the face and invest in experiences

                                    I can’t remember the number of times I was excited to buy a new toy, game, or piece of technology for myself only to get bored of it not too long after. This goes to show material things usually only bring out a temporary amount of happiness at best. Happy experiences last as a happy memory forever.

                                    While owning material possessions can be nice, they can never be a part of you like great experiences can be a part of you. This is why you should invest more in experiences rather than things.[9]

                                    “Part of us believes the new car is better because it lasts longer. But, in fact, that’s the worst thing about the new car,” he said. “It will stay around to disappoint you, whereas a trip to Europe is over. It evaporates. It has the good sense to go away, and you are left with nothing but a wonderful memory.” — Dan Gilbert

                                    What you can do right now:

                                    Rather than spending your money on buying something a material possession that you’ve always wanted, try these options instead:

                                    • Invest in a class you have always wanted to take.
                                    • Book a trip to somewhere you have always wanted to visit.
                                    • Get tickets to a popular show that you might like.

                                    8. Meditate regularly

                                    Self-realization has been shown to have many benefits and this can be achieved by regularly practicing mindfulness meditation.

                                    Taking a moment to get yourself untangled from all the messy thoughts and emotions you experience can be just the thing you need to be happier. Meditation increases gray matter in the hippocampus, which is an area of the brain important for learning, memory and emotion. It also reduces gray matter in the amygdala, the area of the brain associated with stress and anxiety.

                                    These are just a few of the many benefits meditation has been shown to give you.

                                    What you can do right now:

                                    Download the no-nonsense Headspace meditation app. All you need is 10 minutes and a comfortable chair. If you find yourself thinking you don’t have 10 minutes, then let the truth of Tony Robbins’ words settle in:

                                    “If you don’t have 10 minutes, you don’t have a life.”

                                    9. Change your attitude to gratitude

                                    This is something that’s commonly said, but it comes from a place of truth.

                                    The Journal of Happiness published a study where the 219 men and women participants involved wrote three letters of gratitude over a three week period. The results showed that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction while decreasing depressive symptoms.[10]

                                    Your brain cannot simultaneously focus on positive and negative things at once. Because of this, practicing gratitude can help you shift your focus from being sad about the things you don’t have in your life to being glad for the things you do have.

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                                    When you engage in the act of being thankful for something, production of dopamine and serotonin increases.[11] This activates the happiness center of the brain, which is similar to how antidepressants work; so, you could think of gratitude as a natural antidepressant.

                                    What you can do right now:

                                    • Start a habit of writing down three things you are grateful for each day.
                                    • Regularly write a thank you card to someone you appreciate or to someone who has done something recently for you.
                                    • Inject things you are thankful for in your daily conversations instead of focusing on negative topics.

                                    10. Create better habits

                                    One of the biggest difference between happy and unhappy people are the habits they have. Over 40% of your day isn’t spent on making active decisions but is a result of habit.

                                    The truth about why it’s so hard to break out of old routines is simply the fact that it is a routine. Human beings are creatures of habit. Charles Duhigg explains in his book The Power of Habit how the basic structure of habits consists of a cue (trigger), the routine, and the reward.

                                      For example, stress can be your cue to engage in your routine of smoking a cigarette, which rewards you with the surge of nicotine to relieve your stress. Duhigg teaches the key to turning bad habits into good ones is to figure out how to change the routine. Rather than smoking, maybe you can go for a nice walk or meditate to achieve the same stress relief.

                                      If your habits are not making you healthier and happier, that means you may be automatically spending almost half your day doing things that make you more unhappy.

                                      What you can do right now:

                                      Changing your habits is much easier said than done, which is why you also need to modify your environment as much as possible to increase your chances of success. After doing so, try and tackle the routines which will help you to replace the bad habits with good habits.

                                      Recommended reading:

                                      The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

                                      11. Learn how to predict happiness more accurately

                                      There are plenty of things in life that aren’t as pleasant as you thought they would be.

                                      You may have always wanted the nice expensive car, but now that you have it, you’re constantly stressed out about any new scratches and annoyed at all the extra unexpected expenses involved with keeping it well maintained and in good condition.

                                      You may have always wanted to be married, but now that you are, you didn’t realize the immense amount of work it takes to build and maintain a loving relationship.

                                      Harvard psychology professor Dan Gilbert argues one of the reasons for our unhappiness is by wrongly predicting the types of things that will make us happy.[12]

                                      “If I wanted to know what a certain future would feel like to me, I would find someone who is already living that future. If I wonder what it’s like to become a lawyer or marry a busy executive or eat at a particular restaurant, my best bet is to find people who have actually done these things and see how happy they are. What we know from studies will increase the accuracy of your prediction, but nobody wants to do it.”

                                      Simply investing the time and energy to learning more about what you are getting yourself into can increase your chances of accurately placing yourself in happier situations.

                                      What you can do right now:

                                      Reach out to people that are living the lifestyle you want or possess something you want to have; get on a call with them, or take them out for coffee. Ask about their experiences, both good and bad, and observe if what they have makes them happier, and then decide if it is something you want as well.

                                      Speaking to a friend who owns a new piece of technology that you want or is currently involved a career that you want to pursue is easy. Yet, if the person of interest is a celebrity or a highly respected individual, then getting in touch with them will be much harder. In this case, scour any public information such as blog posts, interviews and social media posts to get to know them and help you make a decision whether the life they are living is one you want to pursue.

                                      Recommended reading:

                                      Stumbling Upon Happiness by Dan Gilbert

                                      12. Treat yourself with compassion to boost your self-esteem

                                      Imagine sitting down in a cafe and overhearing a conversation between two girls at the next table.

                                      “…and you’ve gotten fatter as well. It’s terrible…”

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                                      “Don’t you feel horrible right now?”

                                      “With those large thighs and your horse’s hips?”

                                      Fortunately, this conversation was staged by the personal care company, Dove. But the conversation was one that actually happened, except it was with one’s self. The script for the actresses were written from actual self-dialogue from women who were documenting the thoughts that they had about themselves each time the thought came to mind.

                                      Dove ran this campaign to illustrate this point: if we wouldn’t talk to others in this negative manner, why would we talk to ourselves in this way?

                                      Here’s the video:

                                      People who practice self-compassion also have greater social connectedness, emotional intelligence, happiness, and overall life satisfaction. So the next time you are feeling low and start nitpicking at yourself, come to your own defense and give yourself a break.

                                      What you can do right now:

                                      Here are some ways you can practice self-compassion:

                                      • Treat yourself as you would your own child.
                                      • Practice non-judgmental mindfulness (i.e. meditation, yoga) to quiet your inner-critic.
                                      • Remind yourself of the fact that you are not alone.
                                      • Give yourself permission to be imperfect.
                                      • If you struggle with having self compassion and find yourself in need of help, consider hiring a supportive coach or therapist.

                                      13. Give yourself time to be sad

                                      Most of the time, people try to avoid negative emotions because they are afraid of the pain and grief they will experience or of the vulnerability it will require. But unless you let those tears come, you will never be able to let go of the emotions. They will stay stuck inside of you.

                                      It gets even worse when you try and numb your sadness with negative behaviors such as overmedicating, excessively drinking or distracting yourself by overworking. What happens when you numb your negative behaviors is that you are also numbing your positive behaviors.[13]

                                      Fully experiencing your emotions, whether they’re positive or negative, is important for your own well being.

                                      “But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, “All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.” Morrie Schwartz, Tuesdays With Morrie

                                      What you can do right now:

                                      Get into a habit of identifying your emotions. For example, when you start to feel sad, simply tell yourself “This is sadness.” Once you begin calling your emotions by name, it helps you realize it is an emotion and doesn’t have to define who you are. This is the simple process that lets you ride the wave of emotion and let it pass without letting it take hold of you and controlling your behavior.

                                      The next time you start feeling sadness, let yourself feel it. Don’t let your fear find an excuse to avoid it. Just like a roller coaster becomes fun after the initial drop, let the discomfort of sadness come through you so you can go back to enjoying your life again.

                                      The important part of feeling your sadness is to make sure you don’t cross the fine line of dwelling on it and victimizing yourself. Let the feeling come, and when it wants to go, let it go.

                                      Recommended reading:

                                      Happiness marks the spot

                                        Unlike in fairytales, there is no such thing as happily ever after. Instead, it’s similar to there being a variety of scattered treasures buried in a huge field called life. You will need to dig a little to find each treasure as you walk through different points in your life.

                                        As you continue to go through the daily grind, make the choice to invest time and energy into using the methods outlined here to uplift your spirits. You’ll be happy you did.

                                        Featured photo credit: unsplash via unsplash.com

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