Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 5, 2021

10 Ways to Improve Your Mood When You Are Feeling Down

10 Ways to Improve Your Mood When You Are Feeling Down

Any time you’re feeling down, you have two options. You can keep doing what you’re doing, which means continuing to feel less than ideal. Or, you can make a change and try to pick yourself back up.

The latter isn’t always easy. If you’re feeling down, you’re likely suffering from a lack of motivation, sadness, or stress, which can all cause you to want to stay exactly where you are. Because it can be difficult to know what to do when you’re down, we came up with 10 things to try to get that smile back on your face.

1. Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. While it’s beneficial to aspire to greatness, sometimes you need to sit back, reflect, and recognize all the good things you have going on right now.

When you’re feeling down, try this: think about the things in life you’re grateful for. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to constantly achieve, and be content with who you are right now at this moment. And remember, happiness is a choice.

2. Get up and Move

One of the best ways to pick yourself up when you’re having a tough day is to get up and do some exercise.

One study found that “exercise, whether performed at a low (yoga or similar), moderate or vigorous intensity (aerobic training) is effective in treating mild to moderate depression and is at least as effective as treatment as usual by a physician”[1]

Advertising

Therefore, even if you don’t enjoy Zumba or Pilates classes, taking a walk around the block can be just as effective in lifting your spirits. Whatever you do, get up, get moving, and get over it.

3. Surround Yourself With People You Love

Family members and friends can be the best medicine when you are feeling depressed or stressed from time to time. Even if you can’t see them in person, pick up the phone and call someone you love. Sometimes all you need is a friend to listen to you and offer some positive thoughts.

Many studies have pointed out the importance of social support on overall well-being[2]. Tough days are inevitable, but having people to go to at those times makes a world of difference and can help you turn things around. If you’ve been suffering from depression or excessive stress for a long time, support groups can also be a great way to find connection.

4. Find a Way to Laugh

We take life a little too seriously sometimes, so let’s put this in perspective: how you’re feeling right now is one tiny moment out of the thousands you will experience in your lifetime.

Know that sadness is temporary, and pick yourself up by watching your favorite funny show, movie, or video online.

One study has pointed out that “laughter decreases serum levels of cortisol, epinephrine, growth hormone, and 3,4-dihydrophenylacetic acid (a major dopamine catabolite), indicating a reversal of the stress response”[3]. Therefore, laughter can be especially effective if you’re had a stressful day at work or are feeling frustrated with life.

Advertising

5. Eat Something Healthy

When people are feeling down, most turn to junk food. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst things you can do for your mental health.

Recent studies have pointed to a link between food and mood. Some suggest that Vitamin D can help lower rates of depression, while another found “an association between depression and a diet rich in sugar-sweetened soft drinks, refined grains, and red meat”[4].

Feeling Down? 10 Foods to Eat to Fight Depression

    While a general consensus on diet and mood has not yet been reached, it’s safe to say that eating healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds can help you feel better and fill your body with proper nutrients[5]. That’s a win-win.

    6. Take Deep Breaths

    Focusing on your breathing may not sound like much, but it can make a world of difference if you’re feeling down. When you breathe deeply, your brain sends a message to your body to calm down, which decreases your body’s overall stress response[6].

    Spend a few minutes focusing on nothing except your breath. Take long, slow breaths, and get rid of all negative thoughts on each exhale. Try these 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly).

    Advertising

    7. Spend Time With Animals

    Pets are therapeutic, and they’re smart; they can sense when you’re sad. Dogs are especially good for when you’re feeling down as they can motivate you to get out and walk. However, simply stroking a dog or cat can provide relief from stress and frustration[7].

    Even if you don’t have a pet, you likely have a friend who does. Try spending some time around animals, and watch your stress melt away.

    8. Do Something Spontaneous

    You may not feel like doing much when you’re feeling down, but one of the best ways to free your mind of those pesky negative thoughts is to go out and do something totally spontaneous.

    Take an impromptu road trip to go visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Visit your favorite store and treat yourself to a new outfit. Volunteer at a homeless shelter.

    By stepping outside of your comfort zone, even for only a few minutes, you will inject some motivation and positivity into your day.

    9. Read Something Inspirational

    Words have the power to heal and pick you back up when you’re down. Go online and search for inspirational quotes. Watch a speech from a famous and inspiring leader you admire, or read a thoughtful or inspiring book.

    Advertising

    This is great for a rainy day when you’re stuck inside, or when you’re trying to build up the motivation to do something more active.

    10. Get Some Work Done

    Here’s an easy way to take your mind off negative thoughts when you’re having a bad day: do some work.

    Whether it’s your job, doing chores, or working on a project you’re passionate about, getting work done will help you feel productive and free up your mind. Working around the house can also be a good way to get into a state of flow, which will occupy your mind and get you away from negative ruminations.

    More for When You’re Feeling Down

    Featured photo credit: Cameron Stow via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Preventative Medicine: Training fast or slow? Exercise for depression: A randomized controlled trial
    [2] ResearchGate: Close Relationships and Happiness
    [3] The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine: Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter in Mental Health: A Theoretical Review
    [4] Harvard Health Publishing: Food and mood: Is there a connection?
    [5] Top 10 Home Remedies: 10 Foods to Eat to Fight Depression
    [6] University of Michigan: Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation
    [7] Mental Health Foundation: Pets and mental health

    More by this author

    Scott Christ

    Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

    7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life 8 Simple and Effective Ways to Start Reaching Goals Today 7 Common Mistakes That Stop You From Reaching Your Life Goals 17 Things People With Emotional Strength Don’t Do 10 Ways to Improve Your Mood When You Are Feeling Down

    Trending in Happiness

    1 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 2 14 Things That Make You Happy and Enjoy Life More 3 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 4 How to Forgive Yourself and Move Forward for a Happier Life 5 13 Simple Ways To Express Gratitude Daily

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Published on May 4, 2021

    How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

    How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

    They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

    In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

    How to Spot Fake People?

    When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

    Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

    1. Full of Themselves

    Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

    Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

    2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

    Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

    Advertising

    It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

    3. Zero Self-Reflection

    To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

    Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

    4. Unrealistic Perceptions

    Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

    A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

    5. Love Attention

    As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

    6. People Pleaser

    Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

    Advertising

    Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

    7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

    Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

    8. Crappy friend

    Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

    It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

    The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

    How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

    It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

    There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

    Advertising

    1. Boundaries

    Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

    2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

    Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

    3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

    If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

    4. Ask for Advice

    If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

    Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

    5. Dig Deeper

    Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

    Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

    Advertising

    6. Practice Self-Care!

    Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

    Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

    Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

    Final Thoughts

    Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

    We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

    More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

    Read Next