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Last Updated on December 17, 2020

26 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

26 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down
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Everyone goes through ups and downs in life. However, some know how to feel better more quickly, as they’ve found unique remedies to negative feelings. If you’re not one of those people and still struggle to get up when you’re feeling down, we have some suggestions to help.

It’s important to recognize and feel negative emotions when they arise, but it’s also imperative that you don’t stay there too long. Use some of the following tips and tricks to overcome negative self-talk and emotions and get back to feeling like the best version of yourself.

1. Listen to Good Music

You know what kind of music makes you feel good. Maybe it’s metal, indie pop, jazz, or rock. When you’re down, do you prefer something calming and relaxing, or something that will get you up and dancing?

You can also listen to the songs you loved when you were in high school or university. This will help you remember good times with past friends.

2. Journal It out

Write down how you feel as a way to express your thoughts if you don’t feel like talking to anyone. This can help you identify the root of your current unhappiness, which will offer a direct way out.

3. Draw or Doodle

If you don’t want to write, try drawing or doodling to help make sense of your emotions. You may be surprised what comes up. Draw anything you want because no one’s going to judge your drawing skills.

4. Read Past Emails, Texts, or Letters

Reading messages sent to you in the past by friends or family can help you remember that there are people who love and care about you. If you’re trying to figure out how to feel better, find some especially uplifting messages when you’re feeling down.

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5. Reflect on a Great Day

Silently think of a day or moment which you truly enjoyed, and try to recapture that very first feeling. Close your eyes and try to relive it through your five senses. This will trick the brain into thinking it’s real and may help return some of those positive emotions.

6. Look at Photos

Take out your photo albums and go through photos that make you smile. You can look at an old family vacation album or photos from the day you graduated. Just find photos that bring up positive, happy memories.

7. Cry

You should absolutely cry when you feel like doing so. Cry out all your fear and stress; what’s left after will help you look at your current problems with a fresh perspective.

As one article points out, “The stress-relieving response of crying has been found to be preceded by an uptick in parasympathetic nervous system activity, which means crying is facilitating activity that helps you start to relax”[1].

It’s great to practice being strong, but if you’re feeling especially anxious or stressed, a good cry can go a long way.

8. Sing

Sing loudly like no one can hear you if you want to learn how to feel better. Did you know that in Japan, people always sing karaoke to relieve stress?

9. Cook a Healthy Meal

Cook a nice meal for yourself or for your family. Healthy food naturally makes you feel better by helping to balance hormones in the body. Furthermore, connecting with friends and family over good food will help you lean on your support system if you’re having a bad day.

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10. Dress up

This is all about improving your self-image. If you feel better about yourself by changing the clothes you’re wearing, this will cultivate more positive emotions. Maybe, for dinner tonight, put on that nice new shirt you haven’t found a reason to wear yet.

11. Get out of Bed

It’s incredibly tempting to stay in bed and scroll through social media when we’re feeling down, but if you want to know how to feel better, you need to get out into the world. Grab your laptop or a book and go hang out at your favorite coffee place.

12. Take a Walk

Walking in nature and getting fresh air has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well being. If you have access to a nature path, that’s a great option. If not, get out into your neighborhood and begin to notice the trees and birds along the road, and focus on your breathing to improve relaxation.

13. Sweat

If you’re working on how to fee better, getting in some exercise can do wonders. Exercise releases feel-good hormones and naturally relieves stress and anxiety. If you’re having a bad day, go for a jog or find a yoga video on YouTube.

14. Play an Instrument

If you have a guitar or drum set lying around, go play some music! This will help distract you from the challenges of the day.

15. Tidy up

As you’re learning how to feel better, organize your desk or closet; you’ll feel good that you’re being productive and actually doing something. Furthermore, clutter can cause increased stress as it impedes focus, so organizing can help you today and in the days to come[2].

16. Watch Funny Videos

YouTube is full of funny videos for all ages. Find something that makes you laugh out loud to get those good vibes flowing.

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17. Eat Something Delicious

Don’t go overboard, but if you need a little pick-me-up, eat a small piece of cake, a scoop of ice cream, or a slice of pie. Let yourself indulge, just don’t empty the gallon of ice cream.

18. Reread a Favorite Book

When you’re feeling down, you probably won’t want to put energy toward reading something new, but you can pick up an old favorite that you know makes you feel good. You can even write down specific quotes or passages you love and hang them on your fridge or near your computer.

19. Watch a New Movie

There are likely tons of movies you’ve always interested in but had no time to watch. If you’re learning how to feel better, now is a great time to watch one of those. Try to pick one that is funny or lighthearted before moving on to the others.

20. Do Something Nice

Do something nice that no one will notice. For example, you can pick up an empty plastic bottle in the street and throw it to a recycling bin. Or you can donate some old clothes to the local homeless shelter. Do something nice without looking for recognition in order to internalize those warm, fuzzy emotions that come from being kind.

21. Call Your Best Friend

Call up a good friend and just talk about whatever you want. If you don’t want to talk about what’s bothering you, focus on other things. Human beings are social animals after all, and connecting with people close to you will make you feel better.

22. Volunteer

As you’re learning how to feel better, this may not help you this very moment, but you can get online and look for places you can volunteer. In the long run, this will help you find a greater sense of purpose and happiness.

23. Let Loose

If you’re feeling bad, have a drink with a friend at home or put on some loud music and dance around the house with your kids. Do something that helps you feel free and alive.

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24. Write to a Friend or Family Member

Write up a message to a friend or family member and tell them how much you care about them. Sending good vibes to them will naturally return those same good feelings to you, as you’ll know you made someone feel good.

25. Get out of Your Routine

Get out and meet new friends. Step out of your comfort zone by going to a new restaurant, going on a blind date, or dropping everything to go camping for the weekend. Meeting new people and having new experiences can inspire more positive feelings and help you learn how to feel better.

26. Look in the Mirror and Smile

Smiling releases neuropeptides, which help fight stress. Other feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin will follow these, offering you a good dose of positivity. It’s difficult to go on feeling sad if you’re trying to smile!

The Bottom Line

If you’re having a hard time, it can be difficult to focus on learning how to feel better. It’s best to start with something small to get some good energy flowing. From there, you can move on to bigger actions that can bring more positivity into your life day after day.

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”  —Epictetus

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Featured photo credit: Chermiti Mohamed via unsplash.com

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Anna Chui

Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

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Last Updated on July 22, 2021

How To Stay Motivated As You Build Your Business

How To Stay Motivated As You Build Your Business
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Remember the day you launched your own business? You had spent months or years developing your idea. You may have sacrificed a steady job to become the master of your professional destiny. Having entrepreneur motivation was easy, natural, and energizing in the beginning.

So, why are you struggling to stay motivated now when you need it most? Your business, after all, isn’t going to build itself.

Nearly everything in life experiences cycles. The solar system, hormones, your washing machine—and yes, even motivation. Movement is inherent in cycles. If you stop moving, your business simply grinds to a halt, and you may find yourself looking for a job after all.

The mere threat of stagnation should be enough to get your entrepreneur motivation mojo back online. If that’s not enough, here are eight ways you can stay motivated as you build your business.

1. Recognize That Business Motivation Doesn’t Last on Its Own

Ironically, the first step in staying motivated is realizing that motivation doesn’t last—at least not without some effort. Think of the verbs associated with motivation, such as “incite,” “stimulate,” and “inspire.” They all speak to elevating something low.

Highs and lows, ebbs and flows, are all cyclical. There are days when you have so much you want to accomplish that you won’t have the hours. On others, you may struggle to even get dressed. As does every aspect of your business, motivation requires constant care and feeding. So, don’t despair during those times you feel bottomed out. Recall the almost manic thrill you get when your entrepreneur motivation seems to be unstoppable and concentrate on recapturing it.

Motivation neither just happens nor lasts. It takes focus, drive, and a conscious effort. When it lags, roll up your sleeves, choose a task, and get back to the business-building at hand.

2. Expand Your Network

No business or entrepreneur can operate in a bubble. Connection to customers, vendors, employees, and other entrepreneurs is vital to growing a business. It’s also motivational. I find that one of the things that makes me most energized about my business is the connections I make while networking.[1]

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Networking effectively is about give and take, which means you only get as good as you give. Be generous with your thoughts, ideas, and connections, and others will reciprocate.

These days, there are myriad networking channels to choose from. There are the tried-and-true conferences, industry and professional organizations, and even your local Chamber of Commerce. But the internet and social media have vastly expanded the opportunities to connect with other empire-building, ambitious people.

If you aren’t networking because you didn’t think it was worth your time, get out there. Not only will you pick up some great ideas, but you’ll also find yourself reinspired. Few things are as motivating as encountering other people’s enthusiasm for your business.

3. Focus on Your Goals

We all know that goals are important. If we fail to set them, how do we know when we have achieved something? In business, as in life, we need targets.

For me, having a goal focus is intrinsically motivational. Have you met all the business goals you set previously?[2] Then, it’s time to set some new and even more ambitious ones than before.

Keep in mind that business goals can be moving targets, as circumstances change and reality sets in. What you must avoid is allowing yourself or your business to be paralyzed by indecision.

As Yogi Berra said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

The mere exercise of setting goals is energizing, so use the process when you’re in a slump. Make sure you set realistic goals—neither too high nor too low. Once the big ones are in place, establish mileposts so you know your business is on the right path.

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4. Stay True to Your Mission (or Find a New One)

Unlike goals, the mission of your business should not be a moving target. While a mission can and should be reassessed periodically, it must, nonetheless, remain a constant for a significant period of time. That’s because it should be driving everything you do.

The world changes quickly. Customers, technology, markets, workforces, and supply chains are in a constant state of flux. In my business, the challenge has always been to respond to change while remaining true to our mission.[3] On this point, Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept is spot on.[4]

According to Collins, your mission can be found at the intersection of three key truths about your enterprise:

  1. What you’re deeply passionate about
  2. What you can be best in the world at
  3. What drives your economic or resource engine

You should find motivation in the mission of your business. If you don’t, perhaps you aren’t passionate about it, can’t be the best in the world at it, or aren’t making money delivering it. If that’s the case, find a mission that intersects, and you’ll rediscover your entrepreneur motivation.

5. Celebrate Wins and Learn From Losses

Too many times, business owners fail to celebrate wins and learn from losses. That’s unfortunate because both wins and losses are two well-known secrets of entrepreneur motivation. If you aren’t treating them as the motivators they are, you should be.

Go back to those goals you set when you started your business. Have you achieved them?

If you did, have you taken the time to celebrate those wins with your stakeholders? If you haven’t reached them, figure out why, make adjustments, and try to turn them into wins. Wallowing in losses instead of learning from them and moving on is a sure way to lose motivation.

Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins as well. In my company, we ring a gong every time we land a new client so the small victory reverberates through the office. Doing this builds our confidence, generates enthusiasm, and motivates our team to aim higher. I recommend finding your own way to acknowledge the small wins that are necessary to achieve those major victories your business needs to flourish.

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When a lack of motivation sets in, take stock of everything you have accomplished. Pat yourself on the back and bask in the glow of achievement. That pause may be all you need to motivate you to achieve more success.

6. Identify Your Disruptive Powers

When you launched your business, were you just joining the pack? Or did you want to fill a gaping, empty market niche? Odds are, you believed you had a solution to a problem that no other business was figuring out.

Take Uber, Netflix, and Blue Apron. They disrupted the taxi, movie, and food industries by putting a revolutionary spin on the traditional way of doing business. In doing so, they solved problems the market wasn’t even aware it had.

The business you’re building may not be the next Tesla, but that doesn’t mean it can’t disrupt an industry, a sector, or just your local business community. You might discover a new customer service paradigm or a way to use technology that no one else has.

You can’t be innovative without being motivated, and if you aren’t motivated, your business will only achieve the status quo. So, start imagining ways you can disrupt your industry to kickstart your motivation. Even little ripples can turn into serious waves.

7. Spend Some Time Away

Building a business is exhausting during normal times. Throw in the stress and radical changes accompanying a global pandemic, and life can become overwhelming. This can lead to depression, indecision, paralysis, or even sheer panic.

You can’t control the world, but you can control your response to what’s happening. Start by stopping your attempts to do it all and set some priorities instead. When overwhelmed with life, one of those priorities must be yourself.

Spend some time away from work to recharge. A bit of respite is the only way you can replace the energy and inspiration sapped by a turbulent world. Work to overcome the feeling that your business can’t run without you, especially when your lack of motivation isn’t doing it any favors anyway.

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A little rest and relaxation may be all you need to return to the office reinvigorated. If your break involves travel, exposure to different places and cultures might even spark new trains of thought. You will be motivated to pick up where you left off and get back to growing your business.

8. Remain Customer-Centric

Whatever widget or widget service you sell, you have customers. Your lack of motivation does a disservice to a market looking to your business for solutions. When your business motivation wanes, think of those customers counting on you to succeed.

Keeping your eye on your customers isn’t a distraction from building your business. The most successful companies in the world are extremely customer-centric. Think about Apple’s uncanny ability to anticipate customer needs or Google’s cloud-based growth stemming from empathy for the challenges facing their customers.

Perhaps, there is a relationship between your lack of motivation and customer neglect. Remaining vigilant about their needs will determine whether or not your business is successful. To conduct surveys, read customer reviews, and do market research to discover those needs. After all, if you aren’t solving their problems, what are you doing?

When the noise from the daily demands of running a business gets too loud, tune it out. Listen to what your customers are saying about you and what they’re asking for. Responding to them will require focus, as you are motivated by your dream to build a successful business.

Final Thoughts

Motivation is movement, action—a driving force of human nature. Although it waxes and wanes as naturally as the lunar cycle, restoring business motivation can require a concentrated effort. It’s an effort you’ll want to make because a prolonged lack of motivation is deadly.

If you lack the motivation to eat, you starve. If you lack the motivation to drive in your lane, you crash. If you lack the motivation to build your business, you fail.

You are obviously a highly motivated individual. If you weren’t, you never would have started a business of your own. Entrepreneurs are, at their cores, a rare and uniquely inspired breed.

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So, when your entrepreneur motivation flatlines, don’t give up. Whether the spark comes from a personal connection, a new goal, a brief vacation, or a customer comment, there are ways to get yourself back on the business-building track again.

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

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