Face it. We all have “bad days,” those days in which nothing goes right, we can’t shake the funk we are in and the nasty little voices in our heads keep picking on you.
Negative self-talk is a big problem on days like that. Negative talk is a smelly mix of half-truths, illogical ideas about yourself and distortions of reality. They are usually caused by negative emotions like fear, guilt, anxiety, pessimism and other destructive behaviors.
Sadly, for some of us, it has become our daily inner dialogue. You aren’t alone.
Luckily, replacing that negative self-talk with positive talk and a positive attitude is possible, but, like everything else, it’s something you have to work at every hour, every day.
While you do that, here are 8 ways to feel good instantly:
1. Do something to help another. It’s been proven that helping others is an instant mood booster that makes you feel worthwhile and happy. Whether it’s volunteering in The Salvation Army Food Pantry or Red Shield Kitchen, helping an elderly neighbor with shopping or even giving a stranger a hand, helping others makes you feel better about yourself.
2. SMILE. – Your body sees no difference in physical responses and emotion. For example, if you slouch, then you may feel a little less energetic than someone with good posture. On the same wavelength, if you smile – even if you don’t feel like it – your emotions respond. Your mood begins to improve. It’s a “fake it until you make it” approach that works.
3. Be Grateful. It’s prevent that those who take the time to be grateful for what they have lead happier, more satisfied lives. Every day, give thanks – and FEEL GRATEFUL – for at least five things. It can be as simple as “I’m grateful that I have hot water to shower with” or as grand as “I’m grateful for my children and the joy they bring.” Working here at The Salvation Army, we see so many who are lacking the basic necessities. I’m thankful I can afford food for my family, a roof over my head and the ability to help others – there’s a lot of folks who cannot say that.
4. DECIDE to be happy. Being happy is a conscious choice. It’s just as easy to be happy as it is to be unhappy. All it takes is a shift in perspective. Do whatever it takes to find your joy and then keep yourself there. The higher level of happiness you can create within you, the greater the change you will see in your life.
5. Move and Exercise. A quick pick me up is a brisk walk. Maybe a set of jumping jacks. Grab a yoga class. Play with your dog outside. Walk around your office building. Tumble around with a child. Moving and exercise do wonders to boost a mood.
6. Listen to upbeat and happy music. According to DiscoveryNews.com, listening to moving music causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical. That’s why upbeat, happy music you love always gives you a boost of energy and joy.
7. Unclutter. Those piles of paperwork and dirty laundry can make a bad day feel even more frantic. Set an alarm for five minutes and clean up the space around you. Unclutter your area, and your mind follows suit. Having a manageable space can instantly make you more relaxed.
8. Breathe it in. When stressed or unhappy, take 10 minutes to focus on the feeling of deep breathing. Be aware of the air moving in and out of your chest. This creates a relaxation response in your body and slows the heart rate.
So, next time you are feeling bad or down in the dumps, take a moment to do one or all of these mood boosters. And remember, at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command, we’d love to have your smiling face volunteering or donating with us!