Bad days are the worst. Whether you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and everything spins out of control from there, or you have one bad experience that ruins everything, it is never fun to have a day that stinks. When this happens, sometimes you need to let yourself feel the emotions, change your headspace and keep swimming. How can you change the course? By checking out our handy guide full of tips and tricks that will brighten your mood, teach you how to feel better, and turn off the funk. Because in a life of ups and downs and what sometimes feels like more downs than ups, we all deserve to feel better.
The Psychology of How to Feel Better
We’ve all experienced a string of bad luck. You sleep past your alarm, someone cuts you off in traffic, your computer decides not to function, you fight with your friend, and you get home, and there is nothing to eat. How could you possibly make a day like this better?
Well, for starters, it’s important to learn the psychology behind what is happening: your thoughts are not an accurate representation of your experiences.
Sure, if you’re having a horrible day, it’s easy to feel like it won’t end, there’s no hope, etc. This internal conversation of negativity might continue with “I can’t do anything right. I’m a failure. Everyone hates me”. You may then rationalize how much you and everything sucks by finding examples that prove your claim.
But the truth is that nothing sticks forever. Every emotion, whether good or bad, is temporary. No matter how powerful your feelings feel or how much evidence you have, everything changes.
When you realize that your emotions will rise and fall, you learn to no longer give them opportunities to reach a boiling point. This awareness will help you tolerate life’s icky moments for what they are, just moments and not permanent events.
If you find yourself struggling to remember this perspective, try something else;
How to Feel Better: 18 Tips to Brighten Your Mood
1. Acknowledge your stress
Acknowledge the impact of your stress for what it is; temporary, random, or a one-off event that you can overcome. Changing your perspective towards your stress will help build resilience.
2. How is your body feeling?
Instead of allowing your thoughts to entangle you, investigate your body in the present moment. We often don’t realize that our bodies store stress and emotional pain. When you focus on feeling the feelings stored in your body, you might feel lighter and more relaxed.
3. Honor your feelings
Even if your feelings are negative or critical, honor them. Take time to acknowledge how you’re feeling, and show yourself compassion, kindness, patience, and forgiveness.
4. Treat yourself
Indulge in your favorite meal, take a bubble bath, buy a pair of shoes, a new shade of lipstick, anything to give you the dose of positive emotion you deserve.
5. Give back
Giving back to the world in some way, big or small, is a powerful mood lifter. It provides immediate gratification and restores your faith in humanity when other people feel inspired by your kind gestures.
Connect with someone who touches your soul and who understands you. Call them, spend time with them, and allow their friendship and love to nurture your bad day.
7. Say one nice thing
Repeat a positive affirmation to stop your thoughts from overpowering your day; “This day will pass, and my future will be happier”, or “Despite how I’m feeling today, I love who I am”.
8. Get outside
When you’re having a bad day, it can be tempting to stay in, hide away from the world, and curl up with Netflix. While this is sometimes needed, it’s also healthy for you mentally and physically to get outside and connect with nature. Even if you can only muster 20 minutes.
9. Monitor your content
It could be a time for a refresh and for you to ask yourself how the content you’re consuming is impacting your mood. If the answer isn’t immediately warm, happy, or motivating, then reconsider their place in your life.
10. Create a vision board
What do you want for your future? Take the time to reimagine and visualize what you want. New car, home, travel, relationship? Have fun and go wild – nothing about your dreams is off-limits.
11. Choose gratitude
When a string of bad events dampens your spirit, it can feel impossible to search for gratitude. But when you focus on at least one or even two things you love about your current situation, it can positively impact your mindset.
12. Laugh it out
Laughter is the best medicine. Watch your favorite comedian, show, or movie. If possible, watch with a friend to share the giggles.
13. Yoga, anyone?
A guided yoga class with controlled breathing and asanas can leave you feeling refreshed, regrouped, and at peace. Get in a downward dog, breathe the stress out, and allow your instructor to teach you how to feel better.
14. Bake a treat
Chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or cake – what is your favorite sweet treat? Bake your craving and let the scents, feelings, and mindfulness re-center your mind. Bonus, you can eat your creation afterward.
Journal how you’re feeling or call a trustworthy friend and let every ounce of frustration, sadness, and anger leave your mind and body. You’ll feel better once you let it out, whether through a friend or on paper.
16. Get artsy
Connect to your inner child and paint, mold clay, or color in an adult coloring book. Creating art is a mindful task that will refocus your attention to the present moment and allow you to forget your blues even for a moment.
Shake it out. From an adrenaline rush to serotonin-boosting magic, dancing is great cardio that can improve any bad day. Put on your favorite tunes and dance in every room in your house. If you feel compelled to scream or cry, allow it space to release.
18. Complete one small task
Having a bad day can feel demoralizing, frustrating, depressing, and make you question your self-worth. Find something on your to-do list or a project you’ve been putting off, and complete one small task. Focusing on just one chore or item can increase resilience, empower you, and give you slightly more control over a less productive day.
Whenever you feel better, revisit this guide designed to help you learn how to feel better. Remember bad days are temporary and will pass with time – you got this!
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