So you're having a bad day - it's awful, but it happens to everyone once in a while. Even if you have a lot to be thankful for and are a generally happy person, you're bound to have a day where everything seems to go wrong, and you can't shake the bad feelings.
There are methods to live a happier life and overcome these feelings, but most of the time all you need is a quick mood booster, or 15 of them.
Everything on this list is guaranteed to make you smile or forget your troubles. If you can't remember to do some daily affirmations, these tricks will cheer you up in a pinch.
1. Smile - even if you're sad
It can be difficult, but forcing your body to go through the motions and act happy can actually improve your mood. Researchers say smiling throughout the day lowers your stress, because it sends a signal to the rest of your body saying "everything is okay, don't worry so much!"
2. Eat a snack or drink some water
Being "hangry" is no joke, sometimes when life is getting you down a nice piece of chocolate or some fruit is the perfect thing to lift your spirits. It's also easy to get dehydrated without realizing it, which can make you upset. So keep drinking water throughout the day.
3. Spend time being grateful
Take a post-it note and make a list of what you're grateful for. It could be something you accomplished that day, or just the fact that you're healthy. This takes your mind off your troubles and reminds you of everything good about your life.
4. Take time to laugh
Share a funny story with someone, or a stupid joke (if you can't think of one, we have a few). You'll be amazed how fast your day can turn around when you take time to have fun. The sillier your reason to laugh is, the better!
5. Ask someone about their day
Like making a list of things you're grateful for, talking with someone else about their life is a fast way to get your mind off your problems. Plus, you're helping make the other person's day better too!
Check out the next page to learn how your posture affects your mood
6. Change your posture
It seems your teachers had a reason to nag you about sitting up straight. Your body language has a big effect on your mood, so if you're hunched over all day, take time to sit up and stretch out.
7. Breath in a calming scent
Some people are very sensitive to scented candles, and are easily bother by the smell. If you're not, lighting one can be one of the fastest and simplest ways to cheer yourself up. Research backs this up: scents like lemon, basil, juniper and lavender calm you down by sending a "safe" signal to your body, which helps you unwind.
8. Go for a walk
When your day feels like it's dragging on and on, grab your shoes and head for the door. You'll feel better the moment you step outside, and even a few minutes of walking per day can have some significant health benefits on your body - which can only improve your mood!
9. Tidy up
This may feel like a chore, but a hectic and disorganized environment has a way of naturally adding stress to your life - even when you aren't doing anything. Take a few minutes to clean up the messiest parts of your office or home and you'll be more relaxed by the time you finish.
10. Embrace your bad mood
It may sound counterproductive, but science shows that accepting you're having a bad day (or week) can make the bad feelings go away faster. Don't dwell on what's bothering you, but accept that things could be better and move on, instead of dragging a dark cloud behind you all day.
Click to the next page for 5 more helpful tips, including how to find the upside of a bad mood!
11. Get some perspective
Ask yourself if there's an upside, a silver lining to the bad situation you're in. Even if it's something like "this will make me a stronger person," zeroing in on that positive will make your bad mood bearable. There are very few situations that are all bad, so look on the bright side.
Remember, you don't get a rainbow without rain!
12. Vent to someone
Sometimes you just need to get something off your chest. Find someone you can easily talk to and make a habit of sharing your troubles with them. You'll be amazed how discussing a problem makes it seem much smaller.
13. Take time to reflect
Stop for 2 minutes during your day, take note of what went right and what went wrong so far. Analyzing what's bothering you helps you come to terms with it, or avoid doing it again, while remembering the positive parts will lift your spirits.
14. Play some music
We have a few recommendations that will help you find your center, but anything that gets you humming and nodding your head is better than being alone with your thoughts. Take a "song break" during the day and forget your worries.
15. Spend time with your pets (or pictures of them)
Just looking at photos of animals is enough to turn a bad day into a good one, but spending time with the real thing is even better. There's lots of research about how pets can lift our spirits, but we think it's pretty obvious to anyone who owns a dog or cat.
Share this list to help lift someone's mood!