6 Tips to Boost Your MoodMay 18, 2022
Everyone knows that sometimes, life gets hard. Whether plans don’t turn out as expected or something outside our control surrounds us in negativity, it can be hard to push through the bad times on your own – especially if you don’t know when it’s all going to end.
In this blog post, I’m giving you six science-backed, psychologically proven methods you can use right now (or later) to increase your happiness and boost your mood.
One of the best ways to start feeling better fast is to practice gratitude! Essentially, think about things in your life that you’re grateful for – it can be something large-scale like family, or as transient as the weather in that moment.
Some great ways to practice gratitude are journals or lists. Writing down the things you’re grateful for makes them more tangible to your brain, and makes them seem more reel. I recommend going somewhere that gives you peace, getting out your favorite pen and journal, and just letting your mind flow through the lens of gratitude.
Self-compassion can often help us feel better about ourselves. So often, we treat others with compassion more so than we do ourselves. When you remember that you are allowed to have whatever thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors express themselves to you, you are giving yourself the space and compassion to fully feel and deal with everything.
An activity to do this quickly is to write yourself a compassionate letter that reminds you of all the good things you love about yourself, and one that speaks kindly to you – think of what you’d write to a friend going through a hard time.
When we are confident, we’re more likely to take the necessary actions we need to take to improve our lives – which usually puts us in a better mood. Although it’s not always easy to boost your confidence, there are some things you can do today to help.
Think about your strengths and what you love about yourself! So go ahead and think about your strengths. It doesn’t have to be anything big – maybe you’re a good cook, good at playing video games, or have a good imagination. Anything you’re good at, and anything you love about yourself is good enough. Reminding yourself of these things will help build your confidence.
Write yourself a 'feel better soon' letter
If you knew a close friend or family member was going through a rough patch, you might send them a letter sharing your love and support. There’s no reason you can’t do that for yourself too!
Research shows that looking at our current situation from another point in time can decrease our current negative emotions and make us feel better. So if you've experienced a breakup or other difficult event that has put you in a bad mood, it may be helpful to write a letter to yourself from the future – whether it’s a week or a year. Tell yourself to "feel better soon" and talk about all the great things your future self is doing once this challenging time has passed. This can give you the motivation and mood boost you need to continue working towards becoming the person you want to be.
Try to notice the positive things
Numerous studies show that training our attention away from the negative and onto the positive improves our well-being. For example, if we lose a job, we might say to ourselves: "I am so happy to have my family and friends.”
While this is easier said than done, and it can sometimes come across as minimizing or compartmentalizing – it’s important to focus on the positives in our lives even though there may be negative things going on around us. The point of this is not to suppress your negative emotions. The point is to realize that even though there are negatives, there are also positives – this can help boost your mood by focusing on the things that make you happy!
Look at happy images
Sometimes, you just need to look at funny pictures of cute animals… right?! Science actually suggests that looking at positive imagery like this boosts our moods. So, next time you’re feeling down, try to give your brain a rest and look at cute cat videos online, photos of places or people that make you happy, or things you love. This is another way to focus on the positives and can help improve your mood!
All in all, I understand that when you’re feeling down, sometimes it can be so hard to move past it. First and foremost, I want you to know that you aren’t alone, and these feelings don’t make you a failure or disappointment.