Myth: healthy people are cheerful and chipper all the time.
Let’s face it, sometimes, no matter how hard we try to stay positive, life drops us off in bad-mood-town. Book your ticket back to happy-ville with these 7 ways to get out of a funk.
1. Golden Rays.
A drop or two of the sun (especially when it comes with a good dose of fresh air) goes a long way in boosting your mood. A 2013 study found that just a little bit of time in the sun had an anti-depressant effect on its subjects. Put on your floppy hat and sun protection, it’s time for your medicine.
2. Pay It Forward.
Not your bad mood, but your good fortune. Doing an act of kindness is the antidote to bad moods for several reasons. It forces us to think of others (instead of wallowing in our foul mood), it reminds us how lucky we are, we get to see joy on other’s faces and, if you buy into the philosophy of great thinkers like the Dalai Lama, compassion is a key component of happiness.
3. Shake It Off, Shake It Off.
Spontaneous dance party, long run, hot yoga class – however you prefer to get your body moving it’s going to help you shake off the crankiness. Exercise is a great way to get your mind off your problems, is often fun and enjoyable, plus if you put some effort into it, it’s going to release those happiness-inducing endorphins. Even if you can’t get out for an epic workout, we find that a quick unabashed dance to our favourite tune turns things around (add singing for even greater results!)
4. Get Grateful.
Gratitude is the ultimate weapon against that funk you’re in. Take a few minutes to write down what’s good in your life. Avoid the urge to negate each one, just accept them for what they are – big or small. It’s important to write them down instead of just reciting them in your head because they’ll feel more tangible. If you’re still battling the bad-mood monster after this exercise – try posting that list on social media. It’s amazing how much putting out into the world accelerates things.
5. Hug It Out.
Human contact is essential for our happiness and hugs are one of the easiest, most effective forms of it. The key is to give a great hug, not just be the recipient of one. As soon as contact starts, send and receive that friendly, good-natured affection. Even in a brief hug or a half hug (we’re looking at you, fellas), you can still feel the love. Hug your way to happiness.
6. Rub a Dub Dub.
When a bad mood persists, it takes up residence in our tissues (along with its good friend, stress) and creates tension. Getting some bodywork, like a massage, can help to release that tension along with mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. If you can’t afford a professional, even self-massage has proven effective. Pass the oil!
7. Breathe It Out.
It may seem like far too simplistic a solution but truly just slowing down and breathing can make a huge difference. In fact, it’s one of the most immediate ways to turn a mood around. Simply stop what you’re doing, close your eyes and take a few really deep, controlled breaths. If this is starting to sound familiar it’s because we’ve often told you about the mood-boosting benefits of meditation and these mini-breathing breaks are a form of that. Ohm, yeah.
If you’ve got a particularly stubborn funk hanging around, feel free to double (or triple) dose these treatments.
Bye-bye bad mood.