How to feel happy when you’re down in the dumps – here are 10 things you can do to feel happier right now.
If there’s one thing I’d would be willing to bet that every single person wants, it’s to feel happy. Nobody wants to feel sad, angry, or depressed but the reality is, it can be near on impossible to feel happy all the time.
Sometimes circumstances that are beyond our control have a negative effect on our happiness levels. Sometimes we just “wake up on the wrong side of the bed.” And sometimes we just feel “bleh” – you know those days, right? We’ve all had them.
If you’re feeling unhappy, it can affect your entire life including your health, work, and relationships. But feeling happier is often easier said than done. If it was as simple as just deciding “I’m going to be happy starting RIGHT NOW” then we’d never feel unhappy, would we?
But there are some proven ways to beat that “down in the dumps” feeling that we all get sometimes. Here are 10 things you can do to beat the blues.
10 Things You Can Do to Feel Happier Right Now
1. Go outside
Getting out in nature is a great way to lift your spirits, and if you’re lucky enough to live near the beach that’s even better.
It’s been scientifically proven that spending a sunny, warm day near the water makes people feel happiest, but spending time outdoors in any setting can help boost your spirits. Listening to the waves crash, birds sing, or children playing are all great mood boosters.
You might be familiar with the term “endorphin junkie”, or maybe you heard people talk about a “runner’s high.”
Well, they’re not just euphemisms – when you exercise, neurochemicals called “endorphins” are released into your brain, which increases feelings of well-being and euphoria.
But you don’t need to go out and run a marathon to get the feel-good benefits of exercise. Instead, try completing a round of an at-home workout DVD (one of my favorites is Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred) or going for a brisk walk.
3. Diffuse some essential oils
I love diffusing essential oils when I’m feeling under the weather, but certain essential oils also have wonderful mood enhancing properties.
Citrus oils like lemon essential oil are particularly good at boosting your mood. Lavender, Cinnamon, Bergamot, Frankincense and Clary Sage are also recommended.
Here’s a mood-boosting blend I like to use:
4 drops of Lemon
2 drops of Frankincense
2 drops of Lavender
If you don’t own a diffuser, Amazon has a wide variety of reasonably priced diffusers you can find here.
Alternatively, you can use a cotton ball or even put a few drops of essential oils directly onto your wall air filters.
4. Do something nice for someone else
Brightening someone else’s day can go a long way towards brightening your own day, too!
You could pay for the coffee for the car behind you, spend some time with the dogs and cats at your local shelter, or deliver a bunch of flowers to an elderly person living in a retirement village or veteran’s home.
5. Call a friend or family member
Sometimes, feeling happier can be as simple as picking up the phone and calling a friend or family member who knows how to make you smile.
Family and friends are the most important things in life – more important than money, fame, status, or anything else. Talking to, and being around the people you love is a sure-fire way to start feeling happier.
6. Keep a “once sentence a day” gratitude journal
Start writing down thing every day that you’re grateful for. It can be as simple as “I had the most delicious sandwich for lunch today” or, “I didn’t catch one red light on the way to work today.”
Focusing on, and practicing gratitude for what you do have is a great way to feel happier, and on the days you’re feeling down, get out your journal and read back through the small things that made you smile.
I love this gratitude journal which has space for you to keep a record of all of life’s little (and big) blessings.
7. Eliminate something that’s stressing you
We all have those small stressors in life that niggle away at us, contributing to feelings of unhappiness. Regardless of how small these stressors may seem, they all add up.
Have some piled up mail that you’ve been meaning to go through? Set aside some time to sort it out. Kitchen cabinets a mess? Start straightening them up.
Eliminating the stressors in your life can go a long way towards feeling happier.
8. Start learning something new
Learning about a new topic, or starting a new hobby can be an excellent way to increase your happiness levels.
When you’re feeling down, instead of focusing on your feelings of unhappiness, fill your mind with knowledge.
Udemy is one of my favorite online learning platforms – there are thousands of courses on almost every topic you can think of.
9. Spend some time with your furry friends
Spending time playing fetch with your dog, or teasing your cat with a piece of string can have amazing, positive benefits for your happiness, stress levels, and overall wellbeing.
Studies have shown that spending time with pets can boost your mood, lower your blood pressure, and increase your overall happiness.
If you don’t have a pet, consider volunteering to walk the dogs at a local shelter – the dogs will appreciate it as much as you will!
10. Read a book
Get into your comfy pj’s, make a cup of tea, and curl up with a good book. Reading can be a great way to de-stress and boost happiness. Whether it’s a classic novel, a feel-good comedy, or an educational book – it doesn’t matter. Just take the time to relax, and enjoy.
These feel-good strategies are all things that I personally implement when I’m having one of those “blah” days. I hope they help you, too!
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