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In my post on How To Become a Happier Person, I discussed some simple, long term strategies to help you live a happier life. But what if you’re feeling kind of down and want to be happier right now?
I know exactly how you feel, so if you’re feeling down and desperate for something to make you feel better, this post is for you. Not all of them will be right for you, but hopefully you find an option that will make you feel a little lighter today.
These are 10 things you can do right now to make you a happier person.
1. Talk to someone
Loneliness is a leading cause of depression and other mental illnesses. and maybe all you need right now is to talk to a friend. You can talk about how you’re feeling, but if that’s too much then a long chat about anything and everything is a great option too.
People are often ashamed to be lonely, when in reality it’s so, so common. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone – they may be feeling just like you.
2. Take a walk in nature
I don’t know about you but sometimes I just feel a bit off. Sometimes it’s anger, sometimes it’s anxiety, sometimes it’s restlessness. Whatever it is, there’s rarely a time when taking a long walk in nature doesn’t make me feel better.
It’s well known that exercise can be a powerful mood booster, but you don’t need to do a high intensity workout to get these results – sometimes a short walk is enough.
3. Listen to music you love
Music is a powerful tool that can have a profound effect on your mood, and you can use that to your advantage when you’re in need of a little pick-me-up.
Try creating a playlist full of upbeat and inspiring songs that you can put on whenever you’re feeling sad. Or alternatively, you could go through your old playlists and find one from a time you associate with better memories.
Here’s a challenge: fake a smile right now. A proper, big, goofy smile.
Studies have claimed that physically forcing yourself to smile can actually make you happier.
Is this true? Who knows. But you have nothing to lose.
5. Recall good memories
We’re more likely to remember times that we associate with intense feelings, and these tend to be negative experiences.
You can counteract this by recalling the good memories that may otherwise slip your mind. Take some time to recall some happier times in as much detail as possible. Write them down, if you can.
The more you revisit these old memories, the stronger they’ll be, and the happier you’ll become.
6. Be creative
Being creative can be a calming escape from any negative feelings you may be feeling. I love to draw when I’m feeling down, but you can also paint, sing, play an instrument, try out a new makeup look – the possibilities are endless.
I often turn to adult colouring when I want to do something completely mindless. I can get lost in it for hours, and often forget about everything that was on my mind before. You can find printable colouring sheets that are completely free, but if you have some money to spend then I absolutely love Johanna Basford’s books.
7. Unfollow anyone who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself on social media
I appreciate social media for everything it does, but it can also be a stressful environment. It can be easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to other people, or in reading hateful comments.
You can make the experience better by unfollowing or muting anyone who makes you feel less than great about yourself.
Your social media accounts are your own space, and one that you likely spend a lot of time in. Just like you would tailor your living environment to suit your style, you can also tailor your social media accounts to your liking. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for that.
8. Read a book or watch a TV series/movie
Sometimes life just becomes too much and all you need to feel better is to escape from reality for a while. Avoiding your feelings may not be the best long term strategy, but don’t let yourself feel guilty for putting on your favourite show and relaxing for a while.
9. Play a video game
Like with reading a book or watching a film, playing a video game is a brilliant distraction for when you feel a little down. For a while, you can forget about reality and completely lose yourself in another world.
Letting your feelings out is a brilliant practice, particularly if you’re feeling down. But sometimes talking to someone is too much.
That’s where journaling comes in. Journaling is a powerful tool that’s helped me through some of the toughest times of my life, and it’s something I would recommend to anyone.
If you’ve never tried journaling before, then give it a shot. Find a random piece of paper and start writing down how you feel – you never know, you might enjoy it.
For more on journaling, check out my post on How To Start a Journal and Stick To It.
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These are 10 of my favourite things you can do right now to become happier, but it’s by no means a conclusive list. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you like to do that always makes you feel better when you’re down.
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