It’s not practical to assume we will all feel happy at every moment of every day. No matter who you are or how wonderful your life is in general, there are still bound to be moments when you’re down. To fight against that, there simple ways to feel instantly uplifted that we’ll talk about here that can help you begin to turn that “blah” feeling you might be having into a feeling that is more like, “WOO!” These little tricks are easy to incorporate into your daily routine, too, so that you can start avoiding those down and out moments that might have otherwise plagued your day.
When all been there, right? Maybe your day started fine, but now it’s barely even 11 a.m. and it’s turning sour quite quickly. Maybe you had a fight with your significant other, or you just received a brutal email from your boss, or you spilled coffee all over the new shirt you had already been beating yourself up over spending $100 on. Regardless, the day seems to be on a bad path now, and your mood is plummeting rapidly. Stop right in your tracks. Sure, you might not be able to rectify the bigger issues at hand in a moment’s notice, but you can control your mood and how you feel in general for the remainder of the day — all it takes is a small amount of dedication, action, and thought to uplift yourself and get you out of this funk. Here are 11 simple ways to feel instantly uplifted.
1. Start The Day With A Little Sunshine
A little bit of sunshine in the morning can take you a long way. According to Michael Terman, PhD, the director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia University Medical Center, who spoke to Health on the topic, “Brightening your bedroom when you wake up helps you feel happier all day.” Try opening up your curtains the moment you get out of bed, for instance.
2. Smell A Lemon
You’ve probably heard before that certain aromas can work wonders… well how about the wonder of boosting your mood? According to WebMD, the scent of lemons can help set your body into de-stressing mode, melting away that horrible mood you might be in, and uplifting you. Other scents that are known to have this effect, too, are basil, juniper and lavender, the outlet noted.
3. Send A Personal Email Or Text
It’s mid-week and you’ve already sent seemingly a million work-related emails. Have you sent a personal one yet? Turns out, it could help in uplifting your spirits, according to Real Simple. The outlet noted maintaining close bonds is a vital part to being happy — so send a few lines to a friend and watch as you feel uplifted just like that.
4. Sit Up Straight
The way we sit can have an effect on our mood, interestingly enough. Huffington Post cited a 2009 study that found sitting up straight can boost your mood and feelings of self-confidence. As you’re reading this, take a moment to assess how you’re currently sitting, and adjust accordingly.
5. Do A Kind Deed
That whole “pay to forward” notion applies here. According to Prevention, those who are prone to doing good deeds for others — e.g., those who volunteer — are also prone to feeling happy (and in turn, it could result for more good deeds being passed through others done the line). It doesn’t have to be something huge. Try this: Next time you’re popping out of the office to grab a coffee, bring back one for your desk neighbor. A little gesture like this can go a long way.
6. Spend Five Minutes Meditating
A little mediation can go a long way in terms of booting your mood. I spoke to Yunha Kim, tech guru and CEO and Founder of Simple Habit — a mediation app — to get some insight into mediation, and via email she tells me that mediation is a great way to get in a calm mindset and to reduce stress and be more productive. Sounds like a major win if you ask me. Kim said all you need is just 5 minutes a day to begin to see those uplifting benefits.
Kim also told me that for her personally, mediation has been incredibly valuable. “At my last company, I was under a lot of pressure, working 24/7, and facing frequent burnout,” Kim says. “That's when I started meditating — and it made me more present, calmer, and more productive. I've learned that taking time to reset and recharge is so valuable for our well-being and health.”
7. Turn On The Right Tunes
Playing upbeat music can make you feel upbeat, too, according to a 2013 study out of the University of Missouri. The key is to listen to your choice of upbeat music while allowing yourself to experience it (and not asking yourself “Am I happy yet?”). With this in mind, I’m turning on my “Dance Party” playlist right now.
8. Visualize Yourself As A Movie Character
This one is maybe my favorite way to feel uplifted. Woman’s Day suggested thinking about your favorite movie and a scene from it that makes you feel all the positive feels. (It’s safe to say mine is when Harry rushes into the New Years Eve party at the end of When Harry Met Sally to confess his love. OMG.) Then, imagine yourself as the main character (that makes me Meg Ryan, which sounds pretty amazing). The outlet spoke to John Ryder, PhD, author of Positive Directions, who said of this technique, “Embracing that moment triggers optimism.”
9. Smile, Even If You’re Not Feelin’ It
There’s something to be said about faking being happy… it might just make you happy. According to Real Simple, your mood can improve instantly just be putting on a fake smile. Even if the last thing you feel like doing is smiling today, just try one on for size for a few minutes. Before you know it you might be smiling for real.
10. Think About “What Went Well”
Psychology Today discussed Dr. Martin Seligman, found of positive psychology. According to the outlet, Seligman suggests at the end of the day people ask themselves, “What went well?” and try to come up with three points. Then, reflect on them and replay them over and over while considering how good those things made you feel. The outlet noted this tactic can prove really successful in uplifting your mood.
11. Go For A Short Walk
Last, but certainly not least — have you tried a brief walk to boost your mood? If not, get outside and get to stepping. Business Insider spoke to mental health and exercise expert Jack Raglin, Ph.D., who said, “Studies have shown that even mild exercise, about 40 percent of your max heart rate, can lift your mood.” This means you only need a short, brisk walk to get the positive effects on your mood.
If you’re someone who is in need of a boost in your mood today, try out some of the simple tactics we discussed here. You might find your mood is uplifted more easily and quickly than you could have imagined.