A painful job interview, a dreadful commute, a broken umbrella, an intolerable boss, stepping in dog poop on the way to a date…
Bad days happen.
We can’t get rid of them but we do have easy suggestions for improving your mood regardless and feeling happier.
It’s true: smiling can trick your brain into happiness and boost your health. A smile spurs a powerful chemical reaction in the brain that can make you feel happier, releasing certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin.
- Give a hug or cuddle
Physical touch can decrease stress and make us feel happier. A hug boosts our oxytocin and serotonin levels.
- Hang out with a pet
Cuddling, playing, or just spending time with a pet.
Meditation is a quick, effective way to improve our mood.
- Have sex
Feel-good hormones and chemicals that are released during sex (dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin) can boost your mood.
- Take a five-minute walk
It’s definitely a strategy to consider if you’re dealing with a stressful day at work.
- Listen to music
Know that you don’t necessarily have to dip into your happier playlists. Scientists have found that some people find intense comfort and catharsis in sad music.
- Eat some dark chocolate
Research shows that thanks to its high antioxidant content, chocolate has a positive impact on our mood, focus, and memory.
“By journaling as a regular practice, you can develop the ability to channel and direct your otherwise anxious or intrusive thoughts,” says Psychologist Heather Silvestri. In other words, journaling is a very effective strategy if you’re not entirely sure why you’re in a bad mood.
- Write down things you’re thankful for
Practicing gratitude has been shown to improve mood and physical well-being.