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We’ve all been there. You’re feeling down, feeling sad no reason for it, maybe it’s because of a bad day at work or you just argued with your significant other. Whatever the reason may be, sometimes we need help to get out of our bad moods and into something more positive.
When you’re stuck in a rut or in a bad mood, it feels like there’s no point in trying to get out of it. But research shows that your emotions can change in just seconds – if you pick the right approach.
“What you think and how you feel can be changed instantly,” happiness researcher Shawn Achor said in a Ted Talk.
The key is to find the approach that’s most likely to work for you and bring about happiness: Some people respond well to visualizing success, others need something more physical such as a boost of physical activity or self-affirmation.
Here are nine ways to get out of a feeling sad no reason!
The key is to find the approach that’s most likely to work for you and bring about happiness: Some people respond well to visualizing success, others need something more physical such as a boost of physical activity or self-affirmations – there are many natural ways to reduce anxiety as well.
Here are some strategies that are simple – but work when you are feeling sad no reason for it, so lets change that right now:
1. Write it down
When we envision our future, whether it’s five years down the road or tomorrow at brunch, it seems far away – which offers us some happiness buffer when things don’t go as planned. But sometimes daydreaming isn’t enough; if this start-up idea has bombed once, your boss isn’t going to let you try again.
One way to defeat negative thinking is through “positive writing” – describing your happiness now and how it might look in the future.
Positive words are more emotionally arousing for people than negative words, so they can lift our moods just as well as positive experiences themselves, according to research by Robert A. Emmons of the University of California at Davis and Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami.
2. Go outside
A walk outdoors benefits both body and mind – even if you only have time for a quick stroll around the block. Find a place with lots of trees and green grass, and just enjoy the simple pleasure of being outside. Natural light boosts mental performance, mood, alertness, energy level, and metabolism, according to researchers at Northwestern Health Sciences University’s Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms.
3. Take a nap
People tend to perform better when they’re well-rested, so taking a break can help you return to whatever tasks are most important with increased energy and happiness levels. That’s right, you can even take a short snooze to escape your funk.
Even a short nap of 20 minutes can have a big impact – it can help you maintain your focus, memory, and happiness levels throughout the day.
4. Find the lesson
When we suffer from emotional pain, it can be difficult to see even the most obvious solution: that we brought this on ourselves by choosing the wrong course of action. However, taking responsibility for our happiness pulls us out of victim mode and lets us know that we hold the key to changing our circumstances to feel better – which is empowering compared with feeling like a passive spectator in life’s proceedings.
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5. Laugh it off
Watching a comedy might seem like the last thing you want to do when you’re in a bad mood, feeling sad no reason, or just cranky but that’s precisely why it can be so effective.
One study showed that subjects who watched a happiness-boosting video saw their happiness and energy levels rise and remained at those heightened states two hours later – long after the effects of caffeine would have worn off.
Exercise isn’t just good for your body; it’s also great for your mood because endorphins make us happier. The happiness benefits of exercise are well-documented, and physical activity elevates positive emotions for up to 12 hours after working out, according to researchers at Georgia Southern University’s College of Education.
Not only does exercise make you happier and healthier, but it can also improve your brain function! Most people know that physical activity is good for them externally. But what many don’t realize are all the ways in which a healthy lifestyle helps with our mental well-being as well – from increasing cognitive abilities like memory or attention span to improving moods by decreasing stress hormones such as cortisol.
7. Eat happy foods
Certain foods can help increase happiness, too – especially if your bad mood was caused by low blood sugar. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can elevate our moods and decrease depression, while the amino acid tryptophan reduces anxiety and improves sleep. Other good choices include watermelon (which has a high content of the amino acid citrulline) and bananas (which have high levels of tryptophan).
This is why certain foods are better than others in combating low blood sugar – they have higher levels of these nutrients which help combat bad feelings caused by lack of energy or happiness!
8. Let yourself feel good about feeling bad
Grin and bear it: Researchers have found that whether or not we acknowledge negative feelings directly affects happiness levels more than whatever prompted those emotions in the first place.
In one study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 45 undergraduate women watched an upsetting movie clip – either without commenting on their feelings or describing them as they were experiencing them.
“Negative emotions were less intense after the women labeled their feelings,” wrote study authors Iris Mauss and Maya Tamir. “Self-monitoring also enhanced happiness levels.”
9. Focus on Someone Else
A bad mood usually forces us to become overly focused on ourselves. Shifting our attention towards others can trick our minds into forgetting what’s going on in the little world that is all too familiar, as we remember everyone else has their ups and downs too- so help them!
Take time out of your busy day for someone who needs it more than you do; offer up buying coffee or giving directions when someone asks (or even just chat with this person briefly). Building them up will lift not only theirs but also your spirits higher.
Another way to focus on something else as well, that hobby, your pet…you get the idea.
Bottom line to feeling sad no reason – just grumpy : The trick to busting out of that bad mood: Focus on the past and future happiness you’ve known so you can remember firsthand how good things can get.
I am utterly convinced that everyone is worthy of happiness so don’t dwell in that bad mood – do something to change it – remember the choice is yours. There’s an old proverb that says happiness is like a sunbeam which, when it strikes at the right angle, sends forth its light far and wide. I believe it is your time to shine xoxo.