All of us have times when we feel sad. Sometimes we have a legitimate reason to feel this way. We’ve just experienced a loss or a breakup. We’re worried about someone’s health or our own. We may not have the job we want. Or we may just feel lonely. And it’s okay to feel sad about these things.
And sometimes we feel sad for no apparent reason. We’re just sad. And that’s okay too.
But what we don’t want to do is sit in that sadness for too long. We shouldn’t wallow in it. Because the longer we do that, the harder it is to get out of feeling sad.
But there are things we can do to make us feel better. Even doing one of these things can make us feel good right away. Here are 10 way to improve your mood. Pretty soon, you’ll change hopeless to hopeful.
1. Get Out of the House
Yes, there are times when we just want to lay in bed all day. And even if we get out of bed, getting out of our pajamas is a whole other thing.
Even if you’re not feeling up for it, take a shower, get dressed, and get out. Go to the mall or the grocery store. If the weather’s nice, go for a walk. Sit at a park bench and people watch. While you’re there, feed the birds.
Even if you have a reason for feeling sad, sometimes a lack of vitamin D can make that sadness worse. A ten-minute dose can make all the difference. Once you’re out and about, you might forget why it was so hard to leave.
2. Get Some Exercise
For a whole lot of reasons, exercise helps with stress and depression. A brisk walk for a few minutes helps.
Sure, a jog or run will release endorphins that make you feel great. But you can still benefit from any exercise at all. Scientists say that low-impact exercise can help rebuild brain function. And over time your better brain function leads to you feeling better overall.
Start with 5 minutes, and try to work your way up to 20 minutes a day. That way you’ll continue to sustain that good feeling and improve your mood permanently.
3. Meet With a Friend
Schedule some time for coffee or lunch with a good friend or family member. It’s so easy to forget to reach out to people.
And think about it, just like you haven’t called your friend in a while to meet up, they haven’t called you either. Probably for the same reason. They are stressed and overworked and haven’t set aside time for themselves.
A good talk with a friend might do the trick. Just letting things out often make them seem so large. And while you’re at it, ask how your friend is doing. Giving your friend the time to talk about what’s going on can help you forget about your own problems.
Speaking of helping people with problems, volunteering your time can sure make your own problems seem small. It’s not that they’re not important, but it can put things into perspective.
There are so many organizations that could use the help. You can share your skills or just your times. It will always be appreciated. There’s nothing better than helping others to get us out of our own problems for an hour or so. It will be time well spent.
For some, meditation seems counter-intuitive. The idea that being in a place where you allow your thoughts to flow through you, can seem scary when those thoughts are negative.
Meditation is being with your thoughts until you come to the realization that their just thoughts that come and go. It has been proven to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.
There are many methods of meditation. Some people use apps, read books or take classes. It’s not a one-size-fits-all. But it does work. Also, if you get in the habit of meditating on a regular basis, it can stave off long-term sadness and depression.
6. Escape to a Story
Read a good novel or watch a movie. Just make sure you pick the right one.
A romantic comedy or adventure is a better choice than something with a sad story that might make you feel worse. But for a couple hours, you’ll escape your problems and not be thinking about them.
When the movie is over or you put down the novel, you might just have a different perspective on why you’re sad. Things may not seem as bad as you thought they were.
It’s said that “time heals all wounds.” Sometimes all we need is 90 minutes plus previews to relieve us from negative thinking.
7. Take a Nap
A big contribution to sadness is lack of sleep. If you’re overworked or stressed out, you might need more sleep than you’re used to getting.
Seven or eight hours just aren’t cutting it when things in your life our requiring tons of time and energy.
Allow yourself to sleep in, go to bed a little earlier, or take a nap in the afternoon. Twenty minutes of resting your eyes might be all you need to improve your mood.
When we’re not feeling our greatest, we’re not eating our greatest either. Some of us will eat too little, and some of us will eat too much.
As a result, we might be missing essential nutrients. And that’s affecting our brain. Taking supplements will help our bodies and minds get back on track.
One thing you can take to improve your mood is tribulus terrestris. It’s known to be an instant mood booster.
9. Express Your Right Brain
Get out a mandala coloring book and color. Take a pottery class. Dust off your camera, go for a walk and take some pictures. Stop by an art store and get inspired. You can even try your hand at writing that novel you always wanted to write. Just be creative.
One of the best ways to express creativity and get out of your head is to take a comedy improv class. A lot of us have fear of public speaking. But with a class for beginners, there’s no pressure to perform. It’s fun, you’ll meet new people, and you’ll learn some great skills. Plus, I guarantee you will laugh, a lot.
10. Make a Gratitude List
It’s pretty simple. Just get out a pen and paper, or do it on your laptop. And then make a list of everything your grateful for.
My guess is that the list will be long, a lot longer than the list of things that are making you sad. Not only will your mood improve because you’re being grateful for the things you have, but it’s just a good thing to do for yourself and the people you love.
Improve Your Mood
Life might seem overwhelming. Problems might seem insurmountable. Feeling sad is no joke. But you don’t have to stay in that place. Make a commitment to try one of these, or perhaps two.
If you’re finding that it might be more than sadness, and maybe it’s depression, all of the things on the list will help. But it’s also a good idea to call a therapist or counselor.
For more articles about all things curious when it comes to your wellbeing, visit our blog.