Happiness

Simple Tricks to Improve Your Mood

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We all have off days. You know those days when everything goes wrong? Traffic is bad and you spill your coffee down your blouse. Work is a treadmill of meetings and emails. And then someone says something a bit offhand and it feels like the end of the world. What can you do to cheer yourself up when the world seems to be conspiring against you?

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1.Treat Yourself

A little pick-me-up in the form of a gift is an instant way to boost your mood. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. It could as simple as a bar of chocolate or a record. For some people, a trip to the florists is a sure fire way of cheering themselves up. Flowers last for days and it always feels like a treat when you buy them for yourself.

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2.Take a Break

If your low mood is due to work, then take a break. Get away from your desk for an hour when lunchtime comes. Get some fresh air, walk around, and rest your brain for a while. If you feel like you need a longer break, then book a holiday. Grab some brochures and travel guides and plan somewhere exciting to visit.

3.Relax

Being constantly busy can make you feel low. If this is a problem for you, then plan in some relaxation time. Book a manicure, massage, or spa day. Take some time to sit and read your book. Catch up on your favourite programmes. Go for a run or a swim. However, you like to relax, schedule some time to do it.

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4. Plan Something Spontaneous

Phone your friends and see if they’re available this evening. Do something fun and spontaneous that doesn’t take any planning. Sometimes the unplanned nights are the most memorable.

5. Do Something Creative

Doing something creative will focus your mind. If you work in a non-creative role, it will also access a different area of your brain. There are lots of ways to explore your creativity including, painting, colouring, and sewing. Others prefer playing musical instruments or taking photos. Whatever you decide, let it absorb you and distract you from the strains of the day.

6. Establish a Ritual

Establish a ritual and follow it each day. This will be the cut-off point from work. Once you complete the ritual, you should stop thinking about work and focus on your home life. The ritual could be taking a shower, changing your clothes, etc. It may take some practice to get this right. But eventually, your brain will learn that at this point in the day, work is left behind.

7. Find Some Quotes

Go online and search for some quotes that fit your mood. Some people collect quotations and keep them in a journal to refer to over again.

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Keep a Gratitude Journal

There is scientific evidence to prove that focusing on three positive things each day will improve your wellbeing. A gratitude journal is a notebook where you can record the things you are grateful for each day. Many people report that they find this beneficial. It allows them to focus on the positives, rather than dwelling on negatives.

Of course, if you find that you’re having lots of bad days, you may need to take action. But for the odd bleurgh day, these tips might help. What tricks and pick-me-ups do you use when you’ve had a bad day?

Parenting · Personal

A Matter of Perception.

Isn’t it amazing how your kids can completely change the way you look at things, without even meaning to, how their wide-eyed wonder at the most mundane item can alter your perception? Yesterday, while we were walking along the street, Sausage and I walked past a particularly unkempt garden outside a block of flats. Most people would turn their nose up at the laziness of the council or the impact that the garden had on the look of the rest of the street. Most adult people. My daughter exclaimed, with genuine delight, “Mummy, look at all of those fluffy flowers! Aren’t they beautiful?“. Obviously the flowers in question were dandelion clock, which the majority of people would consider a weed and a pest, but my daughter looked at them with her eyes and her heart, unaffected by social convention, and found them beautiful. That, right there, is the answer to world peace, I’m sure of it.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to look at things in the same way. It’s like therapy. Take the time to see the beauty in things and the world really will start to look like a better place. Or at least, that’s the theory. It’s like that thing where they say if you force yourself to smile, even if you don’t mean it, it releases certain hormones and will eventually actually make you feel genuinely happy. If I take the time to view things through the eyes of my daughter, the world will seem like a different place. Instead of moaning about the rain, look at the beautiful shapes in the clouds, or the way the rain makes everything look shiny and new. Instead of being cross when the foxes rip the bin bags up and I have to pick up the semi-rotting detritus, think about the fact that the fox and maybe some fox babies managed to have a lovely dinner and won’t go hungry tonight.

And I’ve found that if I FORCE myself to do it, like stand in front of a pile of rubbish and make myself think of something nice to say about it, it starts to come more naturally at other times. Maybe it’s like cognitive behavioural therapy, I’m kind of retraining my brain, but if you can walk along the street and have ten positive thoughts rather than 15 negative ones, surely that would make a vast difference to your day and your mood? And in turn, an upturn in your mood might mean you don’t snap at your kid for something which is quite minor, or you might smile at a stranger in the street and make them realise that neighbourliness and community spirit isn’t dead. All quite minor things that could have a cumulative effect and make the world a better place.

And it all started with fluffy flowers.