You must have heard the worn-out phrase, “ups and downs are a part of life.” It may be overused, but that doesn’t make it any less accurate. If downs weren’t a part of life, would you have been able to appreciate the ups? It is important not to let yourself delve so deep into your downer phases that it becomes hard to get out of them. The first step to saving yourself from delving is accepting that you faced hardship and you need to heal. You deserve a break and some rest. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
Let’s discuss five things that can help you calm your nerves and boost your mood:
On days when you can’t find a reason to be happy about anything in life, try finding something good in your surroundings. Smile at a stranger, a flower in full bloom, a pet running in the park, or maybe a stupid meme on your phone.
Happiness and smiling make a two-way channel. You smile when you are happy, and smiling makes you happy. And I’m not talking about the fake smile you do to hide your sadness. It’s the smile you do through your sadness. That’s the little ray of hope.
Scientifically speaking, a simple act of smiling triggers the release of happy hormones (i.e., dopamine). As soon as this magical chemical runs through your bloodstream, you’ll be feeling happy in all of your body’s cells in no time.
2. Count your blessings
Make a habit of sitting down for a moment and thinking of all the things that happened in the day that made you happy.
Keep a journal, and don’t shy from writing even the most minor things in it. For example, you saw a butterfly flutter near your window, found chocolate in your fridge, came across a delightful toddler at the store (those are rare), got a text from an old friend, or your crush just updated their profile picture. Anything that made you happy, even if just for a moment, should be put in that journal.
And if there comes a day when you can’t find many things to put down, revisit some old entries and rekindle your happy moments.
3. Spend time in nature
Nature is an excellent healer. So just stroll on the beach, mountains, parks, wherever you can.
- Leave your phone and music for some time and enjoy the sound of rustling leaves, the waves, or the chirping birds.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Focus on how the air feels on your skin and how it smells.
- Look at the colors in the sky or those of the flowers.
In short, activate all your senses and take in as much of nature as possible. Then, forget about your worries for a moment, and let your brain relax. When you appreciate nature, you are bound to feel happy to be able to enjoy it.
4. “Me” time
Following your passions or hobbies can be difficult if you are stuck in a busy routine. However, for the sake of your happiness, allocate some time of your day to do something for yourself. It can be anything, anytime, for any duration possible. For example
- Cooking your favorite food
- Reading a book
- Writing fiction
When you do something for yourself, it enhances self-love and self-esteem, directly improving your happiness scale. Also, creativity requires you to put your entire focus on one thing, which can help take your mind off of bothersome thoughts. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment when you are done with things. No matter how good or bad the outcome is. There is no one to judge it because you did it for yourself, by yourself.
Music makes you feel emotions from scratch, be it happiness, sadness, loneliness, or energy. So use it to your advantage and add it to your happy playlist whenever you find a song that makes you feel happy. Do not forget to add upbeat music to this playlist so you can dance to it. Because apparently, dancing to upbeat music induces relaxation, comfort, and power, happiness in your whole body. So dance like you have no care in the world.
It doesn’t matter if you can or cannot dance. If dancing in front of other people makes you self-conscious, do it alone in your room. Be as ridiculous as you want because no one can judge you. And even if someone judged you, it sounds more like a ‘the’ problem.
As a grown-up, you need to realize that sometimes, happiness becomes more of a choice and a lifestyle. It means that you are in control of your happiness, even partially.
So, how do you make yourself happy?
Identify the sources of negative energy in your life and remove as much of those as possible. Whether it comes from within you or someone/something around you. Negativity from within usually originates from bad habits such as constant whining, jealousy, gossip, missing sleep for no good reason, or criticizing oneself. Make conscious efforts to quit these habits that do no good but surely harm you and others around you.
Similar habits in other people affect you the same way. So, communicate with those people reasonably and set boundaries. Or distance yourself from a company that propagates nothing but bad vibes and negative energy. Instead, surround yourself with positive energy and save yourself from unnecessary mental clutter.
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