Some days the sun is shining, everything is easy and we’re feeling on top of the world. Other days, it seems as though nothing is going our way and this can get us feeling pretty down. While having some bad days is normal, what if we could encourage those positive feelings to surface more often? This post covers some basic tips that could help encourage a positive mindset.
While you’ve probably heard this one before, exercise is a great mindset booster. Exercising releases dopamine and serotonin, the chemicals in our bodies that make us feel good. Exercise is a well-known stress reliever and will take your mind off any worries at hand. It doesn’t have to be a 1-hour intensive class at the gym or 10km run. It could be as simple as going outside for a walk to raise the heart rate or joining a social sports team. Find out what exercise you actually enjoy, this will make it easier to do more often and not feel like a chore. Read more about the benefits of exercise.
A good routine
A good routine is key to consistently feeling good. Changing up your routine to include healthy habits can help implement them without having to force it. By incorporating daily habits at the same time each day, it will start to become natural. Some positive components to include in your daily routine include exercise at the same time, some fresh air at morning tea, stretching in the morning - really just whatever makes you personally feel good.
Get it off your chest
Negative moods and feeling down are often triggered by a specific event. It could be an email from your boss, a fight with your partner, or overhearing a colleague talking badly about you. We often build these small events to be much more than they really are. By dealing with it directly instead of dwelling on it you’ll automatically feel a weight lifted off your chest. It could be asking for clarification or talking it out. If it’s getting you really down and the problem can’t be resolved through simpler methods you could turn to your support systems which may include talking to family, friends, or a helpline. Journaling your thoughts is another frequented tactic, which can help you see the whole problem or just get the bad thoughts out of your space.
Reaching for or towards something can give us the motivation or drive we could be lacking on an off day. Dreaming about those long term and ambitious goals is good, but also keep in check some smaller, more achievable ones. These small goals we achieve on the way could be the morale boost we needed.
Make a list
If you’ve hit the 3 pm slump, your day hasn’t gone as planned and you’re about to write it off completely try making a short list (mentally or physically) which means you can fall asleep with something accomplished. It could be as basic as watering the garden - but going to bed feeling like you’ve ticked something off is important.
Get out in the sun
Even if it’s an overcast day, getting outside has been shown to be a good mood booster. The fresh air along with a dose of vitamin D, will refresh your mind and have you feeling renewed and healthy. You don’t have to be outside for long, just making it a habit to get outside on your lunch break will do you a world of good.
Harder to say than do, eating healthy and drinking enough water are preached over again - and it’s for a good reason. While we can’t control what stresses we may face we can control what we are eating. It's a simple correlation between what we fuel our bodies with and how we feel. Eating enough fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein can make a world of difference. Cooking your own meals and taking leftovers for lunch will not only save you money but also cut out any ‘bad’ foods hidden in takeaways.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is an important component of a healthy life. Sleep plays a crucial part in feeling good, not getting enough can leave us feeling tired and grumpy. However, this is easier said than done. Getting to sleep at night can often be challenging, our minds churn over the daily stresses and woes. Tips for getting the full 7-9 recommended hours sleep include: setting up a good night time routine, getting enough exercise during the day, not eating sugary foods before bed and not having caffeine too close to dark. A good night time routine will look different for everyone but may consist of reading, soothing (non-caffeinated) tea, no screen time before bed, or writing.
Spend time with those who make you feel good
Supportive friends or family can truly light up your day. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with those who make you feel good. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a strong support system like good friends or family so don’t be afraid to reach out to a helpline or therapist if you’re struggling with your mental health.
Find things to be grateful for
Count the little things that make you smile, even if it’s only a smirk. Have a think about what you’re grateful for which might be as simple as what you ate for lunch or your action-packed weekend. A moment of reflection might add that little bit of positivity you needed.
Having a bad day is completely normal, embrace it. We have to have the bad days so we know what the good feel like. These small tips and tricks may improve your everyday mindset but if you’re struggling with constant negative thoughts and bad days don’t be afraid to talk about it and reach out for help.