5 little habits that will improve your day
Most days everything actually goes quite well - but then there is that one day when you feel like you're good for nothing. At least that's how it always feels for me. What you can do on days like these to lift your mood and improve your well-being.
Overwhelmed? Annoyed? Frustrated? Or is it just a worm today?
Sometimes we are in a bad mood for a good reason - and sometimes the bad mood comes out of nowhere.
Of course, our emotions always have a source somewhere. However, it is not always so easy to recognize this origin as such. And sometimes we don't care about figuring out why exactly we feel bad now. It can help to look for the source of the (negative) emotion. Once we have found them, that is no guarantee that we will actually feel better.
For our mental well-being, it can also be important to simply let these emotions BE. For example, it can feel incredibly liberating to simply let the tears flow or to wallow a little in your own melancholy. It becomes problematic when we direct our frustration at those around us or remain in a depressed mood for a long time.
But you probably also know the moments when we are annoyed because we are annoyed. For example, it always really bothers me when I'm in a bad mood. I don't feel like the person I will be then; on the thoughts that I then have. Of course, that doesn't exactly brighten my mood, but instead makes it sink even further. Like in a downward spiral. Then the whole day is ruined.
But does it have to be that way?
No. Over the years I have learned that I can actively do something to improve my mood. The hardest part is getting your butt up. Because when we are in a bad mood, we are usually not interested in mood-enhancing actions. We then just want to be left alone and sink into our grief.
Why is that so?
When we experience negative emotions, our activity levels decrease. We are more inactive, slower, and physically we make ourselves smaller. This suggests security to our brain. And safety is very important because our brain wants to ensure our survival at all times. In moments of bad mood, it is therefore counterintuitive for us to, for example, dance around or laugh.
The good news:
We can trick our brains. As Tony Robbins says: “Emotion is created by motion.” Our body is in constant contact with our brain. When we move, this signal is passed on to the brain. This then interprets the movement. For example, if we cry, our brain signals to us that we are sad.
(On the other hand, we also start crying when our brain sends a signal to our body that we are sad or angry. So the whole thing is a bit tricky. There is still no real agreement in emotion research as to whether emotions are... start in the brain or in the body.)
What I'm about:
When we feel bad, we don't feel like moving or being particularly active. But that's exactly what can help us improve our mood.
So it's most effective when we take action and do something that our brain won't initially suggest to us on its own.
What exactly can that be? Here are a few suggestions.
5 small habits that will improve your day and brighten your mood
1. Clean up around yourself
When we tidy up our apartment, it often creates space in our heads. If you get your surroundings in order, your mood can improve within a few minutes. The nice thing about this: At the same time, you have the feeling that you have really achieved something and that you have been productive.
Of course, you don't have to change your entire apartment straight away - just 10 minutes are enough to tidy up your desk, wash the dishes or freshly make your bed...
2. Breathing exercise/meditation
We breathe countless times a day. But how many of these times do we actually take a deep breath?
Taking a little conscious time for yourself can work wonders. For example, you can breathe deeply in and out a few times or meditate on your own.
What can also help are guided breathing exercises or meditation. There are some breathing exercises and meditations on YouTube or in free apps like InsightTimer specifically for those moments when you're not feeling so well.
3. Move your own body
Whether you go for a walk, dance to a song of your choice or do a strenuous workout session - when we move our bodies, happiness hormones are released. This can lift your mood in no time.
By the way, getting some fresh air is never a bad idea.
4. Write yourself a to-do list or project plan
This point can help you, especially if you are in a bad mood because you feel overwhelmed or busy.
As the saying goes, sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. There is so much to do, so much to think about. Writing down all of these thoughts and converting them into to-dos can work wonders. If you have a larger project in front of you, try to divide it into as concrete, small steps as possible. This way you can see what next step you can take and how you can reach your goal.
For some people, writing detailed to-do lists is counterproductive because it puts them under pressure and because you see what you still have to do. If you are one of these people, then journaling can be something. Here you can let your thoughts run wild or just vomit on paper. :-)
5. Laugh or be silly
The last thing we want to do when we're in a bad mood is probably to laugh and have fun. But that is exactly what can help you enormously. Because when we laugh, our brain thinks we are happy and releases happiness hormones.
Just give it a try: try smiling or even laughing. It's completely okay if your smile isn't a "real" smile at first - if you try to hold it, the situation will eventually seem so absurd that you may end up bursting into genuine laughter. Mission accomplished.
Playing or being silly with pets, children, or other loved ones can also brighten your mood. If you don't feel like connecting with others, watch videos online that make you laugh or that make you think positive thoughts. It sounds banal (and it is), but it helps.
A little self-care exercise
It can be particularly useful if you write down 3-5 things on a small piece of paper that you can do when you are feeling bad. Things that give you strength and improve your mood. You can keep this piece of paper in your wallet, for example.
Then, when you're in a bad mood, you'll have a few suggestions to help motivate you. Because, as I said: your head will advise you to be inactive.
These points are very individual. After all, we are all different. Some like to cook, others like to do sports and others are looking for someone to talk to. So only write down things that resonate with you on some level.
It is also helpful to choose “mood-boosting” activities based on how much time you have available. If you receive upsetting news while you are working, you should find an activity that you can do within 5-10 minutes.
On the other hand, you may have more time to do something good for yourself if your children are already in bed in the evening.
For example, my note looks like this:
If you would like to learn more about mindfulness, healthy eating, sustainability or family and pregnancy, check out more exciting blog articles on these topics here .