Have you found yourself in a pity party for one? From time to time we all feel down and a change in attitude doesn’t always come naturally. To improve your thoughts and feelings, here are some practical, immediate courses of action.
Exercise can serve as an elixir to fix your negative mindset. Even short intervals of exercise can relieve tension and stress, boost physical and mental energy, and enhance well-being by releasing endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s stress-fighting chemicals. Research has found that even a single 30-minute run or walk on the treadmill has the ability to lift your mood.
Connect with a friend
Positive friendships are good for your health. If you’re going through a tough situation, confiding in a friend can help relieve your stress and improve your outlook. They can also help encourage you and keep you from turning to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Connecting over a cup of coffee or on a phone call can provide more value than turning to social media, which can actually have a negative impact on your mood.
Perform an act of service
Taking time to focus your thoughts and energy on helping someone other than yourself can help your current problems seem less daunting. If you spend time bringing someone a meal, listening to a neighbor share a story or volunteering at a local charity, you can stop dwelling on your own issues and gain perspective. Also, studies show that volunteering helps you feel more socially connected, which can guard against loneliness and depression.
Check in with your body
Your body affects your mind. Sometimes a bad mood is directly connected to factors you can control like hunger or fatigue. If you are feeling irritable, check in with your physical state–did you skip a meal or pull an all nighter? If so, chances are once you refresh or refuel your mindset will improve.
Take a deep breath
Stress speeds up your heart rate as well as your breathing and also increases your blood pressure. Meditating is an easy way to focus your attention inward to help yourself relax. Part of meditation includes breath focus–which helps you concentrate on slow, deep breathing in order disengage from distracting thoughts and sensations. Deep breathing can help you arrive at a state of relaxation.
Don’t stay in a funk that will ruin your day. Take immediate action to reverse your bad mood. You may discover that once you find successful ways to change your attitude it will be easier to do so the next time.