And to be completely honest, sometimes that’s the best solution–but only after you’ve exhausted all other efforts. Giving up and giving in isn’t my default strategy, it’s a last resort. Instead, why not keep some tricks up your sleeve to brighten up and turn around those yucky days?
Don’t worry. I got you.
Seven Ways to Instantly Have a Better Day
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find myself taking things (including myself) way too damn seriously.
I’M OUT OF COFFEE BEANS AND THERE ARE DIRTY SOCKS IN THE LIVING ROOM AND THE DOG PEED INSIDE (AGAIN) AND I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR TO THE GYM EVEN THOUGH I OWN 50 PAIRS OF LEGGINGS–WHY IS EVERYTHING SO HORRIBLY TERRIBLE?!
Okay so the coffee beans part is pretty serious business, but the rest of it? Small stuff. Miniscule. Almost invisible really, if you’re looking at the big picture.
This simple act of moving facial muscles is really quite profound and has been scientifically shown to spike the hormones that promote happier moods.
So even if you fake it, smiling has been show to boost your mood. But what’s more, smiling lifts the moods of others as well. When you smile, others are more likely to smile, spreading light and positivity through your immediate surroundings and into the world.
Spreading happiness is the surest way to manifest happiness for yourself, so while faking a smile seems like an inconsequential and even silly thing, it’s effects are really quite extraordinary.
If you need some help smiling and laughing, check this out >>> 45 funniest autocorrects of 2014. I guarantee you’ll feel instantly better.
2. Practice Gratitude
I keep a gratitude journal every single day–especially when it’s a funk day.
Each morning, no matter how sad, annoyed, or ungrateful I may feel , I write down three new things I’m grateful for (meaning you can’t just write the same three things every day). Sometimes I really have to stretch to find three new things, I’m not even gonna front. I mean, some days I find myself wanting to wallow in my moodiness.
But gratitude prevails, and inevitably I always feel better afterwards. This practice might seem paltry and insignificant but it actually helps me shift my perspective. It forces me to switch from moping about what’s wrong to relishing in what’s right.
It reminds me how lucky I am to be alive–to have a roof over my head, clean water, hot showers, dark chocolate, red wine, a husband who adores me, and a son who’s so loving and empathetic.
And it’s scientifically proven, too! Studies show that people who kept a gratitude journal for 30 days were more likely to enjoy a positive life experience, and were able to view their surroundings with a more valuable perspective.
Gratitude is a game changer, even when you have to force it out of yourself.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”400″]http://youtu.be/TjrBdKXgYFY[/youtube]
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands…”
I don’t have many dogmatic beliefs but this is one thing that I know to be true: There are few funky moods that can’t be elevated and altered through sweat. Lift, do yoga, run, dance, surf, hike–whatever physical activity brings you joy, do that.
It doesn’t have to be a full blown workout or anything especially challenging. Let’s be honest, when you’re feeling low, the last thing you want to do is go to the gym. It can be as simple as getting up and doing 15 squat jumps or 5 sun salutations.
Head over to my YouTube channel for some super quick workouts you can do to release endorphins.
Each morning I read for 30 minutes–something inspiring, self-developmental, or business focused. And in the evenings, before bed, I read 20-30 minutes of fiction. I don’t want to worry about self-edification at night–I just want someone to tell me a story.
Reading is good for the soul, and can deeply enrich your life experience, either by allowing you to go inward or by escaping into a beautifully written adventure. Pick something that you truly enjoy reading, whether it’s a trashy romance novel or The Works of Aristotle–there is something for everyone.
Before you say you don’t have time, let me allay that thought completely. You DO have time to read. If you think you don’t have the time, make the time. It’s really that important.
Some of my favorite inspiring books:
5. Get Outside
Awhile back I had a huge fight with my husband. It happens. Everyone fights, no matter how deeply they love each other.
I felt gloomy and despondent, and the absolute last thing I wanted to do was the workout I was scheduled to do that evening.
Instead of forcing myself to drudge through a tear-filled workout, I called an audible. I walked down to the beach with my headphones and my running shoes, and set out to clear my head.
And you know what? About 3 minutes in to my 2 mile run I felt exponentially better. Being outside, near the ocean, breathing in fresh air–it all washed over me and reminded me that everything passes. Not only did I have an incredible run, but I was treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets I’d ever seen.
Being outdoors helps boost our moods, and I’m of the mind that it’s all about instant perspective: when you witness the beauty and grandeur of nature, you’re reminded how small you are in the vastness of the Universe.
6. Cry it out
Sometimes you need to just let it out.
In fact, when you’re suffering, the worst thing you can do is ignore the suffering. We don’t need to wallow in our suffering or throw extensive pity parties, but we do need to acknowledge it.
When we gently acknowledge our pain, it’s far more likely to dissipate than if we numb it and suppress it.
Our natural or learned tendencies can be to distract, numb, and run the opposite direction–but most of the time getting intimate with our pain is the most effective route.
It’s not the easiest or the most comfortable; in fact, it’s probably one of the most uncomfortable things you can do. But it will pay dividends, I assure you.
Instead of stifling the tears, let them flow. Sit with the pain. Get to know it. And then let that shit go.
7. Reach Out
And not just to anyone.
It’s integral to your well-being to have someone in your inner circle who gets you–who has earned the right to see you and empathize with you at your most vulnerable. Someone who won’t judge you or challenge you aggressively to “just get over it,” and instead will sit with you in a safe, empathetic space.
My default mode when I’m in pain is to shut down completely–which means reaching out is the absolute last thing I want to do. But over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to amass a circle of women who have held space for me to be authentically NEG–no judgment, no shame.
If we can find even just one person to share our story with, we should consider ourselves lucky. Maybe it’s a friend, a coworker, a sister, a spouse. Maybe you have an amazing online community to be vulnerable with (we have one HERE!). No matter who the person is, what’s important to remember is that even when reaching out feels scary as hell, feeling alone and misunderstood is even scarier.
So yes, funky days happen. It’s inevitable.
There are mornings you’ll wake up and just wish for the day to go in fast forward so you can start over again tomorrow–and that’s okay. But given a little effort and a lot of trust, you can utilize these 7 tools to make the best of the worst of days.