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Ever felt happy in a negative situation?

When was the last time you felt happy in the face of a negative situation?

While we rarely have total control over our lives, we always have control over our moods and our reactions. Our moods can drastically affect how we experience life and how we see the world around us, regardless of our reality. Whenever possible, it’s best to seek out the positive in order to live a happy, fulfilling life.

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to feel sad, angry, disappointed, etc. These are perfectly healthy emotions and just a normal part of being human. But when you find yourself in a random slump or when you’re not sure why you’re feeling down and want a pick-me-up, here are some ways to boost your mood and cheer yourself up.

Smile: This feels counterintuitive because the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling down is smile. But there is research to back this one up. In a study published in The Journal of Psychological Science, researchers asked people to smile and induced fake smiles by using chopsticks. Compared to the subjects who weren’t smiling, those who were smiling (both real AND FAKE smiles) reported more positive emotions and less stress. In other words, a smile can force your brain to think it’s happier. Not a bad trick!

Do something kind for someone: When we’re focused on stress and pain, we can lose sight of everything outside of our own negative emotions. When we make a conscious effort to do something for someone else, we take our minds off our troubles, put some goodness out in the world, and usually feel better. Your kind deed can be something as small as taking a friend out to lunch or running an errand for a family member. Even taking a minute to help a stranger on the street with their groceries or buying the coffee for the woman behind you in line at Starbucks is enough to make you feel better.

Write it out: Our thoughts can develop a life of their own, making mountains out of molehills and building things that aren’t there. Writing it all out is one way to get clarity on issues that trouble you. Seeing it all on paper makes whatever it is less “big”. If it’s something you can deal with, you can start making a plan. It also helps to write out our feeling, where they are no and where we’d like them to be. Writing it all out can be very therapeutic.

Listen to some good music: In the words of Corinne Bailey Rae, “Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song. Just go ahead, let your hair down.” Music is a proven mood booster, and it can also improve your energy levels. I suggest making a mood booster playlist well ahead of time so it will be ready to go when you need that happiness boost. Extra bonus points if you have a personal dance party in your living room. 



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