If there was ever a day I could have used a good pick-me-up, it was last Wednesday. Everything went downhill very fast before I could even start my day.
On the way to drop my son at kindergarten, I was stuck in the worst traffic ever. Not a fun way to start the morning. Then I had to go to the grocery store to pick up some things and it honestly felt like I kept getting stuck behind a lot of people who were simply wasting time.
I was getting frustrated on so many levels.
By the time I reached the office I had already cursed 10 different people and it was not even 10am yet!
As I got into checking my mail for the day, I saw that I had received a card from a dear friend. It was a Thank You note for attending her wedding — a beautiful handwritten card.
I loved it so much and it just melted my heart. In a second, all my moodiness just melted away too.
I felt blessed and happy. It’s amazing how just a small detail like that just made the whole difference in how I felt.
If you’re anything like me and you sometimes get caught up in the everyday stressful stuff, this modest list will be a good reminder to help you change your vibes in a nutshell.
15 everyday things that can make you smile on a bad day
1. A loving message from a dear one
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a handwritten note. It could be an audio note, a Facebook message, a tweet, an old card — anything that has a message or compliment from someone you care about that can lift your spirits. The key is to be able to spot these messages and enjoy them when you need them most.
2. Fresh flowers
I love fresh flowers of any kind. Even something small and simple like the random flowers that grow by your front porch.
And let me share something fascinating with you. Did you know that flowers have a direct impact on happiness?
I recently found an article that said: “A team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants’ behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods showing an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods. You can read more here.
3. A warm drink on a cold morning
Start cold mornings by holding a hot cup of something you love. (Though really you can do this on any morning — it just feels better on those chilly days.)
Whether it’s a cup of coffee, tea or warm lemon water, you’re bound to notice the same effect.
And did you know that just holding a hot drink can make you feel friendlier? Check out this fascinating article which references a study which found that “participants who briefly held a cup of hot (versus iced) coffee judged a target person as having a ‘warmer’ personality (generous, caring)”
4. A meaningful hug
This one works every time for me, and a lot of other people too.
A hug can lift you up and cool you down. But the secret is to give (and be willing to receive) an honest, caring and meaningful hug.
And the best part? You don’t need to know the person you’re hugging to feel this effect. You just need to get a good hug.
The power of human touch is profound, and our bodies are filled with nerves ready for stimulation. Still not convinced (and perhaps have some intimacy issues particular with people you don’t know)? Then check out this good piece on 10 good reasons to give (and receive) more hugs.
5. A “shake-it-off” song
Right now my favorite is Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. Yours can be anything you want.
Music is a powerful tool to use if we want to change our mood and our thoughts. For a quick “reset”, just play the most uplifting tune you can think of (even if it is a silly one), and let it consume you. Tap your feet, hum along, or even start dancing to the beat.
6. A short walk
Changing the scenario around you can make an impact to shift your perception on things.
Taking a walk is a good way to do this — it has a lot of benefits to boost your mood and even improve your creativity by 60%. So if you feel stuck, stressed or anxious, take a quick 5-minute walk and see how everything seems less “tragic” at the end of it.
7. Get some sun
Who doesn’t feel good after being out in the sun?
The sun is a great source of energy and a “natural” mood changer/enhancer.
While there are some people that say you can survive largely on light (i.e. even not needing to eat — see that article here), know that even something as little as 5-minutes a day is all it takes to feel better after being exposed to the sun and it’s rays.
8. Pet a pet (yours or someone else’s)
Most of us will agree that dogs can have a huge impact on someone’s moods. And as such, they have been using dogs for alternative care amongst children and the older folk for years.
According to this study, dogs do more than just make people happy.
Dr. Karen Allen, a former research scientist in medicine at the State University of New York, conducted a study with 48 male and female stockbrokers who were faced with high levels of stress daily. Those without pets “registered twice the stress response as those who had a pet in the room.”
If having your own pet is out of the question, go spend 5-minutes with someone else’s. You can still reap the benefits!
9. Heart-shaped chocolate
Okay, so maybe it doesn’t need to be heart-shaped, but those just happened to be my favorite kind.
There are tons of studies that show a connection between chocolate and happiness. But why this?
Some scientists believe that the effects of eating chocolate are psychological — the unique combination of aroma, texture and taste makes eating chocolate a pleasurable experience that stimulates the emotional “feel-good” centres of the brain. In short, the chocolate tastes good, so we feel good.
Prefer brownies instead? Here’s a great, healthy and guilt-free chocolate brownie recipe you will love.
10. Birds singing
I love doing my 15-minute yoga practice in the mornings to the sound of birds chirping in the background. There is nothing more soothing and magical to me than that.
Don’t have birds in where you are? Don’t worry — we got you covered.
Check out this 1-hour long audio of bird songs and nature sounds, ideal for work and/or relaxing.
11. Hear a good joke
Laughing is therapeutical. After all, they don’t say, “Laughter is the best medicine for nothing.”
In fact, it works so well for many that there’s such a thing as “Clown Care”.
According to Wikipedia, “Clown Care, also known as hospital clowning, is a program in health care facilities involving visits from specially-trained clowns. They are colloquially called “clown doctors” which is a trademarked name in several countries. These visits to hospitals have been shown to help in lifting patients moods with the positive power of hope and humor. There is also an associated positive benefit to the staff and families of patients.”
So if you’re looking for a good laugh, get a good joke (there are tons on the Internet), watch a fun video, or hang out with they funny people you know.
12. Feel the wind blowing in your face
I love the wind. for me, it represents freedom and change.
If you’ve been crying or if you’re just feeling sad, being amidst a breeze with the wind blowing in your face could do wonders. I sometimes like to say, it’s as though God is blowing away all your sorrows.
And here’s something to get you thinking:
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford
13. Red lipstick
I learned this trick from a very dear friend who said to me: “Whenever you feel a little down, just put your best lipstick (I love red) and move on, you will feel empowered to face your day”.
It’s really simple, and doesn’t sound like much, but try it. Works everytime for me.
Here’s a great piece we ran some time back on how to put on your face. It’s more soul advice than anything else!
14. Take a shower
Water is power and healing in so many ways. You don’t just reap amazing benefits from drinking what you need, but even just taking a shower or sitting in a pool of water can help you relax your body and mind, and get you connected to yourself.
It’s a great way to feel as though all your worries and cares are being washed away…
The act of smiling is something powerful. It is contagious (other will smile back), makes you look more attractive and… can fake your brain into thinking you’re happy.
Don’t believe us? Check out this article along with other tips on a “Formula To ‘Fake’ Your Way To Happiness.”
Did these 15 tips help? Try them out and let us know. 🙂
P.S Liked this article? Also check out 4 Ways To Stay Positive (When It Feels Like Everything Is Falling Apart) and Hector’s List For Happiness.