It’s hard to get through one day without hearing some sort of depressing news. Whether it’s about the latest mass shooting, news of political corruption, or a scandal in your own hometown, most of us are bombarded with negativity on an almost-daily basis.
While it may be hard to feel good on these days, the truth is, we all have a choice on how we choose to react to events around us. We can give into the darkness and feel negative most of the time, but this will only lead to actual depression and health problems.
It will take some practice, but there are things you can do to help you feel more positive, even when the entire world seems to be negative. Here are 10 ways to get started.
1. Start Your Day Off on the Right Foot
How you feel first thing in the morning can often set the tone for the rest of your day. Do your best to ensure you have as pleasant a morning as possible. If you need coffee to get started, treat yourself to a coffee maker with a timer and make/set it the night before. Make sure you are always stocked up with your favorite breakfast foods and check the traffic reports/road conditions so you don’t hit any commuter nightmares.
2. Make Someone Else Smile
Making someone else’s day better can often improve our mood. Even something as simple as smiling at a stranger or holding the door open can make you and everyone around you happier.
3. Count Your Blessings
Some days it seems like all you can see or think about are negative things. During days like this it’s important to stop for a minute, take a breath, and think of all the things in your life that you are grateful for. Make either a mental list or write these things down so you can reflect on them often. The list can contain big things (I’m grateful for my loving family) to small things (I’m grateful for Gouda cheese and deviled eggs). Studies have shown that giving thanks can make you happier.
4. Stay Healthy
It’s easy to want to give into temptation when you’re feeling gloomy. On those days all you want to do is curl up on the couch and eat junk food. But bad food and lifestyle choices will only make you feel worse. Plus, you can really pack on the pounds and develop metabolic syndrome, heart disease and type 2 diabetes by eating too much sugar and trans fats. Though it may feel challenging some days, try and make healthy habits like eating right and exercising part of your daily routine.
5. Call Your Closest Friend
Our best friends know us better than most people and have a way of making us laugh, or at least look at things from a different perspective. Whenever you’re feeling really low, take a break and reach out.
6. Treat Yourself
Sometimes, in order to feel better about the day, you need something to look forward to – like a massage, pedicure, bubble bath, or spending an hour at the batting cages. Remember, try not to make unhealthy decisions, but know that it’s okay to treat yourself to something nice from time to time.
7. Seek Out Good News
There are plenty of uplifting stories that happen each day, but you won’t hear about them through the main stream media. Take some time to search the Internet for uplifting stories. Sometimes a few minutes on Youtube watching adorable babies or pet goats is all that’s needed to feel better.
8. Try Meditation
Meditation continues to be studied while the practice is adopted by the masses. Meditation can relax you, make you feel calm and peaceful, even lower blood pressure and fight depression. There are different ways to meditate, so do some research and practice a few techniques until you find one that fits your personality.
9. Get Enough Sleep
Our society tends to worship those people who keep busy and burn the candle at both ends. But it’s just not healthy to do this. When we are tired, let alone exhausted, we can’t handle stress or negativity as well as when we feel rested and in control. Make sure to get at least 7 if not 8 hours of sleep each night. Don’t drink coffee late in the afternoon and put away your cellphone and laptop early. The blue light emitted from electronic devices can mess with our natural sleep rhythms.
10. Get More Omega 3 into Your Diet
The omega 3 found in fatty fish oils have been found to have a positive impact on mood, potentially alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Many people simply don’t get enough of these essential oils. Do your best to eat fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines two to three times per week. If you are one of those people who really does not like the taste of fish, you should find a good omega 3 supplement. Just be sure to choose one that is processed in a way that doesn’t cause those awful fishy burps.
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