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How to Be Happy When You’re Not

Let’s face it: it’s impossible to be happy all of the time. Things happen frequently that knock us off of our center and into a bad mood.

Maybe you’re just having a hard time lately, and it feels like you’re overwhelmed with sadness. Sometimes the blues just hit our senses again, filling our vision with their mopey hues.

There are plenty of reasons why you might be feeling a bit sadder than usual – or you might just be having a rotten day – but that feeling doesn’t have to last all day long.

How to Cheer Yourself Up When You’re Sad

Smiling & Laughter

Sometimes the easiest way to snap out of a bad mood is to fake it until you make it. The act of simply smiling can greatly boost your mood, even if you feel silly while doing it (or especially if you feel silly while doing it).

Another trick is to put on a funny movie, TV show or podcast that you enjoy. Just cracking a few laughs can really work to lift your spirits.

A Good Cry

If laughter therapy doesn’t help, there’s a good chance that you’ve got some heavy emotions that just need to come out. Crying does not in any way equate to weakness, so don’t hold back those tears if they feel like they need to expel themselves. Crying (in moderation, of course) is actually good for your body and your mind.

Sappy movies and TV shows can also help get those emotions flowing. Try a marathon of classic tearjerkers like Beaches and Steel Magnolias – but make sure you’ve got some tissues and ice cream handy.

Write it Out

Expressing your feelings is one of the easiest ways to eliminate overwhelming emotions, and you don’t have to involve anyone else if you don’t want to. You could start a journal where you regularly record thoughts and feelings or even just jot them down on a notepad and stash them away somewhere safe. You don’t even have to keep these notes if you don’t want to, the simple act of letting these feelings out of your spirit will help greatly to help you regain your center.

Talk to Someone

If you still feel frazzled after writing about your feelings, you might try turning to a loved one for advice and compassion. It can be scary to reach out, especially when we feel overwhelmed, but your friends are family care about your wellbeing and are probably more than happy to lend an ear. Sometimes just knowing someone is there for us can alleviate many of our negative emotions.

Art Therapy

When you’re feeling down, being creative can not only help you express yourself, but it can assist in lifting your mood. Creativity involves focus and connecting with your own soul – reaching deep within, pulling out those emotions and turning them into art. It’s a beautiful, sometimes melancholy, but ultimately rewarding process that will help you feel more connected to your center.

Whether you prefer painting, coloring, drawing, or singing, allow yourself the liberation of self-expression and you’ll feel better in no time. And, if you’re not sure what kind of creative you are yet, here’s how to find your creative outlet.

Move & Shake

Sometimes when you’re feeling low, the last thing that you want to do is exercise. Yet, exercise has incredible mood-boosting qualities, as it gives you a boost of serotonin. You don’t have to run a marathon – even something as leisurely and relaxing as yoga can reduce stress and increase positivity.

Take a whimsical stroll around the block or through your local park or see if your nearby gym offers a trial. Or, if you prefer to exercise in the privacy of your home, browse the many free exercise videos available on YouTube.

Volunteer Your Time

Helping others less fortunate than you can really help to put things in perspective and make you feel grateful for the things that are going right in your life. Try finding a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter or animal shelter that you can spend some time volunteering at. Sometimes, the easiest way to lift your spirits is to help someone else.

Listen to Music

Listening to happy music is a free and effective method for shaking off the blues. Bonus points for singing along and dancing around the house like Terpsichore, the Grecian goddess of dancing, is watching.

Seek Professional Help

If you suspect your blues are growing out of control, or if you’ve ever had thoughts of hurting yourself or others, talk to a professional. There exists very little stigma around therapy today – in fact, self-care has never been cooler. There is no reason to deal with overwhelming sadness on your own, especially when there are millions of professionals with thousands of different methods of care.

Don’t feel embarrassed to call someone, your mental health is equally as important as your physical health.

For immediate help, 24/7: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK, or Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Related Article: Here Are the Best Ways to Support a Loved One With Depression

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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