There are times in everyone’s life where they just feel sad, or even simply not great. It doesn’t have to necessarily grow to the status of depression to still be mildly unpleasant; it could be ennui, a general sense of malaise, or you just feel like you’re in a bit of a funk. When this mood strikes, it can be difficult to stop, but it’s not impossible. There are many strategies to pull yourself out of a funk. While there are many personal ones that may work depending on who is trying them — getting out and seeing friends may work for some, while staying in and having a self-spoiling day works for others — we’ll instead try to focus on some less considered ideas that generally should work.
First up is a trend that’s picked up steam over the years, and that’s practicing gratitude. When you need to be cheered up, it can be difficult to find things to feel grateful for, but it’s one of the best ways to improve your outlook and happiness in the long term. An extensive amount of research has been done which shows that gratitude has immense benefits for your mental health. For our purposes in this article, by focusing on the positives of life, practicing gratitude can lighten your mood and help you work your way out of any funk you find yourself in, especially in the long term.
This gives you a bit of time each day to focus on what you’re grateful for.
There are many ways you can practice gratitude, many of which are simple to work into your daily life. One common practice is to write down something you’re grateful for each day, either at the beginning of the day or before bed. This gives you a bit of time each day to focus on what you’re grateful for. Another is to take something that’s a negative, like a challenge in your life or something about yourself you don’t love, and reframing it to find something you’re grateful for, like an opportunity to improve yourself. Of course, these are only two examples — there are many other ways you can practice gratitude!
If you find yourself stuck in a rut, getting out of your routine may help fix this, and what better way to do that than to introduce a little change? One way to do this is to get out of town for a bit, even a day trip, to someplace different. Changing up your scenery and having new and invigorating experiences has been shown to boost your mental well-being and your mood. This is especially true for vacations, which can have mentally restorative benefits — acting as a way to get away and recharge.
The important thing is to add a bit of variety to your day and explore your world a bit.
Of course, the ways to change your scenery are pretty apparent. Taking vacations and traveling in a more general sense certainly work as ways to change up your routine, but you don’t need to take off on a two-month backpacking tour to cheer up. Finding some interesting places near you for a day or weekend trip may be enough. Even getting outside for a little while can be enough to give you a sunnier outlook. The important thing is to add a bit of variety to your day and explore your world a bit.
Getting regular exercise is a good idea for a number of reasons, but if you’re feeling down, exercise may also be an effective remedy. Exercise can reduce short- and long-term risks of anxiety and depression and can immediately boost your mood through stress relief. It’s also been shown to improve sleep and self-esteem, both of which can help combat negative emotions in the long-term.
Almost anything can be considered exercise if you have the right frame of mind.
Almost anything can be considered exercise if you have the right frame of mind. Going for a walk or hike can act as a nice form of low-impact exercise, while gardening or dancing can be so fun, you forget you’re getting a workout. Of course, you also have more traditional forms of exercise, which you can do even if you’re stuck at home or it’s an ugly day outside. All it takes is getting up and getting active to add a little workout, even if you have a busy schedule. By doing this, you may be able to work your way out of a rut that you find yourself in.
This isn’t to say that always being happy is entirely a good thing, though. It’s important to allow yourself to feel your genuine emotions, even the negative or sad ones. It’s okay to be sad sometimes. To simply push away the negative feelings can cause what’s called toxic positivity, and it’s equally as bad as getting caught up in being sad. It can be helpful to work your way out of an emotional slump in a healthy manner, but you shouldn’t force it and you should allow yourself to genuinely experience the emotions as they come to you. The benefit of the strategies we shared in this article are that they can help you to cheer up, but not in an artificial way. So, even as you work to become happier, be sure to take time to explore and acknowledge your sadness or whatever emotions you’re feeling.
There’s no shame in talking to a professional, even if you think you just feel a little off or in a rut.
Finally, it’s important to remember that if you’re really struggling to feel better, even if the feelings are as neutral as the blahs instead of outright sadness, seeking professional mental help may be a good idea. There’s no shame in talking to a professional, even if you think you just feel a little off or in a rut. Sometimes, there are more complex emotions at play and a licensed therapist or professional may be able to help you unravel what’s going on.
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Whatever the case may be, feeling down can stink. We hope these strategies — from traveling to working out or simply being grateful for the blessings you have — can help you to feel happier. Ultimately, that’s the goal for many people, to be as happy as you can be. If this article helps you, it certainly will make us happy!