While we wish we could be happy, joyful, and enthusiastic about life all the time, inevitably at times we are going to encounter challenges, stresses, conflicts or health issues that put us in a slump.
During those times that you find yourself in a temporary negative mood and you need a little boost, you can shift your biochemistry through your thoughts and behaviors.
Here are 10 ways to deal with negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors when you want or need to be more positive. Taking any of these steps can shift your outlook.
- Acknowledge that you are feeling down and examine what’s been going on to see if there is a specific reason. When you do, your thinking changes from “I’m angry, grumpy (or whatever the feeling)” to “Oh, this is why I’m feeling the way I do.”
- Give yourself a time period to “wallow” in your emotion – but try to keep it short, less than a ½ day.
- Call an emotionally intelligent friend and ask to talk. Many times we can talk our way out of negative thoughts.
- Get up and move. Take a walk, force yourself to exercise – if only for 5 minutes, dance, do some sit-up, or take your dog for a walk.
- Make a list of the things in life you are grateful for.
- Write or draw picture of your feelings – even if you’re not a writer or an artist. Try doodling and see what emerges.
- Think of something to look forward to — if you don’t have anything, then get out your calendar and plan something.
- Immerse yourself into something that distract you – a good book, movie or magazine. A craft project.
- Smile at yourself in the mirror – even if you don’t feel like it.
- Reach out to someone who appreciates your attention – even a phone call will do.
During the next few days, be aware of how your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors relate to each other. And if you want to change your mood, try the tips above and watch the magic happen.