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10 Simple Tricks to Make You Feel Better
If you’re having a bad day you’re probably not feeling too great about life. “It’s hard, it’s cruel, it’s unfair!”. Sometimes it’s true, and it’s hard to overcome the upset and anguish we might be feeling. Often it’s too easy to hold onto problems rather than letting them go and moving on to something better. Sometimes all it takes is a few simple tricks to change your frame of mind and turn a bad day into a great one. So here are 10 simple tricks to help you through those bad moments:
1. Perspective, Perspective, Perspective
“Location, location, location” is a catchphrase often used by real estate salespeople. There is probably no single factor more important to the value of a property than where it is situated. We can apply the same logic to the problems in our lives. Their magnitude is proportionate to how close we are to them and how much they affect our lives.
It’s easy to run with our natural fight or flight reactions and make a poor decision in the heat of the moment. Sometimes taking a breath and stepping back to put things into perspective can help us overcome the obstacle in our path. Coming back to the problem with a clear, rational plan makes it much easier to overcome, and it gives us the chance to react positively instead of negatively.
2. Limit Your Choices
“Choice overload” is a term describing a problem that consumers face in the post-industrial society. Simply put, more choice isn’t always better. When we have too many choices, it takes longer and is harder to make the optimal decision. This can lead to us becoming unhappy and indecisive, sometimes failing to make a decision at all. If you are presented with too many options, it’s often worth “going with your gut”, as your first instinct is quite often the right one.
3. Listen to Feel-Good Music
We listen to music and we’re aware that it makes us feel good, but without necessarily knowing why. It’s not just the catchy tunes or the relatable lyrics; a study made by the Institute of Medical Science in Japan found that the actual cause is the chemical dopamine being released in our brains.
Dopamine is a simple organic chemical that plays an important function in many parts of our brain, including the reward and pleasure centres. When music causes dopamine to be released in our brains, it stimulates those reward and pleasure centres and makes us feel better. Since music’s effect is not just emotional, but also physical, it can be an easy and widely available tool to give us a little lift when we need it!
4. Try Bright Colours
The expression “look at the bright side” says it all. Studies have shown that colours stimulate mood-changing hormones, affecting the central nervous system and increasing your degree of awareness. Different colours can relate to different moods and emotions.
Researchers from UCLA found that emotional response to colour is based on brightness, saturation, and the purity of the colour. Saturated colours tend to increase energy levels, while bright colours stimulate pleasure.
5. Help Someone Else in Need
Take the time to stop and help someone in need from time to time. Making a positive impact on their life will make you feel better and can help to put your own problems in perspective. Plus, at the end of the day, if nothing else has gone right you’ll know you’ve had one positive effect on the world that day.
6. Break Away From the Leash of Technology
Henry David Thoreau once wrote “men have become the tools of their tools”.
We think of technology as a tool for getting our work done in the fastest and the most efficient manner. Yes, technology can help efficiency considerably, but sometimes we can lose sight of who is serving whom.
Technological tools are designed to cater to our needs, not the other way around. If we lose sight of that fact, we can become slaves to the demands of technology – always connected, always on call, always needing to read and respond to the latest updates.
If we let this happen, the tool then comes to dominate our life. We become dependent on the very technology that is supposed to free us. So remember to break free. Turn off your phone, computer and other mobile devices from time to time so you take a real break and remember your priorities in life.
7. Improve Your Posture
We get preoccupied with working and living our life, ignoring or overlooking fundamental factors that affect how we feel every day. Posture is one of those factors, despite having significant implications for our non-verbal communication and emotional cues.
Good posture can convey personality traits such as confidence, openness and submissiveness. It also reduces stress and strain on the supporting structures of your body, protecting you from injury and progressive deformity, and allows for optimal movement. In an experiment at Harvard, submissive people reported feeling more confident by just adjusting their posture.
8. Play Some Games
Video games are often dismissed as a waste of time and a distraction. However, a study from 2009, reported in the Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine, found that video gamers who suffered from mental health problems such as stress and depression were able to use video games as an outlet to vent their frustration and aggression. After playing, they actually showed notable improvement in their mental health.
9. Use Your Less Dominant Hand
The human brain, like many other organs in the body, is improved and strengthened through use. Mental stimulation makes the brain adapt, grow and rewire itself to overcome new challenges. One method is to use your less-dominant hand and relearn to do day-to-day activities.
When you use you dominant side, it the dominant side of your brain becomes active. When you use your non-dominant side, both sides of the brain become active. This can help to change the way you think and give you better access to functions like feeling, intuition, creativity and inner wisdom and spirituality, no matter which of your hands is dominant. It might just be what you need!
10. Act The Way You Want to Feel
Research suggests that we while we might think we act because of the way we feel, the reverse is actually true. Adopt a great attitude and act like you’re having an awesome day, and you’ll start to feel like it too!
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