I’ve focused quite a lot on this lately, because I’m trying to become a more positive person. I’ve realised how powerful the brain is. If you start feeling bad about something, your brain will often not let you forget it for quite some time, and it will sometimes remind you of other things that make you sad at the same time, just to make things even worse.
I remember seeing the comedian Dane Cook talk about crying in one of his stand-ups, and how sometimes you just need to get it out, so you start thinking about things that have made you sad, even if it was 10 years ago. It’s so true. Here are 10 things that have made me happier when I’m down, that will hopefully work for you too!
Watch something that will make you laugh
Do you have any favourite TV shows, movies, or perhaps YouTube channels that usually make you laugh? Watch some of it. I’ve found that I’ll feel much better after just smiling or laughing for a little bit. It can be hard to even think about laughing when you’re sad or just feeling down, but if you just take the step to put something on, you might find that you’ll start laughing without thinking about it.
Catch up with a close friend or family member
From experience, I know that when I’m feeling sad, I often feel like I want to be alone. But in all honesty, that will only make you feel worse. If you sit around by yourself, you’ll allow yourself to get stuck in negative thinking. If you instead spend time with someone, you might find that you’ll get distracted from your negative thinking and start thinking about something else instead. Choose a person that you trust enough to be completely honest with, and let them know you’re feeling a bit down, and I’m sure they’ll do what they can to cheer you up.
Talk about your problems
It can feel really difficult to open up about what makes you sad or upset, especially if you’re an introvert. But it is true what they say – letting it out makes you feel better. You could find that the person you end up talking to completely understands how you feel and will let you know they’re there for you. If it’s a person that have made you feel upset, let them know. It’s possible that they don’t realise that what they’ve done has hurt your feelings. And if you don’t let them know, they might continue doing it.
Have your favourite food for dinner
This is of course not an option that you can keep reverting to if your favourite meal is one that’s pretty bad for you. But if you’re feeling down, allow yourself a treat. Don’t go overboard though, as that might make you feel worse afterwards.
Make sure you get enough sleep
When you’re feeling down, it’s important to not lose sleep over it. Easier said than done, I know, but make sure you try your hardest to not let it keep you awake at night. Tiredness will only make you feel worse, and sometimes a good night’s sleep might put things into perspective for you. If you’re able to, try to resolve what’s bothering you before bed time, as you’ll sleep a lot better if you do.
Have a look at some old memories
If you’re sad, it sometimes helps to look back on memories of happier times. Remind yourself how happy you were and know that your current sadness is only temporary. Go through some photos, or if you write a diary, have a read of days where something fun or exciting happened. Who knows, maybe it’ll get you in the mood to do those things again.
Remind yourself of what makes you happy
Sit down and write a list of things you like doing, things you like to eat, music you love listening to, movies that you could watch a hundred times etc. Take your time and make a proper list. Then look at that list to remind yourself that there are a lot of great stuff out there to be happy about. Keep the list around for the future.
Go out for a walk and enjoy the sun
This will of course only be possible if the weather is good outside. Step outside and go for a walk. Exercise is proven to improve your mood, and so is sunshine.
Plan a holiday
Sometimes we just need to get out and do something different. Plan a holiday, even if it’s just a weekend getaway, or even a day trip. If you’re not keen on travelling by yourself, ask a friend or family member to come with you. Depending on what you think would make you happy, either plan to go somewhere familiar where you know you’ll have a good time, or somewhere you’ve never been before to create new memories.
Have a good cry
Sometimes you just need to let it out. If you hold it in too long you’ll unlikely feel better. If you feel like crying, do it. Listen to some sad songs, or watch a sad movie. But once you’ve done that it’s important to start focusing on positive things again, or you might get stuck in a negative place.
These are of course only suggestions for mild cases of sadness. If you feel really down or depressed, it’s important that you talk to someone about it. Remember that there is always someone out there to talk to, even if you feel like there isn’t.
What do you do when you feel sad to make you feel better?