Feeling blue or a little sad? You don't have to stay there. Here are five methods to turn that upside down frown around.
1. Take a walk outside
Walking outdoors can act like a 'reset' button that gives your body and mind a chance to focus on one activity. Thoughts begin to quiet down, stress reduces and your perspective shifts as you notice the natural world around you. Try to pay attention to the sights of trees, green grass, garden flowers, the sound of birds and smells of nature as you walk. Half-an-hour is a good aim, but even just a few minutes can help break the negative mood.
2. Be grateful
Yes, being grateful when you are feeling low does actually work. There's a decent amount of science behind the mood-enhancing benefits of intentional gratitude. In fact, it is often used to help treat more severe mood difficulties, such as major depression. Try to think of 3-5 things you can feel immediately grateful for. The roof over your head? The car that gets you from A to B? The pretty sunset as you drive home? Writing these things down in a journal at the end of the day can also be an effective strategy.
3. Play your favourite tunes
Music is a simple and effective way to help you feel good. Create a playlist of your top-ten songs that you can easily listen to through your headphones, the car or home media system. Ensure to include music with a positive and upbeat rhythm to break the low and boost your energy. For ideas, check out some music streaming platforms like Spotify
4. Clean something
Are you kidding me? Sorry, I'm not. Cleaning not only gets you moving, but also creates a satisfying feeling when you bring back some shine to that dusty furniture. Grab a cloth and wipe down some benches, make the bath sparkle or declutter the corner cupboard that you have been avoiding for the past year.
5. Plan to do something positive
Having something to look forward to can pull us through down moments and reminds us that better things lie ahead. Try to schedule regular positive events on the calendar, such as dinner with friends, a concert, movie or a new place to explore. When the blues hit, look at what awaits you or plan for some additional activities. There is always something to do and for inspiration search your local Do Something! Near You.
By Katherine Hurrell, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist, Sydney, Australia