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37 Ways to Turn a Negative Day into a Good One

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Bad days happen even to the best of us. Days when you just wake up with a bad mood and don’t know whether it’s because you had a bad dream or because of what happened last night.

Days when something (or nothing) has made you disappointed, frustrated, sad or angry and you know right from the start that “Man, this day’s going to suck big time”.

And the worst part is that you can’t sleep until late in the afternoon since that’s going to get you into even more trouble. After all, no matter how stupid everything coming from your coworkers that day will sound, you just have to push through it.

The good news though is that as bleak as this may look, there is something you can do about it. Here are some of the best ways you can easily turn around a bad day faster than you thought possible.

1. Tell others

While you can put on your happy mask in order to cover the fact that you’re having a bad day, no one’s going to buy it. In fact, people can immediately sense when you’re not feeling good.

So instead of trying to fake it, you may want to tell others about how you’re feeling. They’re certainly going to be a lot more understanding without you than if you would’ve skipped being frank and honest about it and they may even offer to help take care of some of your daily responsibilities for you. Sounds great?

Well, it is!

2. Look inside first

Everyone has emotional intelligence and according to Daniel Goleman who wrote several books about it, by being able to look into yourself and find out exactly what’s causing you to feel unhappy, you can easily undo your mood.

By understanding the link between emotions, thought and action, you’re soon going to feel a lot better.

3. Remember the good stuff

What happens when people are in a bad mood is that they forget about all the good times they experienced the day before and that’s just a shame.

Therefore, in order to turn a bad day around, how about you think for a second about the great time you were having yesterday and how blessed you were to have experienced all those things?

Think about some great moments you’re going to spend with a special person, about how lucky you are to be working with X colleague and soon you’re going to realize that things aren’t as bad as you think they are.

4. Bake your favorite kind of cookies

A lot of people will find refuge in eating some of their favorite food or foods whenever they feel unhappy. Therefore, how about you consider baking your favorite cookies?

Or, if you’re not a good baker, then you can just go ahead and buy them.

When you eat something you like, the body starts releasing more dopamine and serotonin which in turn is going to greatly improve your mood.

5. Write a letter

fountain pen writing letter

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

You’d be surprised to find out just how easy it is to turn your day around by writing a letter.

But what’s the explanation behind this method?

Well, it’s very important that you, first of all, write it the old fashioned way by using a sheet of paper and a pen. Make sure that you write it to someone that has heavily influenced your life for the better and sooner than you think, you’ll feel a lot better.

That’s because writing is a great stress reliever since it helps you focus on positive emotions.

6. Play with pets

Have you ever noticed that pets, no matter if we’re talking about cats, dogs, bunnies, and so forth have the amazing power to make you feel better?

Why is that?

Well, when you play with pets, your childish side suddenly kicks in and you interact with them at an emotional level.

Of course, given the fact that pets awaken your childish side, it’s very easy to get lost in a sea of positive emotions that are going to make you forget about your bad day in seconds.

7. Be grateful

Counting your blessings is one of the best ways of turning a bad attitude around. A lot of people have dozens of things to be grateful for, but the truth is that many of us take our blessings for granted.

Being able to wake up in the morning, enjoy your coffee and hug your kids and/or loved ones is a great blessing and you should learn how to appreciate it more.

By being grateful for what you have, you’re going to attract more goodness into your life.

8. Listen to music you like

Listening to music you like is probably one of the most effective ways of turning a bad day around.

That’s because music is considered a dose of positive emotions and energy which is exactly what you need when you’re having a bad day. You can consider music a sort of magic pill which’s effects kick in just a few minutes after playing your favorite songs and no matter how crazy this sounds, it’s not.

It’s actually the bare naked truth.

9. Watch funny videos on YouTube

Is there a better way to cheer yourself if not by watching funny videos on YouTube?

Whether you like to see people failing to impress a girl they really like or people that try to prank someone and end up turning the prank against them, there are plenty of funny videos on YouTube that you can watch in order to cheer up.

My favorite YouTuber is OwnagePranks and if you want to have a good laugh, just look for Crazy Indian restaurant rage prank. That’ll instantly cheer you up.

10. Go to bed a bit earlier

A lot of people are having a bad day just because they didn’t get enough sleep at night and that’s understandable.

In fact, when you only sleep 5 to 6 hours a night and you need at least 8h to feel rested, there’s certainly going to be some negative effects visible the next day.

So to prevent having a bad mood, make sure you always sleep as many hours as you need to feel rested the next day.

11. Sing!

Even though you can’t ‘sing, you might as well give it a shot since it’s a great way to relieve yourself of negative emotions and feel better in no time.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about your voice, you may want to turn up the volume on your home audio system or earphones to the point where you can’t hear yourself singing and let the fun begin!

12. Take a shower

organized shower cabin

Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash

People aren’t yet sure what it is about taking a shower that makes you feel better, but it probably has to do with the mental process that after you shower, you are clean and somehow doing so also rids your mind of negative emotions.

Just make sure you alternate between cold and hot water, since this increases circulation and improves your mood.

13. Give and get a hug

Did you know that human touch is a great form of therapy?

In fact, in hospices and hospitals, health providers actually use therapeutic touch as a type of energy healing in order to improve the patients’ healing rate and mood.

Therefore, the next time you feel a bit wonky, you may want to reach out to a family member, close friend, or partner and share a quick embrace.

14. Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing is very well known to have a stress-reducing and naturally therapeutic quality that’s going to help you reduce the number of stress hormones in your body when you’re having a bad day.

To practice deep breathing, you need to find a place where you can relax without anybody disturbing you, lie down, and then close your eyes. Inhale through your nose for 2 seconds, pause for 2 seconds and then exhale for another 2 seconds.

By doing so, you’ll stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and lower your body’s stress response.

15. Do some light bodyweight exercises

It’s certainly something that not many people may feel inclined to consider, but the truth is that when you get up and move your body, you’re going to help it release endorphins which are the feel-good hormone.

Luckily, you don’t need to go to the gym in order to do that, since you can just do a short 5-minute workout next to your desk that’s going to get you the same benefits.

Easy stretches, push-ups, and light squats are great examples of physical exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home, so give them a try and see how you feel!

16. Sign out of Facebook

Yep, do it and do it now. While there are many benefits to social media, it also has a darker side.

In fact, a lot of studies have confirmed the fact that being on social media for many hours a day can cause depression and that’s because you compare yourself to others you see there and create feelings of doubt and inadequacy.

Therefore, make sure you only check social media if you have to and remember that people there are always going to put their best foot forward. As a result, comparing your insides to some unknown individual’s outside is never a good idea.

17. Walk barefoot in the grass

sitting on grass by a cliff

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Spending too much time indoors without being exposed to the beauty of nature can actually become depressing pretty fast.

So how about you take a break and connect to the energy of nature?

To significantly improve your mood fast, it’s recommended that you walk barefoot in the grass since this helps boost happiness, improve immune function, and also stimulate energy.

18. Look at pictures from when you were a child

We often forget about our past and how wonderful our childhood was and especially the way we saw the world at that age.

If you’ve forgotten about that time and how to be a child (as in not to take everything so seriously) then you may want to check some of the pictures and even videos of when you were little.

They are certainly going to teach you that nothing is as bad as you think it is and this is going to instantly boost your mood.

19. Avoid negative people

According to Joyce Meyer, you cannot have a negative mind and a positive life.

In fact, you can never have a positive mind if you’re around negative people, so how about you distance yourself from them as soon as possible?

Whether they’re naysayers, associates, friends, and family, if they really say they love and care about you, then they shouldn’t be so negative when you’re around them. You want your day to be as best as possible and being around people that spew negativity is not going to help in that regard.

20. Get out of the past

It’s not a good idea and it’s in fact not healthy to think about the past. According to French author Andre Maurois, those who look too often in the past are going to be swallowed by it very soon.

So regardless of the way your bad day started, it’s something that’s no longer part of the present.

Sure, the day may not be over yet, but since the past is something that’s already happened, you should not bother with it anymore. Start focusing on something that’s a bit more meaningful, since dwelling on the past is not going to make your day better at all.

21. Phone a good friend

We all have good friends that we can talk about everything with, so when you’re feeling down, how about you call one of these friends? He or she is certainly going to have the patience to listen to you and make you feel better.

When you speak to someone you feel understands you, someone that you trust and have known for many years, it’ll be only a matter of minutes until you start feeling better and forget about your problems.

22. Help out a stranger

As strange as it may sound, when you help out someone who is in need, you’re going to take your focus off your personal problems in order to make his life and the world a little bit better.

While it may sound strange to do this at first, after you’re going to help that person, you’ll feel a lot better. There’s something magical about helping another human being and making his life better, even if it’s just temporary.

23. Drop something from your schedule

If you feel like you’re overwhelmed with work and this makes you feel very stressed, then how about you drop something from your schedule? No one’s going to put a gun in your face for not doing something that can be done tomorrow for instance.

By reducing your mental stress, you’re going to immediately allow the brain to release various chemicals that instantly improve your mood.

24. Use the silly voice technique

We all have a voice in our mind that tells us what to do and what not to do in many situations we come across in life.

So if you’re having a bad day, how about you change that voice with a funny one?

This way, when you’re going to think about the interview that went wrong just 5 minutes ago, do it as Donald Duck. It’s certainly going to sound funny and make your day a lot better!

25. Think it out

asian woman with coat and backpack in nature

Photo by Katarzyna Grabowska on Unsplash

Many people dwell on their problems, but that’s not a good way to overcome them. Instead, you should identify what you learned from similar situations in the past and use that knowledge in order to make your day better.

Try to focus on things you can easily control, including whether you cling to pain or let it go, whether you blame other people or take responsibility and how honest you are about your feelings.

Sure, it’s not to say you can avoid feelings, but exacerbating them with negative thoughts won’t make you feel better.

26. Shake things up

Life is so beautiful that we often forget how wonderful it actually is to be alive, especially when we’re having a bad day.

To turn it around, how about you try and breathe in some fresh air, notice the art around you, and observe the perfect beauty of nature?

New scenery not only helps bring your mind to a much happier place, but it also helps you take your focus off your troubles. This is even more true if you can become very present in the moment and completely disconnect from the world.

27. Sniff a lemon

It does sound funny when you first think about it and that’s instantly a mood booster right there.

However, sniffing a lemon to improve your mood does have some scientific backing to it.

A team of researchers from Japan discovered that the linalool in lemons turns down the body’s flight or fight response which can instantly make you feel better. If you’re not into lemons, then you can try lavender, juniper or basil, since all of them are great at lowering your stress levels.

28. De-clutter your home

Did you know that getting organized can instantly help improve your mood?

So what you can do is spend five to ten minutes in order to declutter your kitchen table or your desk and even make your bed and after you’ll feel much better.

29. Invite some friends over to talk and have fun

When your day seems like it’s going to be a very long, sad, and boring one, one thing you could do is pick up the phone and call some of your best friends over.

Catch up with what you guys have been up to lately, how your lives have changed since the last time you’ve met, and what you’re planning for the future.

Don’t forget to get some drinks and something to nibble on and you’re going to have a fantastic time together.

30. Call someone you love

big red heart painting on wooden door

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Let’s face it: we all have one or more friends that we know can cheer us up no matter what, so how about you give yours a call?

Don’t worry too much about bothering him (or her), since if he loves and cares about you, then he’s not going to be upset about the fact you called him at 3 AM in the morning. Just remember to return the favor next time at about the same time of day.

31. Watch a Disney movie

Disney movies are full of joy, happiness, and have the power to just take you back in time and help you reconnect with your childhood emotions. Watching the Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast or Lion King is a very good way to forget about your problems and feel better.

32. Have a bath

Rather than taking a quick shower, how about you dedicate at least 1h to having a bubble bath and work on your personal appearance, too?

When you feel and look at your best, your day is certainly going to go a lot better.

If you’re a lady, then apply hair and face masks and make sure you don’t forget about painting your nails. If you’re a gentleman though, you may want to shave and use a deep moisturizing balm. It’s amazing just how much a little me-time can boost your mood.

33. Do some yoga

Yoga is an excellent way of losing stress and improving your mood and that’s because it focuses on achieving a mental and spiritual balance that can instantly calm your worries and make you feel better.

Better yet, there are special poses you can consider in order to brighten your day, so how about you give some of them a try right now and see how they help?

34. Plan a vacation

If today doesn’t look good at all, then how about you start making plans about that nice vacation you’re going to go on a few weeks from now?

By taking your mind off the bad things that happened today and thinking about how great you’re going to feel soon, you’ll instantly boost your mood, energize your mind and easily “dust off” the things that have put you down today.

35. Look at the sky

Looking at the sky is something that so few people are doing in the hectic world we all live in. However, looking at the sky has this amazing power of instantly calming you down and forgetting about the world.

So how about you give it a try right now and see how it makes you feel? Don’t be surprised if within the first 20 seconds you’re going to forget about everything that made today feel wrong.

36. Take a nap

When you’re too stressed out and tired and your day is going downhill, a small nap can make it all better.

In fact, when you take a nap, you’re kind of pushing your mind’s reset button, so when you wake up you’re going to feel energized and ready to take on the rest of the day like a champ!

37. Listen to nature

beautiful mountains

Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

Not feeling the radio and you also don’t want to go outside? Well, how about you listen to some soothing nature sounds? No matter if it’s tropical birds, waterfalls, or the sound of the ocean, nature sounds have an amazing power of filling your body and mind with energy and making you forget about all of your problems.

Feeling down, sad, and stressed out is all part of life and sooner or later we’re all going to go through such times. When it does happen to you, you should try and remember that you’re not alone and that even some of your colleagues may feel like that at the same time.

In fact, with that thought alone and the help of these wonderful ways of brightening up your day, you’re already on the right path to turning your bad mood into a good one. Just remember that the sooner you become aware that happiness is a choice and not an option, the easier it’s going to be for you to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.

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