Staying positive and happy, especially during times like these, is sometimes a challenge. However, there are things you can do to make you stay positive and feel happier, even when you don’t feel your best. Check out the list to see some of the things you can do!
It’s been scientifically proving that the act of smiling can make you feel better. By smiling, you can trick your brain into thinking you’re happy. Smiling creates a chemical reaction that can make you feel happier. So just smiling can boost your mood, decrease stress, and even improve your immune system.
2. Make A Cup Of Tea
Nothing says comfort like a good cup of tea. Drinking tea can make you feel happier because it increases your energy levels, without disrupting your caffeine levels too much. As a bonus, put some lemon in your green tea for some extra zest to make you feel even better! Tea and lemon together sounds like the perfect pick-me-up.
3. Watch Your Favorite Show
Watching your favorite show can always make you feel better. Seeing your favorite characters and watching your favorite episodes can make you feel nostalgic and take your mind off of anything that’s bothering you. Getting lost in your favorite show, and curling up with some blankets, is a surefire way to make you feel better.
4. Make Baked Goods
What will make you happier than sweets? Baked goods will improve your mood and gives you something to do to occupy your mind. Bonus, you get to eat anything you make, and anything during the process (I’m talking cookie dough!). Also, the sense of achievement you get after baking will make you feel more positive, you’ve already accomplished something!
5. Send Out Messages Of Gratitude
It’s been scientifically proven that expressing gratitude makes you yourself feel better. Writing letters of gratitude, or even a text, can not only improve your mood but the person you’re sending it to. Letting people know that they’re appreciated is extremely important, and who knows? Maybe you’ll get a nice message back!
We all know the saying, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Endorphins are often called the “happy chemical” because it’s true, they do make you feel better! Not only will the endorphins from working out make you happy but exercising has other positive benefits on both your mental and physical health and when you feel better, you feel happier. Exercise can make you feel more positive for so many reasons. Even if you don’t like exercising, go for a walk! You’ll reap the same happy benefits.
7. Go Through Your Favorite Photos
There’s nothing like nostalgia to make you appreciate what you have. Look back on your photos from your last ‘Girls’ Night’, or the trip you took last fall, and remember that you have so many people and experiences to be appreciative of. Not to mention, photos bring out the sentiment in all of us, you’ll look back and smile on some of your old photos, or even your most recent ones. Positivity can come from appreciating what we have, and photos are a good way of remembering that.
8. Listen To Some Music
Put on your favorite song, favorite playlist, or whatever you’re in the mood for! Music has a way of making us feel different emotions, and this comes back to the science behind it. Listening to music causes the brain to release dopamine, another one of those “happy chemicals”. Dopamine has been a chemical often related to motivation, so listening to music, especially music that speaks to you at the time, will definitely boost your mood.
9. Start Something You’ve Been Putting Off
Beginning a project, or even starting something small that you’ve been putting off, is a great way to both spend your time and boost your mood. The feeling of accomplishment is closely related to our sense of positivity and subsequent happiness. Take advantage of this time, apply to jobs, journal, decorate your room, clean the house, do what needs to be done! When you set out to do something, you set internal goals, activating the reward center in your brain, making you feel even better when you finish your task.
10. Learn Something New
Studies have shown that learning something new can actually increase your mood. Researchers have found that one of the things that people need to be happy is to be engaged in “difficult-but-doable activities”. By being engaged in these new tasks, you might even pass the time quicker. Not to mention, again, the sense of achievement you’ll feel when you accomplish something new. Some ideas can get you started are activities like painting, sewing, learning a language, learning how to play an instrument, etc. Bonus: if you’re learning how to do something that’s tangible, gift it to someone as a gift of appreciation and you will also reap the benefits from sending out gratitude!
Meditation has countless beneficial effects on both your physical and mental well-being. Meditation has the power to center you, and during this time you can focus yourself on more positive thoughts. Beginning the day with a different and more positive mindset will increase your overall happiness. If you’re new to meditation, head over to my other article “The Ultimate Guide To Meditation: Do’s and Dont’s” to get yourself started.
12. Put Down Your Phone
Being on social media, and your phone, in general, can affect your overall happiness in many different ways. It’s important to remember to unplug and take time for yourself. You don’t have to unplug for an extreme amount of time, but anything ranging from one hour to an entire day, will have a large impact on your mental health, and you’ll notice it too. Social media often drags us into a negative state, whether it makes us feel judgmental, unworthy, underappreciated, and more. Track your screen time, or set reminders, know when it’s time to put your phone down and enjoy quality time with yourself and others.
Part of being positive and happy is a mindset, but we all know that life gets in the way, and sometimes life gets you down. It’s important to remember to do some of these small things every day, or whenever you’re feeling particularly negative, to boost your mood and hopefully, make you look at life in a more positive way. Because when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade (or put lemon in your green tea, or make lemon cupcakes, whatever you want to do). So, stay positive, stay happy, and make tomorrow a better day.
Please drop your comments and questions below! If you have any other ideas of how people can stay positive and happy in this extremely stressful time, comment below!
I’m from Long Beach, CA and I’m currently a student at Villanova University, pursuing a major in Communications with a double minor in Psychology and Spanish. I started writing articles in the fall of 2019 and fell in love with writing, hopefully, you’ll enjoy my articles just as much as I do!