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18 Ways To Cheer Yourself Up Quickly

18 Ways To Cheer Yourself Up Quickly

Try as we might to be peppy and positive, sometimes life gets the better of us and even the perkiest folks can feel a little blue. What happens next, though, is up to us: Research has found that happiness is 60 percent circumstances and genetics — which means that 40 percent of it is within our power to control.

Try these 18 tips and turn that frown upside down in a hurry:

  1. Change your stride.Walk with your head held high and arms swinging. Research shows that this posture makes us feel happierthan when we shuffle.
  2. LOL. “Laughter itself — even if nothing is actually funny — can cause you to feel happier,” says Elizabeth R. Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. “Just start laughing for no reason at all.” Of course, you may also choose to laugh at shark cats on Roombas, the difference between cat friends and dog friends, a “sleepwalking dog” or animals trying to hide in small containers. Whatevs.
  3. Wash your hands. A small (yet fascinating!) study from the University of Osnabrück found that washing your hands after a failure can enhance feelings of optimism. Talk about washing away the blues!
  4. Have a mini dance party. Stand up and get down — your mood will supercharge super fast, research shows.
  5. Say cheese. Research has found that even fake smiles can reduce stress and improve mood. So fake it till you make it!
  6. Drink an espresso. The rich brew contains less caffeine than regular coffee, imparting a quick pick-me-up — without the jitters.
  7. Hug or kiss someone. “Physical contact — especially associated with love — can help you feel happier,” says Lombardo. Find a willing recipient and give ’em a smooch or squeeze. (Or both, if you feel like going crazy.)
  8. Smell the roses. Floral scents increase happiness, studies show — thereby giving us all permission to slow down and sniff on the way to work.
  9. Reach out. Connect with loved ones in person (or via phone or Skype) to get your mood-boosting oxytocin flowing.
  10. Make your bed. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, says that people who make their beds report a big increase in happiness. Moms everywhere, rejoice!
  11. Pet an animal. Pet owners are happier and healthier, studies show. So cuddle a furry friend for a mood boost.
  12. Pay it forward.Giving money to others makes us happier than spending it on ourselves, according to research. Why not quietly pay for the next person’s coffee?
  13. Say thanks. Folks who cultivate gratitude feel 25 percent happier, more optimistic and confident, says University of California, Davis psychology professor Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. Hallelujah!
  14. Breathe deeply.Replacing shallow, stressed breathing with a few deep, mindful breaths”can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders,” writes Andrew Weil, MD.
  15. Help someone. Giving feels great, so drop a few cans of food into a collection box or donate clothing to a local shelter.
  16. Crank some tunes.Listening to music for 10 minutes is a proven mood-lifter. Try classical for calming and electronica for energizing. (Or listen to whatever lifts your heart and gets your feet tapping.)
  17. Move your body. “Any type of exercise gets those [feel-good] endorphins going,” says Lombardo. No need to overthink it! Jump on the bed, take a brisk walk around the block or do jumping jacks in the stairwell at work.
  18. Head towards the light.According to research, vitamin D — which is produced naturally with sun exposure — improves mood and decreases depression.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.