In search of easy ways to shift your mood and improve your mental health? We’ve all been there; tough days and challenging emotions are simply inevitable sometimes! But luckily, there are plenty of ways you can quickly and easily boost your mood and mental wellness. Here are five simple methods that you can utilize right now!
1. Challenge your negative thoughts.
It might feel strange at first, but try to be aware of your thoughts so that you can recognize when you’re thinking negatively. For example, when you find yourself ruminating over something that happened the other day or thinking of all the worst-case scenarios that could take place tomorrow, cut yourself off. If you’re fixated on the past, ask yourself what constructive action you could take in the present to reduce the chances of making the same mistake. If you’re stuck on negative what-if thoughts, ask yourself what could happen if everything goes right. In short, recognize your negative thoughts and combat them with more positive, constructive ones.
2. Treat yourself as you would treat a friend.
Consider the way you speak to yourself in your mind. Ask yourself whether you would speak to a friend or loved one that way. If you wouldn’t dare to be as critical and mean of others as you are to yourself, it’s time to become more self-compassionate. This doesn’t mean you don’t hold yourself accountable, but it does mean that you treat yourself with a bit more patience and understanding. Simply be kind to yourself, and watch your mental wellness improve over time.
3. Adopt a mindset of gratitude.
Many of us are fixated on the things we lack, rather than the things that we do have. Approaching situations with a grateful mindset helps you to be more positive. It also helps you to realize how much you have already achieved and accomplished. To really embrace a grateful mindset, try noting several things you’re thankful for in a gratitude journal each day.
4. Take time to meditate.
The idea of sitting in silence and clearing your mind may sound daunting, but meditation doesn’t have to be difficult. You can follow along with a guided meditation online or in an app, or you can simply play calming music and focus on taking slow, deep breaths for a few minutes. Another meditation technique is a body scan, in which you focus on each part of the body individually and relax it. Meditation and breathing exercises can be extremely helpful when you’re experiencing difficult emotions, and they’re also a great tool to use anytime to help you feel more relaxed and centered.
5. Reward yourself!
Chances are, there are tasks you complete every day but fail to give yourself credit for. When you accomplish something, don’t immediately ask yourself what needs to be done next. Instead, pat yourself on the back for your achievement and reward yourself. A reward can be as simple as getting your favorite iced coffee or going outdoors and enjoying the sunshine for a few minutes.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of simple steps you can take each and every day in order to boost your mental health. One way to begin is to notice whenever you’re having negative thoughts, and counter them with positive ones. You can also employ self-compassion and gratitude. Taking the time to focus on your breathing and meditate is a brief yet effective activity that can calm the mind and body. Of course, it’s always important to reward yourself when you accomplish something, and small rewards can improve your mood as well!