You wake up and knock over the glass on your nightstand, fall down the stairs, and coincidently have no gas left in your car to get to work. Bad days are sometimes inevitable, but luckily, there are numerous things you could do to turn your bad day into a good day. That’s why I’ve compiled a researched list of 10 ways to feel better after a bad day. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!
1. Do something for someone
Your parents and true friends do this for you all the time. They want to see you happy, so they do things for you without expecting anything in return. If you can’t seem to help yourself today, buy your friend lunch or wash your dad’s car. They’ll appreciate it, and their good energy will spread so you can be happy, too. It’s a win-win situation.
2. Sign out of Social Media
In 2016, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine conducted a study about the effects of social media habits on the moods of users. Research shows that “the more time young adults use social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.” This is due to “highly idealized representations of peers on social media” that leads peers believing others “lead happier, more successful lives,” says the study. We should also be mindful of how long we stay immobile staring at our screens.
After you sign out of Facebook, get up and get going. Instead of walking up the stairs, run up the stairs. Skip two steps this time. Make a goal to get a lower resting heart rate by the end of the month. Exercise is not only good for your physical health, it’s also good for your mind. Don’t think about it, just do it.
4. Learn an Instrument
Add some music to your life and learn to play an instrument. If you don’t have a guitar laying around, Walmart sells harmonicas for $6.99. It’ll keep you busy and distract you from bad habits. A recent study from Boston Children’s Hospital explains that there is a correlation between learning to play an instrument and the improvement of cognitive abilities. Play music, get smart!
Alternative: If you’re not musically inclined (like me), try learning a new language. Go to http://www.youtube.com and search “Learn [enter language] 101 – Common Words & Phrases” It’s fun, useful, and impressive.
5. Cook a New Masterpiece
Food is comforting and there are endless ways to eat it. Go search for your favourite ingredients in your cabinets and be creative. Throw on an apron and get the tunes going – have fun!
Alternative: Head down to a restaurant you’ve never been to before and let your friend (or the waiter) choose your meal. Spice it up!
6. Hug Someone
According to a Ted Talk in 2011, Paul Zak explains how hugging your significant other for 20 seconds spikes your oxytocin levels, decreases your blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels (the stress hormone).
Why not try it out?
7. Revisit Your Old Memory Box
Check out those burned CDs you made in 2005 and relive some old pictures and concert tickets. These things will bring you back to the times that made you smile, and it’ll improve your mood for sure.
8. Book a Trip
Traveling to a different country can open up your mind. You can explore different cultures and learn new ways to do things. Don’t have money for a flight? Go on a road trip. If you don’t have a car, take the bus. You can even ride your bike or walk somewhere, just get out of the house and explore. Take a camera with you, too. This will also encourage you to do more exercise.
Heck, take a couch.
9. Go to the Pet Store
Puppies are seriously magic.
According to the study, “Grin and Bear It: The Influence of Manipulated Positive Facial Expression on the Stress Response,” in the journal of Psychological Science, if you’re put in a stressful situation, force yourself to smile, and your stress levels will decrease. Try it out. 🙂
Let me know in the comments if this list helped you at all or if you have any ideas on how to turn a bad day into a good one.
Remember to stay curious, be kind, and have faith,