65 Ways to Improve Your Mood
As trivial as it may seem, small behaviors can really impact your mood. The more we spiral into the negative thinking patterns, the more it affects our view of the world and our self-esteem. When a toxic environment takes over or unhappy thoughts to engulf your mind, it leads to anger, resentment, frustration, and bad vibes.
Recently I was stuck on a car ride from hell. The two in the front seat were as judgmental as they come, arguing about politics, the news, anything that was a hot topic. After being in the car for what seemed like an eternity I realized their negative energy was putting me in a terrible mood. I started to think about what I could do to shift my positive energy back into play before getting to the event. I didn't want to show up in a bad mood, frustrated, or feeling bad about myself.
Short-term positive experiences can move your bad mood or low-level thinking into a more positive place, which helps you feel better. I looked up funny dog pictures, emailed a friend, found inspirational quotes, and did a little research on my phone for something I was interested in learning. In my mind, I thought of ways I could rearrange my office and daydreamed about what my home could look like someday. Guess what? It worked, I was able to move forward without their negative vibes (and mine too).
Most of us probably already do something like this in our lives. If you increase pleasant things that give you positive emotions, you feel better about your life. Doing more of this makes us feel good, which we deserve, even in the midst of all the chaos, and it gets us in the habit of having positive feelings.
This helps your self-esteem because the more uplifted you are, the more likely you develop positive feelings about yourself as well. A fine day can turn fabulous if you allow yourself to make more room for positive experiences and thoughts. Here are a few.
65 Ways to Improve Your Mood and Thinking
- Enjoying your favorite (non alcoholic) beverage
- Buying fresh flowers
- Listening to an upbeat song
- Going to the park and people watching
- Watching a Spoken Word video on YouTube
- Going to the gym
- Planning a future menu for a dinner party
- Going to a pet store and holding puppies or kittens
- Planning a future vacation (even if it's 5 years away)
- Doing something spontaneously
- Going to the bookstore and browsing
- Shopping for something you want, but don't need
- Doodling or drawing
- Entertaining, or planning a future get together
- Going on Pinterest
- Making something from Pinterest
- Researching a topic of interest
- Research a new recipe
- Playing musical instruments
- Doing arts and crafts
- Making a gift for someone
- Calling an old friend
- Watching your favorite sport
- Writing (poems, articles)
- Donating to charity
- Going out to dinner
- Discussing books
- Playing a game on your phone
- Early morning coffee and newspaper
- Going to plays and concerts
- Make a list of goals (non judgmentally)
- Going bike riding
- Walks in the woods (or at the waterfront)
- Thinking about pleasant events
- Playing with animals
- Reading fiction
- Writing diary entries or letters
- Finding a new blog to follow
- Going on a picnic
- Thinking "I did that pretty well" after doing something
- Having lunch with a friend
- Dressing up and looking nice
- Getting a massage
- Thinking about my good qualities
- Taking a sauna or a steam bath
- Sitting in a sidewalk café
- Reflecting on how I've improved
- Going to museums
- Buying a magazine you like
- Lighting candles
- Thinking about having a family
- Making a new playlist
- Make a vision board
- Thoughts about happy moments in my childhood
Which ones work for you? Are there some that you are already doing that others should know about? Share your advice below and take good care.
Roberts, E. (2014, April 25). 65 Ways to Improve Your Mood, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 15 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2014/04/65-ways-to-improve-your-mood
Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC
I suffer from PTSD and extreme social anxiety...so depression is in the backseat driving most of the time. It is very hard for me to get myself out of it..especially when you can't talk to people about it, because you have trust issues...I did like what you had to say about trying to stop the negative thoughts in their tracks...which may be tough because depression is an insidious creature...sometimes you don't realize it is controlling you. I do find the old movies, and music do help...and I also set small tasks for myself...because that helps to keep you aware that you can accomplish things. Sometimes, I fall into the trap of sleeping...and I try to control that too...I keep in mind that if you put 2 feet on the floor....it is only a little tougher to stand up. Thank you for the article. It always helps to know that you are not alone. <3
Great points and I appreciate your ideas. I like the idea of setting small tasks for yourself as well as having an accountability buddy or someone helping you stick to goals (on challenging days I have a friend who will keep me accountable). Good Work and keep it up Marty!
Take Good Care,
Marty I thought I responded to you earlier and I am so sorry it didn't go through! Thanks for posting and I appreciate your words of wisdom. Keep up the good work you are doing the best you can and it's fantastic. On days when things get rough I like to just praise my self for one thing at a time (getting out of bed and eating breakfast- yay). Self-care is so important and you can be your biggest cheerleader. Keep up the awesome work!!!!
I'm just completing my internship needed for my state testing LPC . I graduated with my M.A. In may 2012. And I also have 18 extra hours in psychology but I,m terrified in taking my board since I have limited money and have to work and it seems I have no time to study while raising 7 yr old granddaughter with no parents. So please advise on what books you studied before your licensing test. I test in MS. I.m 51 and used all savings for my 7 yr adventure after my children left home. And I need accreditation to get job in small 30,000 census with no sight of relocating. Please help.
The correlation between mood and psycho-motoric activity is intertwined one. If our thoughts lead on the mood to anyone, then our behave manage with whole system of mind. Therefore, we may moderate our mood as predictor of global welfare by some simply activities, that going on concordance with our personal needs and deeds, as well. Your list of practical psycho-mental activities and performances offers excellent choice to achieve this healing goal. Let's accept with pleasure this form of relation with our daily functioning, in order to ameliorate common life problems. The same are without any charge in our family budget. It ought to change only the manner of thoughts and activity that destroys our psycho-social welfare. On the other hand, positive model of thinking improves and develops our social network, through which one we build up our personal, occupational and social happiness. In contrary negative set of thinking and behave diminish the probabilities to increase our global assessment scale of functioning (GAF) as crucial parameter of mental health statement.
Never go the pet store and cuddle puppies and kittens unless you intend to take one home. It's cruel to the baby when after receiving love and getting its' hopes up, it is thrust back into the cage. And if you DO purchase a puppy, then understand you are most likely supporting a puppy/kitten farm which is an abhorrent practice of business. Adopt from a licensed shelter, or 501c rescue group. If animals make you happy, and you can't have one, considering donating to a 501c animal rescue group. They rely solely on donations, and pull the majority of their animals out of killing shelters. Thank you.
Hi Katherine, This is one of many. Many pet stores actually love when people come in- it helps them give care. Volunteering is great and adopting a pet too, but for the purpose of this article, for things that instantly boost your mood, these were not options. Thanks for your insight about the shelters- I am a dog mom and huge advocate of ending puppy mills! Any good rescue group that you can recommend to donate too? I love that idea!
I am in terrible trouble as I face withdrawing from the drug Abilify, which gains a black box warning as you taper off of it. Withdrawal can cause death, psychosis, or INCREDIBLY painful, intense states of mind. In addition, I am facing a layoff from my church. This kind of list helps to get my mind off of my black mood, and interrupts thoughts of suicide. Plus, these things can be done alone, and are virtually cost-free. Thank you for the list!
I believe the point here is to get your mind off your negative thoughts. I had someone tell me to "just change your thinking". I didn't know how to do that until one day when I was in a negative mood, I put my favorite music on while I was doing something else and my negative mood lifted. I don't always remember to "change my thinking", but I'm working on it and it seems to make things better every time I do it.
I appreciate the effort it takes to get 65 items. Most of them one doesn't havve to be particularly athetic for.
which would you add? We can make it 100 :)
One, all of these take time and energy... Not something I have to spare.
Two, a lot of them would just stress me out.
Not a fan at all of this list.