Monday, September 21, 2009

Have a Good Bad Day...

We all have days that feel like this.

In her website, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin offers an antidote, listing Tips for Feeling Happier Right Now. Each tip is guaranteed to lift your mood, as will the mere fact that you've tackled and accomplished some concrete goals.

1. Boost your energy. Pace while you talk on the phone or, even better, take a brisk ten-minute walk outside. Even a small amount of exercise elevates your spirits.

2. Listen to a great song. Research shows that listening to music you love is an extremely effective way to improve your mood.

3. Reach out to friends. Make a lunch date or call a friend. Having warm bonds with other people is a key to happiness. Perhaps surprisingly, it turns out that socializing boosts the moods not only of extroverts, but also of introverts.

4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Answer a difficult email, purchase something you need, or call to make that dentist's appointment. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a big rush of energy and cheer.

5. Create a calm environment. Clear some physical and mental space around your desk by pitching junk, stowing supplies, sending out quick responses, filing, or even just straightening up your piles. Outer order contributes to inner serenity.

6. Lay the groundwork for some fun. Order a book you've been wanting to read (not something you should read) or plan a weekend excursion. Studies show that having fun on a regular basis is a pillar of happiness. Try to involve friends or family , as well; people enjoy activities more when they're with other people than when they're alone.

7. Do a good deed. Make a helpful email introduction, set up a blind date, or shoot someone a piece of useful information or gratifying praise. Do good, feel good - this really works. Also, although we often believe that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act. When you act in a friendly way, you'll strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people. And that's a happy feeling.

8. Go outside. Research suggests that sunlight stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood and increases focus. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.

9. Save the life of a stranger. Every day, seventeen people die while waiting for a donated organ, and just one donor can save or improve the life of as many as 50 people. Most Americans say they approve of organ donation, but not many actually sign a donor card. Register and tell your next of kin you want to donate. Imagine the joyous faces of the people who will one day get a call from a hospital, to tell them that their prayers have been answered. That will make you feel pretty darned happy.

Are there other ideas you could add to personalize this list? Try adding them and then copying the list and posting it on the fridge or above your desk as a reminder that we can sometimes make choices that will lift the gloom and tiredness and allow a better day.

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