We all know these days when everything we do goes wrong. Nothing seems to work and we jump from one miserable failure to another. Other people might treat us badly and setbacks accompany every one of our steps. Trials and tribulations might rain down upon us, leaving us with a grim outlook about the future. In these situations, it’s important not to allow the challenges you are confronted with to drag you down. There could be nothing worse than to allow failures and setbacks to derail you from the pursuit of your dreams. The following will show you simple but effective tricks to instantly feel better about yourself. You can use these smart strategies to get back up whenever life knocks you down. They will help you to move on with your life and to find another approach to fulfill your dreams. Here’s how you can feel better when life drags you down.
Difficulties and challenges are an integral aspect of life. No one likes these painful times but everyone is confronted with them in one way or the other. The worst thing, however, is that hardship cannot be avoided.
No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot avoid that bad things happen to you. But this does not mean you are powerless when confronted with tough times. Quite the contrary is the case.
While you cannot avoid going through ups and downs in life, you can still control how these difficulties influence you. You have the power to choose how you think about the challenges you are confronted with. Even more importantly, you get to decide what you make of these experiences.
“Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it.”
You are to a great extent capable of influencing how you think about hardship. This gives you the magnificent power to use what happens to you in order to grow stronger. So instead of allowing these challenges to break you, you use the ruins of the storm to build something better.
Interestingly enough, it seems as if there are some people who recover from setbacks much quicker than others. There are some people who feel better much quicker than the vast majority. Here are the tricks these people use to instantly feel better about themselves, even when confronted with great difficulties.
21 Amazingly Effective Tricks to Instantly Feel Better
According to scientists, we all oscillate around a happiness “set point,” which means the circumstances of our life only account for approximately 10-15% for our happiness. These findings imply that external circumstances do not contribute greatly to our long-term happiness.
At the same time, roundabout 40-50% of our happiness lies entirely in our own hands. However, in order to turn around a miserable day, we need to take an active approach. No one else is responsible for our happiness but ourselves. This is why excellent tips that help you to lift your mood come in handy.
It’s always great to have a couple of tricks that allow you to improve your mood when confronted with bad times. Here are the most effective mood-lifting tricks:
1. Distill valuable lessons from difficult times
There are two ways to deal with difficult times. The first approach consists of whining and complaining about what happened to you. It’s all about blaming others and feeling miserable about yourself. Consequently, you regret deeply being in such a difficult situation. You might even spend hours imagining how your life would have turned out to be if all the misery hadn’t happened. In short, you willingly accept the role as a victim. And as a helpless victim, you’re unable to do anything about your situation.
It’s not a big surprise that this kind of approach won’t lead you anywhere. Pondering about how things were in the past won’t make the things that happened undone. In fact, you cannot change what has happened to you.
This may sound depressing, but it is quite the opposite. The realization that things cannot be made undone can be quite encouraging. By accepting what happened, you let go of outdated or unjustified expectations. It further redirects your focus from the past to present moment, which allows you to seize its power.
For this reason, the second approach is all about accepting the challenge you’re confronted with. It’s about not allowing the difficulties to break you. Even further, it’s about discovering important lessons from things that have happened to you. Doing so will allow you to grow stronger in the long run.
The second approach allows you to rise from the ashes of the fire, stronger but also wiser than you were before, figuratively speaking.
As you can see, how you think about difficulties can either make or break you.
If you’re able to use bad times to your advantage and your growth, they are no longer able to drag you down after they’ve been long gone.
2. Be grateful for the lessons learned
Everything that happens to you in life can teach you an important lesson. However, it is up to you to discover this lesson and to learn from it. Unfortunately, most people choose to ignore the lessons life teaches them.
When something negative happens to these people, they try to forget it as quickly as possible. However, doing so deprives hardship and difficulty of their meaning and value.
If you go about your life without realizing the value of such lessons, you may feel as if life is punishing you for no good reason. But once you understand that you can use these challenges to learn incredibly valuable lessons from, difficult times start to become more meaningful.
This does not mean that you have to be happy when you’re confronted with challenges. However, this kind of mindset gives you the necessary confidence and strength to endure the hardship. It gives you the faith that is needed to see things through, because you have come to understand that ultimately, difficult times serve you.
3. Let quotes from the wisest lift you up
Reading does not only cheer you up but it can also make you realize that those who came long before your time were confronted with similar struggles. What is even better is that many of these brilliant and incredibly inspiring people found helpful ways to cope with these difficulties. It would be quite a waste not to make use of the profound wisdom these people brought to paper.
Reading quotes is an excellent way to discover the beautiful wisdom of these incredibly successful and inspiring individuals. Their words will remind you that we all are confronted with difficulties and setbacks in life. It will show you that we all struggle in life but also that we all are capable to change our situation. Even more so, along the lines of these people’s thoughts you will find great words of encouragement that help you to move on with your life.
Another important realization that comes from reading inspiring quotes is the realization that even the greatest men and women were confronted with terrible failures and times of great misery. However, instead of allowing these experiences to discourage them, they continued the pursuit of their dreams.
One quote that I particularly like comes from Winston Churchill:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston S. Churchill
You can find more quotes here: The Most Motivational Quotes Ever.
4. Do a good deed
Even though giving back may not seem to be directly connected with your happiness, helping others can greatly improve your mood.
When it comes to feeling better, people mostly take rather self-centered measures that allow them to be happy again. What we often don’t realize is that helping others can be so much more powerful than many other “feel-good tactics.”
Scientific studies have shown time and time again that generosity can make you feel happier. For this reason, doing a good deed and giving back can greatly help you to quickly feel better about yourself. Even more so, altruism will put the struggles and difficulties of your life into perspective. It may even help you to realize that it could be much worse.
5. Pay attention to your thoughts
The way you think can either make or break you. Your thinking can encourage you to overcome even the greatest difficulties but it can also discourage you from even trying. By paying attention to your thoughts, you can take an important step towards feeling better. All it takes is patience and the necessary endurance to root out negative or self-limiting thoughts.
This process may take some time, but its long-term results are nothing but fabulous.
Positive thinking allows you to confront the problems you’re dealing with in a confident manner. It helps you to see opportunities where others only see difficulties and problems.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
But it can also help you to minimize the negative and self-limiting impact of overtly critical thoughts.
6. Confront your fears
In many instances, we feel bad about ourselves because we run away from things that we are afraid of. Without realizing it, running away makes us only feel more miserable.
When you start confronting your fears, you will notice that many are not even close as terrible and scaring as you had imagined them to be. Therefore, dealing with your fears can make an important contribution towards feeling better about yourself.
7. Take a step back and try to see the bigger picture
Taking a reflective approach can help you to put the difficulties of your life into perspective. Doing so will help you to realize that not all the struggles you are confronted with are as bad as they seem like.
The big problem when we feel bad about ourselves is that we take a rather self-centered approach. When bad things happen to us, we become overwhelmed by the misery and pain we are confronted with. We whine a little about our fate and think we are the most miserable individual earth.
However, by taking a step back and by putting things into perspective, you will realize that things are not always that bad as they may seem initially. It will help you to understand that things could be much worse. But it may also make you realize that others are confronted with far greater difficulties in life.
Another important aspect of putting things into perspective is to evaluate if your difficulties are actually that much of a burden. Many people are confronted with setbacks in their professional life or struggles in university. In these situations it may be tremendously helpful to realize how grateful you can be for having a job and for having the privilege of being able to study.
Many great privileges come along with difficulties, which is why it is so important to reflect if we would feel better if these privileges (e.g. having a job, going to university) were taken from us. In most cases, this is certainly not the case. Instead of feeling miserable about a bad mark or an annoying colleague, focus your attention on the aspects of it that you can be grateful for.
8. Cultivating gratitude will make you feel better
By counting your blessings in life, you will almost instantly feel better about yourself. The reason why being grateful is so effective is that it effectively helps you to overcome feelings of discontent. It will shift your attention from negative aspects of your life to all the beautiful aspects of your existence.
Gratitude can make you realize how beautiful your life already is. This will not only enable you to break free from trying to pursue ever more, but it also helps you to make the best of your situation.
Being grateful will put an end to whining and complaining. Instead, it opens you up to the wonderful opportunities that life presents to you, even during difficult times.
9. Start journaling
No matter if you start a blog or write a diary, writing about your life’s experiences paves the way for gaining important insights about your existence. If you’re looking for something that helps you to feel better in the long run, journaling is a great option.
By putting your experiences and feelings down on paper, you can take the first step towards letting go. In this sense, the simple act of writing about your experiences can be greatly relieving. It is a fantastic way to let off the pressure within you.
10. Listen to upbeat music
Music is a wonderful way to instantly feel better. Sadly, we use music far too little when we’re feeling down. Instead, we try to hide ourselves from the misery in the shadows.
The reason why the music is so powerful is that it can quickly elicit emotions within you. If you choose the right type of music (upbeat, positive tones), you will quickly feel better about yourself.
Music can lift you up and helps you to forget – at least for some moments – everything around you. A review of 21 scientific studies even found that listening to music can help you to reduce anxiety and heart pressure. Further research highlighted that listening to upbeat, positive music quickly boost your mood and makes you feel better.
11. Keep the “golden ratio” in mind
The “golden ratio” is a theory developed by Barbara Fredrickson, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina. According to this theory, three positive experiences can override a negative one. This means that in order to be happy, three positive emotions are required to balance a negative emotion.
Based on her research, Fredrickson concluded that if you are able to maintain the balance suggested in the golden ratio, happiness will accompany you on your journey through life.
Applying the golden ratio is not even difficult. It doesn’t take precise logging of all your positive and negative experiences in life. Instead, all it takes is the awareness that negative emotions should never gain the upper hand.
Know that in order to maintain a balanced ratio, it’s necessary to treat yourself to something good every once in a while. It’s important not to criticize or even bully yourself overtly when confronted with difficulties. Instead, try to be gentle with yourself and try to integrate joyful experiences into your daily routine.
12. Discover philosophy and spirituality
Spirituality and especially religion are two heavily discussed topics. It’s fairly safe to say that everyone has their own opinion about them. But if we look straight at the scientific facts, we can see that there are certain – absolutely interesting – connections between spirituality/religion and mental/physical health. Researchers of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University reviewed scientific studies and found that both spirituality and religion are linked to higher levels of perceived well-being and happiness.
When it comes to strategies to feel better, keeping an open mind about philosophical or spiritual concepts can prove to be highly effective. Pondering about life and the sense of being connected to something greater somehow seem to be a good approach to increase your happiness.
13. Lower your expectations
In some situations, we feel miserable about ourselves not because we are in danger, but simply because our expectations have skyrocketed. By having to high and unjustified expectations that are not rooted in reality, we only set ourselves up for misery.
If you feel that your expectations are too high and that you regularly are disappointed when things unfold differently, try to lower your expectations. If you don’t set the bar too high, you can avoid being disappointed. Even further, you will have a far greater number of little victories in your day-to-day life. These positive experiences will keep your motivation at a high level, allowing you to continue the pursuit of your dreams.
14. Choose to be happy
Even though it may seem implausible, the sheer willingness to become happier can help you to feel better.
Experimental studies conducted by Yuna Ferguson and Kannon Sheldon highlighted that if you honestly try to be happier, you will automatically feel better. The results of the scientific research show that the willingness to become happier can go a long way.
However, in order to feel better about yourself, it’s necessary to be proactive. No one else is able to increase your long-term happiness but yourself. If you actively wish to make a change, you will succeed in feeling better.
15. Meditate or practice mindfulness
It doesn’t matter so much if you call it meditation or mindfulness exercises. What matters is the incredibly powerful impact these exercises can have on your mind and your overall well-being. If you meditate regularly, you will see that you will quickly feel better about yourself. Meditation/mindfulness helps you to reduce anxiety and stress levels. They also allow you to worry less about the future and to live more in the present moment.
Admittedly, mindfulness is not a quick fix solution to feel better. However, it will definitely have an impact upon your life in the long run.
16. Take a walk in nature
Nature can harmonize and balance your being. It can help you to relax and to let go of all the dross. By taking yourself some time to go out in nature, you will quickly feel better. Nature has an incredibly soothing effect and brings balance to a demanding lifestyle.
17. Read a book
When was the last time you read a book? For many people, the last time they opened a book dates back many years or even decades. In times of television, internet, and fancy electronic gadgets, the number of people who read books is rapidly declining. It’s a sad development, because there are certain benefits of books that movies and TV series don’t have.
The ideas presented in good books can inspire you and may even ignite your creativity. Even further, inspiring books and biographies can help you to see the world from a different perspective. Books can elevate you to new heights and motivate you to dream big.
Whenever I’m feeling not too good about myself, I read a couple of pages of an inspiring book. It almost always helps me to quickly forget whatever it is that drags me down. Great books further allow me to discover effective strategies that help me to cope with the difficulties of life.
18. Make something with your hands
Getting creative and creating something from your imagination is a fantastic way to distract yourself. Crafting something with your own hands is a wonderfully rewarding experience that will make you feel better in no time.
It doesn’t even matter so much that you make a perfect masterpiece. All that matters is that you try to bring something of your imagination into existence.
19. Flip through old photos
Another good idea to feel better is to flip through some old personal photos. The reason why you can boost your mood by looking at photos is that they are almost always taken during special occasions. No matter if it’s a holiday or an important celebration, there’s always someone around to take pictures.
By looking at these fantastic moments captured on celluloid, you can distract yourself and lift your mood.
20. Let go of the things that hold you back
Sometimes, feeling better is all about letting go. When you are faced with aspects of your life that cause nothing but misery, think about getting rid of them.
The things that drag you down or hold you back can be manifold. Sometimes we cling on to unrealistic expectations or painful experiences. In other situations, we hold on to people that are nothing but manipulative and energy draining.
Whatever it is that is holding you back, see if you can free yourself from it. By letting go, you make room for something new.
21. Enjoy the present moment
The present moment is all you have. But if you cling on to the past or if you worry about the future, you deprive the present moment of its joy and strength.
Don’t allow the past to haunt you. Know that whatever happened cannot be made undone. At the same time, realize that you cannot influence what happens in the future. For this reason, it is all the more important to seize the present moment to build a better future.
The simple act of shifting your attention from past or future to the present can already contribute towards feeling better about yourself. It allows you to worry less and to enjoy more of the simple things in life.
I hope you enjoyed this article about effective tips to quickly feel better about yourself.