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    10 Tricks To Put Yourself In A Good Mood All Day & 10 For Pulling Yourself Out Of A Bad One

    You're in control — remember that!

    Whether it's your job, your relationships, your well-being, or the general state of the world, we all have things that can somehow consistently get us down. To help combat those negative vibes, I've rounded up some tips and tricks for setting a positive tone in your day and some ideas for turning the tides when the bad moods come creeping in.

    1. Dress to Impress... Yourself!

    Young woman in a white blouse, smiling and holding sunglasses
    Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    You know those clothing and jewelry items you're always saving for "special occasions"? Those gold earrings your grandmother gave you for graduation years ago or those leather loafers that still reside in their original box in your closet. Whatever it may be, break it out, dust it off, and break it in. We all tend to save our best shirts, our cutest heels, our nicest lipsticks for "important" or "memorable" days/occasions. 

    But when you choose to don those special items on otherwise normal or potentially stressful days, you set yourself up to feel important, memorable, and special, which can be accented by the compliments you'll likely get on your sharp appearance. Whether it's for a big meeting or an average trip to the corner store, your best items can truly help you feel your best. 

    2. Soak Up the Sun, But Shield Your Eyes

    A man and a woman wear sunglasses while driving in the car on a sunny day
    Caia Image / Getty Images

    We all know that Vitamin D is crucial to our general wellness in a myriad of ways, but did you know that certain reflexes we experience while gaining all-natural vitamin D (aka absorbing sunlight) can actually negatively affect our moods? When we're squinting in the sun, it forces our facial muscles to mimic the movements of frowning, which in turn triggers a chemical reaction in our brains.

    Related to the "facial feedback hypothesis," this means that when you're making a sad/angry facial expression, your brain will release chemicals to match and induce that mood for real. To help yourself avoid that occurrence, be sure to wear some solid sunglasses on your morning commute and on any strolls you take, especially if you're strolling toward the sun. 

    3. Look Forward to the Good

    A woman makes a "YES!" gesture with her arm at her desk at work
    Nathaphat / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    After a while, even the sweet bliss of your morning cup of coffee can lose its luster. To help yourself find excitement and joy in each day, try to identify one good thing that will be happening, regardless of whether or not it's directly related to you. 

    This could be something like your coworker's big presentation going well, the first female mayor of a city being sworn in, or your direct deposit hitting your account. Whatever it is, choose it and keep tabs on it throughout your day to give yourself something good to look forward to and then celebrate! 

    4. Find Tranquility in the Traffic

    A hand reaches out to change the radio station in the car
    Show999 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    While more people and companies are choosing to go remote every day, there are still a hefty number of commuters out there. But regardless of your employment situation, most people deal with traffic, a major contributor to stress, at least a couple of times a week, if not more. 

    To help combat the very real repercussions of this mental and physical toll, there are a few simple things you can do to remain calm, centered, and in control. First things first: Leave 10 full minutes before you know you need to; this gives you a cushion if unexpected delays crop up. Next, listen to music or a podcast that offsets/balances the agitation creeping in from the traffic around you; actually, sad or subdued tunes are recommended for the best soothing effects. Last but not least, pay attention to your bodily reactions; relax your hands on the steering wheel, adjust your back support, and unclench your jaw. 

    The traffic won't last forever, but the stress we build and hold in our bodies can have long-term negative consequences. 

    5. Start the Day YOUR Way

    A traditional alarm clock falling into the garbage
    Nikolay Ponomarenko / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    As smartphones took over the world, many of us ditched the classic alarm clocks sitting on our nightstands in favor of the ease of modern technology. But even so, many people are still relying on loud, harsh, jarring alarm sounds/songs to wake them from their reveries. While that technically does the trick, studies show that can contribute to high blood pressure and generally increased stress. 

    The most suggested alternative is to attempt waking up to natural light; however, that's not always feasible depending on the time of year, your location, and your occupation (coffee shop open shifters, we're talking to you). There are tons of natural light alarm clocks out there that will gradually wake you from your slumber in a gentle and soothing way, but there are also gentle solutions available in the app store on your phone (for less or even for free). Whether you want to wake with the sun or set the time for your schedule with quiet nature sounds, these seven apps are some of the best for waking up more naturally, more like yourself. 

    6. Make Lunch Plans Ahead of Time

    A young man putting two Tupperware containers of food into the microwave
    Rbkomar / Getty Images

    No matter if you work from home, commute to a bustling office, are a homemaker, or are simply finding your way through life right now, planning your meals is a simple way to make a BIG difference in your day-to-day life. Ordering delivery last minute can get racked up quickly, the same turkey and provolone on wheat gets boring, and please, please don't call a bag of chips your lunch anymore. To help yourself avoid midday stress, I have a few simple recommendations. 

    One option is to cook enough food at dinner so that you have plenty of delicious leftovers ready to go in the morning. Another option is to meal-prep for your week, although that takes some dedication (but if that works for you, awesome!). Whatever you do, make the plan at LEAST the night before, not the morning of, to avoid scrambling at any point. Last but not least, make a plan with a coworker, friend, roommate, or a good book for a certain time and place. This way, you have something (or someone) to look forward to in addition to the yummy food you have prepared, and you make the most of your lunch break, even if it's shorter than you want it to be. 

    7. Start by Being Anti-Social

    A man makes a disgruntled face at something he sees on his phone
    Sommersby / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Social media is a fascinating, entertaining, and informative phenomenon of the modern world. While we're constantly shown beautiful images of newborn babies, the best brunch spots, and the most stylish outfits for spring, we're also shown posts that invoke feelings of jealousy, agitation, and sadness at the same rate.

    From influencers who seem to have the perfect lives to the overrun hospitals in varying regions, the negative aspects of social media should be avoided first thing in the morning. Rather than picking up your phone and scrolling to wake yourself up or while you're sipping your morning coffee, make the morning all about you. Play your favorite song while you brush your teeth and wash your face, look out the window and notice the birds chirping, and do some light stretching to get your body ready to go. Focus on YOU for a while before entering a world of comparisons and harsh realities; it can't be avoided forever, but it can be avoided as you're setting your mindset for the day. 

    8. One Step at a Time

    A woman sitting up in bed writing her to-do list in a notebook
    Freshsplash / Getty Images

    Successful multitaskers may seem like they have it all down, but trying to juggle more than one task at once often leads to confusion, missed steps, and mistakes. Rather than checking your email while you're frying an egg and unloading the dishwasher, make a mental or, even better, physical list of what you need to get done, and practice doing it in an order that makes sense for your morning. 

    Up, stretch, set coffee to brew, feed dog, take dog out, back in, make breakfast, pour coffee, get dressed... You get the point. A clear order of events makes to-do lists easier to tackle, especially when you have more than just yourself to care for. Whether it's a partner, a pet, some kids, or even just yourself, taking it one step at a time is a great way to keep your morning flowing smoothly without your mind or time getting cluttered. No more coffee tumblers left on the counter!

    9. Read, Write, or, at the Very Least, Listen

    A man sips tea as he reds while sitting on his couch
    Eva-katalin / Getty Images

    A fantastic way to start your day away from social media and in a creative, mindful zone is to make time to read a chapter of a book or a new poem, to write a page in your journal, or even listen to an eye-opening podcast or radio show. Life is hectic, so it's understandable if you start or stick with the listening, but if/when you can, start making time for the reading or writing. 

    Getting lost in a good book or poem is an awesome way to pause your own worried, stressed, or anxious thoughts for a few minutes and let your imagination run wild with beautiful imagery. Writing is a great way to help you recall dreams, set intentions for your day, or simply put your feelings in black and white for your own reference. Whatever you choose to do, dedicate yourself to it fully for a good 5 to 15 minutes every morning. After a little while, it will become a creative habit that you look forward to rather than force yourself to do, and you may even find that it's genuinely helping you set the tone for a creative and open-minded day. 

    10. The Classics Are Always Overlooked

    A woman in a yellow workout outfit stretches next to a river
    Boggy22 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    We saved these last few tips for the 10th spot because, while it's hard for some of us to admit, these seemingly easy tasks aren't always achievable for everyone on a daily basis. One of the most recommended ways to start your day is with exercise — yes, we know, ugh! But it goes in line with a lot of sentiments higher up on this list and some we haven't discussed yet. 

    First and foremost, exercising in the morning means you get it out of the way. Even if you're an exercise fiend, there's no way to deny that we all have those days (for some of us, most days...) where the motivation to move just isn't there after work, commuting, classes, or whatever it is you do. By prioritizing some form of exercise in the morning, you start your day focused on yourself and away from social media (#7), you have time to be introspective about your life (akin to #8), and you'll get some vitamin D if you work out outdoors (but be sure to shield your eyes with some sunglasses or a visor per the advice in #2). 


    Plus, never underestimate a kickass workout outfit's ability to boost your confidence (reference tip #1). Last but not least, my final tip that goes hand in hand with exercising first thing is to drink a tall glass of room temperature water in the morning, before your coffee! Drinking water in the morning has tons of documented benefits, and remembering to do it can be a huge improvement to your daily routine.

    Now, let's move on to some tricks for pulling yourself out of a bad mood when those morning maneuvers aren't lasting as long as you'd like. Some are quick fixes while others take a few moments, but all are easily doable when you're in need of a boost.

    11. Win at Something Reasonable

    A group of coworkers plays rock paper scissors
    Aleksandargeorgiev / Getty Images

    When you're feeling down and out, especially if it's related to your personal or professional accomplishments, there's one semi-quick way to remind yourself that you CAN do it: win at something. 

    While challenging your coworker to a game of HORSE in the parking lot might be an unreasonable use of time, a quick game of Bingo on your phone, tossing your empty granola bar wrapper into the bin all the way from your desk, or a quick couple of matches of Rock Paper Scissors with a friend can give you the confidence boost you need to keep pushing forward. Set a tiny goal, try a few times to achieve it, and let the waves of "I did it!" wash over you as you re-focus on your tasks. 

    12. Inspire Joy Through Memories

    A woman smiles at something she sees on her phone
    Maca And Naca / Getty Images

    Even people with the most seemingly exciting day-to-day lives experience periods of mundanity. For some, the mundanity never ends, depending on your job or where you are in life. One of the best ways to break the cycle of those feelings, if only for a little while, is to pull up and look through photos from happy, joyous times in your life. 

    The last family reunion where you couldn't get a picture of everyone looking but you sure had fun. That time you swam with the dolphins, even if it was way back when you were a kid. The day you brought your pet home and the moments you introduced them to loved ones. It doesn't matter what it is; from a particularly aesthetic latte art design to a field of flowers you stumbled across while driving, these images can help you recall the wonderful moments in your life and remind you that there will be more, hopefully, sooner rather than later. 

    13. Order or Make Your Favorite Food/Meal

    Hands holding a half-eaten slice of pizza at a desk with a keyboard
    Megaflopp / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    We talked about meal prepping in various ways in the last section to help make your days less hectic. However, sometimes the joy of having lunch ready to go just isn't enough to turn that frown upside down. Whether you simply aren't craving last night's leftovers anymore or something happened to set you off, take a beat and remember the simple joy of your favorite food/meal. 

    If you can, order it! To the office, to home, to the park, wherever you are, get that dish that makes your taste buds come alive and soothes your soul. There's nothing like your favorite food to cheer you up and help you get through the rest of your day. But if you think you can make it to the bitter end, take the time to swing by your local store, grab the necessary ingredients, and delve into your culinary side when you get home that night. 

    14. Induce Happiness the Natural Way

    A family tends to their house plants
    Nd3000 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Did you know the color green has been linked to making people feel increased happiness? Green, one of the most prevalent colors in nature (which humans are innately drawn to), is a powerful hue that many intentionally use to inspire joy, comfort, and peace in their lives. 

    From painting various rooms green, to keeping houseplants on your windowsills, to making time to actually go deep into nature, exposing yourself to the color green is an empowering tool for getting in a good mindset. Whether you take a moment to tend to your house/office plants, have a moment to go for a stroll through the trees, or even just image search the color green on your computer, taking a few minutes to simply ogle at the serene shade can do wonders for your grumpy mood. 

    15. Find Some Quiet

    A forlorn woman sits alone on a couch to give herself some time alone
    Kiwis / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Whatever it is that's bringing you down, from your boss breathing down your neck to your kids drawing on the walls, taking a moment for yourself is an underrated way to help clear the craziness in your head. 

    You can go sit in your car, stroll around the block, lock yourself in the restroom, or simply find a quiet space somewhere where you can be alone for at least five minutes. Removing yourself from the situation may seem like a small move, but you'd be surprised how much it can help you quiet your mind and center yourself. Be selfish for a moment when you need to be — you'll thank yourself later. 

    16. Call Someone You Love

    A woman relaxes on the couch while smiling and talking on the phone
    Nickylloyd / Getty Images

    Whether you see them every day or haven't seen them years, hearing the voice of a loved one is a powerful way to remind yourself of the good things (or people) in your life. For many people, a call to mom is one of the best ways to cheer yourself up, especially since you know that it will likely make her day to see your name on her screen and catch up with you. 

    But for others, a friend, roommate, grandparent, old coworker, or any loved one can do the trick. If you're not in the mood to share your sorrows, that's OK! Simply talking to that person can help your mood. But if you are willing to let them know why you're calling, that you're feeling down in some way, they may be able to help you in more ways than just a catch-up conversation. 

    17. Find Something to Organize

    A woman stares into her moderately organized wardrobe with her hands on her hips
    Waddle / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Be it your inbox, your closet, or your car's center console, finding something you can rather briefly organize is a great way to focus your mind away from whatever it is that's stressing you out or putting you in a bad mood. Block out 5 to 10 minutes and devote yourself to organizing just one thing, and then do it really, really well. 

    Unsubscribe from at least five spam shopping emails, delete your junk mail, and flag important messages — bam! Within a few minutes, you've completed a worthwhile task that will help you move forward and managed to focus on something entirely different from your daily life for at least a couple of minutes. Plus, organization can be intensely satisfying when you see the final result. 

    18. Find Something to Make You Laugh

    A woman and a young girl laughing at something on a computer screen
    Dobrila Vignjevic / Getty Images

    If you have a funny coworker or classmate, kindly asking them to crack one of their best jokes is a simple way to bring not only your mood up but theirs (and anyone else around's), as well. If those in your proximity are lacking in comedy, however, there are endless ways to find a laugh with a quick search on your computer or phone. 

    It could be a comedy skit, old America's Funniest Home Videos clips, or even a scene from a comedic movie. One of my personal favorites that seems to work even in the darkest of times is the car singing scene from the movie Step Brothers — it'll give you a smile that reminds you of childhood memories and bright blue skies in no time. 

    19. Let It Out

    Man wearing glasses using hand gestures to express himself to a friend during a conversation
    Filadendron / Getty Images

    If there's someone available to you that you feel comfortable sharing with, DO IT! Holding negative feelings inside is a surefire way to let them fester and proliferate, which is sure to keep dragging you down further and further. 

    Venting for a few moments to a close friend, trusted coworker, classmate, or family member is such an easy way to set those feelings free, so if you feel comfortable, let it out! You may be shocked at the way the weight lifts off your shoulders if you simply let someone know how you were feeling, even if you don't get too deep with them. 

    20. Pamper Yourself

    A woman with a towel in her hair puts on a clay face mask
    Zhanna Danilova / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Last but not least, I'm reminding you of one of the most classic ways to soothe your soul and rejuvenate your feelings: self-care! If you're a bath person, draw one of the fanciest ones you ever have. Do it up with candles, bath salts, relaxing music, and maybe even a glass of your favorite wine. If you're more of a task-oriented person, perhaps you can give yourself a manicure, make your own homemade face mask, or even trim your split ends! 

    Break out your fanciest lotion, crack your favorite beer, brew your most relaxing tea, and scoop as much ice cream as you'd like. When it comes to making yourself feel better, you know how to get the job done — so do it! 

    21. Do you have any tips you think should be added to this list? Let me know in the comments below!