10 Ways to Feel Happier When You Are Having a Bad Day

LIFESTYLE  |  December 30, 2016
  • 1. Smile
    1 / 10 1. Smile

    Photo: estall/Pixabay

    For those who believe you can “fake it ‘till you make it,” it’s been proven that smiling even when you’re stressed will genuinely make you feel happy and reduce those anxiety levels. The movements of your facial muscles tell your brain that you’re happy, which actually make you more optimistic and relaxed.

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  • 2. Have a hot drink
    2 / 10 2. Have a hot drink

    Photo: condesign/Pixabay

    Keeping hydrated is literally the key to everything from better skin to good sex. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that research has shown that even mild dehydration can lead to anxiety. British research shoes that students got better results when they’re allowed to drink water during exams. Black tea also reduces cortisol levels in your body that brings your stress levels down.

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  • 3. Squeeze your ear lobes
    3 / 10 3. Squeeze your ear lobes

    Photo: MikeBird/Pixabay

    Press your fingertips against your temples, squeeze your ear lobes or press the fleshy part of your hand between your thumb and index finger. These are key pressure points that can help you release tension when you feel it beginning to build. Simply hold them down for a few seconds (close your eyes if that helps block out the noise around) and feel the tension melt away.

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  • 4. Take a few deep breaths through your nose
    4 / 10 4. Take a few deep breaths through your nose

    Photo: jill111/Pixabay

    Called nadi shodhana, this yoga breathing technique is great when things are getting seriously hectic and you need a second to decompress and re-centre. All you do is place your thumb over one nostril, inhale deeply and then place your thumb over the other nostril as you exhale. Repeat for four slow, deep breaths on each side. Deep and regular breathing sends a message to your brain that everything is okay.

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  • 5. Listen to your favourite tunes
    5 / 10 5. Listen to your favourite tunes

    Photo: PourquoiPas/Pixabay

    Plug in those headphones and listen to some of your favourite tunes. Whether it’s classical symphonies or 90s pop, music that you’re familiar with and already love is shown to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. It’s also good for your heart, so rock on.

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  • 6. Have a healthy snack
    6 / 10 6. Have a healthy snack

    Photo: stevepb/Pixabay

    If you chow down a snack that fills your up, like handful of nuts, your brain will feel well nourished and won’t stress out about not having enough sustenance. Better yet, take your snack somewhere peaceful and eat it in a mindful way, focusing on all aspects of taste and texture.

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  • 7. Let your feelings out
    7 / 10 7. Let your feelings out

    Photo: Foundry/Pixabay

    Find an empty meeting room or head to the bathroom and let it all out for a few minutes. There’s no shame in getting all your emotions out (as long as you’re not taking it out on someone else!). And you wouldn’t be alone. According to biochemical research, 85 per cent of women say a good cry makes them feel better.

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  • 8. Meditate
    8 / 10 8. Meditate

    Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

    It doesn’t have to be for a long time but a little meditation can go a long way. The health benefits of tuning out and focusing inwards is a great way to counteract stress as well as lower blood pressure, enjoy more restful sleep and also increase the production of DHEA, an anti-ageing hormone which just goes to prove that you look younger if you’re not stressed out.

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  • 9. Work out
    9 / 10 9. Work out

    Photo: sasint/Pixabay

    Countless studies have shown that working up a sweat and getting your heart rate up releases endorphins which makes your brain happy. Also, stress can cause tension in your muscles, so a little stretching and getting those muscles loose goes towards feeling much better both mentally and physically.

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  • 10. Watch a cute animal video or two
    10 / 10 10. Watch a cute animal video or two

    Photo: Jan-Mallander/Pixabay

    These funny videos can stimulate your heart, lungs and muscles and increase endorphins to the brain, a study by the Mayo Clinic showed. Laughter both activates and then deactivates your stress responses, creating an “up then down” sensation that leads to feeling more relaxed.

    A version of this story first appeared on the CLEO Singapore website.

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