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Seven Ways to Brighten Up Your Day

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We all go through rough patches.

By Saba Ghaffari

At times, life can feel like a boxing match. Sometimes we walk into the ring dodging every punch that’s thrown, countering with our own strikes and blows, leaving the ring champions with our heads held high and the crowd going wild. Other times, we aren’t so lucky when life decides to test our strength. We’re incessantly pounded upon, punch after punch, and when we’re curled up in the fetal position thinking that it’s finally done, life jolts us with one more kick.

Whether it is the ending of a cherished relationship, career-related struggles or some other difficult circumstance you may be facing, it’s important to remember the event will pass and you will find yourself the victor once again. As Oprah Winfrey once said, “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” Here are some tips for how to brighten your day.

Laughter

When we are so consumed with sadness, the thought of even cracking a smile seems impossible. But laughing is extremely beneficial because it cheers us up while also allowing us to forget about the situation, even if it is just temporarily. Sometimes we simply need a break from whatever it is that has us feeling down. So, pop in a funny movie, watch a comedic stand-up or spend some time with a good-humored friend and have yourself a hearty belly laugh.

Gratitude

When going through a trying time, it can be quite difficult to find things to be thankful for. Accept this challenge: Try to find three things in your life every day that you are grateful for. Spending all your time feeling sorry for yourself is counterproductive and will only leave you feeling helpless. A gratitude journal or list is a subtle reminder that not everything in life is bad. There are numerous apps available to help with the task, such as Five-Minute Journal.

Exercise

Engaging in some type of physical activity can boost your mood and act as an outlet for your frustrations. Moving the body through exercise releases endorphins that directly help remove stress and negative emotions. Even if you’re not an exercise enthusiast, simply going for a walk around the neighborhood or riding a bike on a beautiful day will do wonders for your state of mind.

Create a game plan

We might not be able to instantly fix all our problems, but the mere act of putting together a game plan inevitably makes us feel slightly better about any situation. Similar to how a house requires a blueprint before it can be built, making a plan of your next steps will propel you in the right direction.

Practice patience

Many of life’s hardest trials are only weathered by the passage of time. While modern society has conditioned us to demand instant gratification and seek quick fixes for everything, sometimes we have to practice our patience and wait for the storm to pass. For every storm we make it through, tackling the next one will be that much easier.

Be kind to yourself

One of the most important things to remember is to be kind. We can be our own toughest critics, but we need to unlearn old habits of judgment and self-deprecation, and become our own cheerleaders. If you see you’ve fallen down in that boxing ring, lend a hand and encourage yourself to get back up.

Preach positivity

The biggest hurdle is daily negative chatter. In order to cheer yourself up and achieve your goals, adopt a positive mindset and outlook. If you were dumped and feel like you’re never going to find love again, list all the reasons you make a great partner and are worthy of love. If you’ve been let go from your job and are feeling inadequate, think about all the skills and qualities that make you irreplaceable, and how you now have the chance to find a job in which you will be appreciated and valued. After doing this enough times, you will start to believe the positive thoughts too.

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