It is possible to feel good more often, by adopting five simple habits that can help shift your mood and outlook and benefit your overall health, too. Healthy Food Guide nutritionist Claire Turnbull explains.
If you want to feel good more often, taking conscious steps to increase the frequency and intensity of the positive emotions you experience can be extremely helpful, plus it can improve your health too.
While the topic of feelings and emotions can be easy to dismiss in our achievement/outcome-focussed society, research shows that people who experience lots of positive emotions are not only likely to be happier, but also more effective in all aspects of their life, including their work.
Emotions essentially act as data for the brain, so they can tell your body how to respond to a situation. All emotions are valid and there is absolutely nothing wrong with negative emotions, as experiencing a wide range of emotions is very normal. But taking steps to create situations that can help you experience more positive emotions is more likely to encourage positive outcomes and favourable behaviour.
5 habits to boost your good mood
Having a rough day and feel like you can’t shift a bad mood? Or maybe you are struggling with a few difficulties in your life at the moment, be it relationships, finances or work, and can’t seem to get to a better state of mind.
Try these five habits that are shown to increase your positive emotions and have a positive impact on how you feel:
Humour is a powerful tool and can quickly change how you feel. Try watching funny movies, reading funny books or head to a comedy show to boost your mood. Consciously spending more time with people who make you laugh can help, too.
While receiving feels good, giving feels even better. By helping others, be it by giving your time to help a friend, volunteering or coaching a sports team, donating money to charity or simply saying something kind to another person to encourage them to feel better, you can gain real mental health benefits, too. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘helper’s high’ and what a great way to feel good, by helping others at the same time.
3 Be grateful
Consciously focussing on the things you do have, the things that are working, and the things that you are grateful for, has been shown to have a significant impact on your happiness and can help you feel better. Start and/or end your day by writing down 3-5 things that you are grateful for and see how it makes you feel.
4 Try something new
Be it a board game, taking photos, going to a yoga class or trying out pottery, feeling inspired by a new challenge can help you feel better. For more ideas on things to try, check this out.
5 Be curious
It is hard to feel anxious and be curious at the same time. Throughout the day, if you find yourself feeling flat or in need of a mood boost, ask yourself ‘what is new and different here?’
“Happiness inspires productivity” – Shawn Ancor
Article sources and references
- Lemonick MD. The biology of joy. Time. 2005 Jan 17;165(3):A12-4, A17. PMID: 15700556.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15700556/
- Biswas-Diener, R., & Dean, B (2007) Positive Psychology Coaching, Wiley & Sons, UKhttps://www.wiley.com/en-ad/Positive+Psychology+Coaching%3A+Putting+the+Science+of+Happiness+to+Work+for+Your+Clients-p-9780470042465
- Fredrickson BL. The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Am Psychol. 2001;56(3):218-226. doi:10.1037//0003-066x.56.3.218https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3122271/
- Positive Emotions: A List of 26 Examples & Definition in Psychology. Positive Psychology, accessed February 2021https://positivepsychology.com/positive-emotions-list-examples-definition-psychology/