12 Things Happy People Do When They Start To Feel Down

There’s nothing worse than when you’re riding a great mood, only for it to crash and burn, leaving you feeling down. Ugh. Although you can’t be happy all the time, that doesn’t mean you can’t flip your mood. Happy people might seem like they’re always whistling to a tune only they can hear, but they’re just skilled at knowing how to control their emotions. Here are 12 things happy people do when they start to feel down, and you should give them a try the next time your mood takes a dive.

1. They Put On A Feel-Good Track.

Everyone has that one song that makes them dance or sing. Whatever it is, happy people know to have it handy when they need it so they don’t let road-ragers or rude people get under their skin. Better yet, don’t wait for a bad mood to listen to your favorite music. Research published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that listening to upbeat music can boost your happiness in 14 days. Worth a try!

2. They Climb A Tree.

When a happy person feels down, they know it’s worth tuning into their inner child who just wants to run around and have fun, instead of obsessing about how crappy their day was. If you don’t want to climb a tree, think of something else you’d do as a kid that always made you feel good. Maybe it’s running around the garden, building a sand castle at the beach, or flying a kite in the park.

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4. They Do Something Creative.

In a similar way to how tuning into your inner child can remind you of what’s important in life (note: it’s not sweating the small stuff), being creative can help you channel uncomfortable feelings so they don’t ruin your day. So, whether you want to paint, write, or bake cookies, it can help you to get out of your head.

5. They Press A Reset Button In Nature.

There’s something really calming about the outdoors when you’re feeling sad or frustrated. Maybe it’s because the trees or stars seem so much bigger than your problems or it’s because it reduces stress. Whatever the reason, walking underneath the trees with the sun on your shoulders or the breeze in your hair is like getting a pampering treatment at a five-star spa. You’ll feel rejuvenated.

6. They Bond With Their Pets.

It’s been well-documented that spending time with your furbabies is healthy for you: it releases oxytocin, which reduces your stress levels. Besides, those cuties are always doing things to make you smile, it’s impossible to feel sad or angry for long when you’re around them.

7. They Meditate On It.

Instead of marinating in your sadness, meditate. Sit in a quiet, dark room and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing and your heartbeat. Let thoughts come to mind but watch them disappear like clouds across a blue sky. Meditation can alleviate sadness and depression by training the brain to gain focus instead of letting negative thoughts intrude.

8. They Pound The Pavement.

If your sadness is linked to anxiety and you can feel it creeping through your body, making you feel restless or stressed, maybe it’s time to get out there and go for a run! Get your blood pumping and your sweat pouring off your forehead. You’ll feel healthier and tire yourself out so you don’t have to focus on your sadness. Plus, exercise releases feel-good endorphins, so you’ll feel lighter once you get back home.

9. They’re Nice To Be Around.

One of the simplest and most powerful ways to bust a bad mood is to do something nice for someone else. It can be really small, like spending a few minutes chatting to your lonely neighbor or letting someone in the queue in front of you at the mall, but it will make you feel better about yourself and take the focus off what you’re feeling. Hey, maybe hearing about someone else’s crappy day will make you realize yours wasn’t so bad.

10. They Plan An Adventure.

Okay, so maybe you don’t have money right now to go on vacation or buy a private jet and head to an island. That’s not the point. Just engaging your mind by imagining you’re on an adventure or doing something you love in a happy place can help you rise above stress and your bad mood.

11. They Tick Off The Good Things.

If you’re feeling down, it’s easy for your negative thoughts to make you believe nothing’s good or no one’s worth dating or the world is a mess. But that’s not true. Wherever you are, think of three things you’re thankful for today. It doesn’t have to be anything major but it will help you focus on positivity, which will boost your mood and keep things in perspective.

12. They Eat A Healthy Dinner.

When you’re sad, you might want to wolf down that tub of ice cream in the freezer because it’ll make you feel better… for, like, five minutes. Then the guilt (or stomach ache) will set in. Instead, eat healthy (without burning your wallet). It will maintain your blood sugar levels, give your body the nutrients it needs to feel good and balance your energy.

13. They Laugh At Themselves.

When you slip up, embarrass yourself, or make a mistake, you might want to cover your face and feel terrible about it for days. Happy people do the opposite: they laugh about it! They know it’s not going to matter at all in the next five days, five weeks, or five months, so there’s no need to waste energy or time worrying about it. Plus, it might make a really entertaining story at the next party they attend.

Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.