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Change Your Mood by Changing Your Activities

From the Concern Resilience Library

From the Concern Resilience Library

Our actions, feelings and thoughts all connect, working together to influence our moods. Changing one affects the others. For example, taking positive action can be an easy way to lift your mood. When you do something pleasant, the activity usually makes you feel better. And feeling better can lead to more positive thoughts and a brighter mood.

A positive action can be anything that brings you joy or helps you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Try to pick activities that are inexpensive, quick, and easy. They can be physical or mental, social or solitary, old favorites or something entirely new—as long as you enjoy them. For an extra boost, it helps to plan an activity you will truly look forward to, enjoy while you’re doing it, and happily remember afterwards.

Example in Action: Anticipate the Awesomeness

  • Plan a positive activity.
  • Use visual cues to remind yourself of the activity by writing it on a calendar or posting it as an event on social media.
  • Focus on what’s enjoyable about the activity—laughing with a friend, enjoying your favorite actor in a movie, checking something off your to-do list.

Example in Action: Savor Everyday Activities

  • Be mindful of moments that feel good. Notice the details and focus on your senses to amplify the positive feelings.
  • Look for these moments in ordinary events. Stop to feel the warm sun on your face. Hold a door for someone who appreciates it.
  • Remember how you feel during these moments and recall them whenever you need a boost.

Bonus Tips for a Quick Mood Boost

  • Get moving.  Even mild exercise can lift your spirits.  If you’re not up for a high-energy workout, find a leisure activity that you enjoy, like working in the garden or washing your car. Let the light in.  Light exposure has been tied to elevated mood.
  • Let sunlight stream in when you first wake up.  And, if you work in a windowless space, step outside a few times throughout the day and feel the sun on your face.
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