How to Cheer Yourself Up
When You're Down

Colleen Moulding


Got the colder weather, sour relationships, no money, poor health, plain ol' down 'n dirty blues?  Try some of these strategies to blow away those dark clouds and let the sunshine into your life again.

1) Dance!  Put on your favourite music, turn it up loud and dance!  This is guaranteed to make you feel good.  If you are unable to dance, don't let that stop you having fun--sing at the top of your voice instead.

2) Smile!  Force yourself to smile even if you don't feel like it.  This tricks your brain into thinking that you are happy.  You do want to be happy don't you?  Okay then--a great big cheesy grin.  After three, one, two, three--smile!

3) Spend time with children.  Their natural zest for life is infectious.  As well as the pleasures of a spontaneous hug or a chubby little hand in yours, try to take away with you some of their joy in simple things, licking an ice cream, playing with water, tramping through fallen leaves or following a butterfly.

4) Reward yourself.  If there is a job that you hate to do, household accounts, home repairs etc. don't keep putting it off so that it is constantly nagging at you.  Just get it done.  Then reward yourself with whatever you love, a shiny new magazine, a bunch of flowers, a long soak in an aromatic bath, two bars of chocolate or an evening in front of the TV doing absolutely nothing.  Or even all of the above if you can afford it.  The peace of mind that comes from having got the job done will be the greatest reward of all.

5) Clear out your clutter.  The ancient art of Feng Shui believes that getting rid of clutter rids your home or work space of negative stuck energy and allows space for positive energy to surge into all aspects of your life.  Whether or not this is correct, it is an undeniable fact that clearing out what you no longer want or need makes life easier.  Your home is neater, looks more spacious and is easier to clean. There can also be a tremendous feeling of freedom as you let go of the past and trust in the future to bring you what you will need. Emotional clutter can be even more damaging.  We've all said or done things we regret, the trick is to do anything you can to repair the damage and if that is not possible, forgive yourself and toss it out of your life.

6) Take action.  If something is worrying you, be it a health problem, or debt or divorce, make that doctor's appointment, get some debt counseling, find out your rights.  The reality is often less stressful than sitting alone worrying about it.  Try to talk over your problems with a friend, or if that is impossible find a support group on the Internet by typing debt, divorce or whatever into a search engine.

7) Positive thoughts.  When you leave the house each morning, say and mean, I'm going to have a great day, it's going to be lots of fun, rather than thinking, Oh no, another dreary day at the office to get through.  The first attitude will attract good vibrations and positive fun people to you, the second will ensure a depressing day.

8) Have more fun.  Apparently children laugh approximately 400 times a day yet adults laugh only about 20 times a day. When do we lose our sense of fun?  Claim it back.  Play games, watch comedies, have daily jokes delivered to your mailbox or throw a fancy dress party.

9) Make something.  Being creative gives you such a buzz you won't stay down in the dumps for long.  Stencil a room, make a cake, plan a garden, sketch or paint a picture.   Express yourself with a modern collage, change your rooms around, display your collections or start a patchwork quilt.

10) Keep a gratitude journal.  Write down half a dozen things every day that you are grateful for, from waking up and seeing your children's beautiful little faces to the smell of the roses in the local park.  This cannot fail to cheer you up if you do it regularly as it gives you a whole new way of experiencing your life.

11) Start a new project.  Learn a language, trace your family history, redecorate your home, learn to ride a horse, gain a new qualification, take music lessons, learn to make your own soft furnishings or do your own auto repairs.  Visualize yourself successfully completing the project and the benefits it will bring to your life. Then make a start and follow it through to the end.  An added bonus will be the increased self esteem that comes from having planned, problem solved and perfected the whole project yourself.

12) See your old friends.  It's easy to get into a work, family, housework, shopping, sleep and back to work again routine that leaves you no time at all to be the person you once were. The funny, up for a laugh, outgoing young woman you used to be. Spending time with friends who knew the old you seems to resurrect that side of your character. You will come away feeling younger, more positive and excited by life than you were before you met up.  Go on, invite them over to share a pizza and catch up on each other's lives.

13) Paint or accessorize a room that you spend a lot of time in a lovely bright yellow.  The colour of sunshine will lift your spirit and bring positive vibrations. We subconsciously know about the effects of colour on our emotions which is why we talk about the future looking rosy or having the blues.

14) Take the happiness option.  You have the choice whether to spend this day, which you will never live through again, in a state of happiness or unhappiness.  Choose to spend it as happily as you possibly can. 

Colleen Moulding is a freelance writer from England where she has had many features on parenting, childcare, play, travel, entertaining and the Internet published in national newspapers and magazines. She has also written a variety of women's and children's fiction. Her work frequently appears at many sites on the Internet and at her own site for women All That Women a magazine, web guide and resource for women everywhere.


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