Work, diet, bills, kids, traffic, winter weather and the grind of making it through another week can take a toll on a person. One minute you're promising to be more positive, the next your feeling down in the dumps. And once the negativity starts, it can be a vicious cycle that's difficult to escape.
Unless you've got some tools in your mind's toolbox that allow you to lift your spirits and your smile.
Here are five great ways you can turn your frown around—no matter what's got you feeling down.
Play with a dog
According to a University of Missouri study, playing with a dog for even a few minutes releases increased levels of happiness-inducing serotonin and oxytocin into your bloodstream. Don't have a dog? Stop by a shelter or visit a friend who does.
Get a massage—three times a week!
Women everywhere will tell you that getting even one massage a month is sweet. Researchers agree, but up the ante. According to some recent studies, getting a 12-minute massage three times a week boosts serotonin levels enough to make you feel better—whether you're pregnant, suffering from chronic illness or just plain moody. A massage can rub all those negative feeling right out!
Everyone agrees that getting some exercise is good for your body, but did you know that it's also good for your mental health? A professor at Columbia University found that walking outside during the day (say, three times for 10 minutes at a time) can make you a happier person—particularly in the winter, so bundle up!
Not only does coffee help you wake up in the morning, but it's also been shown to fight depression. So go ahead, have that second cup.
Do something different
So you eat the same bowl of oatmeal every morning and then take the same route to work? Tomorrow, have some egg whites and take the long way to work. Better yet, take the day off and explore your community. Sometimes doing something out of the ordinary is the best way to break out of an emotional rut.