How to cheer up: 11 ways, advice from a psychologist

How to cheer up: 11 ways, advice from a psychologist
  • How does mood affect quality of life?
  • How to cheer up: 11 effective ways
  • How to cheer up will not work
  • Why some methods work and others don’t: expert commentary

The material was commented on:

Elena Verenich, EMDR therapist, specialist in working with psychological trauma, expert at the online school of psychological professions “Psychodemia”;

Vitalia Avetova, psychologist, teacher for the development of soft skills at RANEPA;

Alla Buchkova, conflict psychologist, candidate of sciences, teacher at the European Economic University. G.V. Plekhanov.

How does mood affect quality of life?

Criticism at work, poor performance at university, a quarrel with a loved one, refusal to help, or even a simple household breakdown can cause a bad mood.

Mood directly affects the quality of our life. When nothing around you makes you happy, both mental and physical health suffers. Mood swings can be associated with chronic diseases and hormonal imbalances. Even when a person is hungry, his mood can decline sharply.

There are even more psychological reasons for becoming depressed. Criticism at work, poor performance at university, a quarrel with a loved one, refusal to help, or even a household breakdown that entails trouble can cause a bad mood. For all these cases, there are ways to quickly improve the situation and regain the joy of life. But if you have a bad mood almost every day, you can’t lift it in any way and it continues for more than a day or two, you should consult a specialist.

How to cheer up: 11 effective ways

Do exercises in the morning to your favorite music —  it does not take a lot of time

Do exercises in the morning while listening to your favorite music – it won’t take much time

1. Do some squats

Adding light physical activity to your day is very simple: do exercises in the morning while listening to your favorite music – it won’t take much time. Or you can run away from a bad mood. Studies have shown that a ten-minute run has a positive effect on our mood (1).

How to cheer up: 11 ways, advice from a psychologist

2. Call a friend

Research doesn’t lie: being with loved ones makes us truly happy. Moreover, the quality of the conversation also matters: a conversation about something important and meaningful with a grandmother or close friend is much more important for the emotional state than a dozen random conversations about nothing (3).

3. Read your diary

Scientists have proven that keeping a diary affects mental balance and happiness, but this effect has a delayed effect (5). You may not experience anything directly in the process of recording the next event, however, after reading about the most ordinary trip to the cinema a year later, a person will experience much more joy and warmth. You can call a diary a kind of investment in future happiness. If you don’t keep regular records yet, now is the time to start doing so. Who knows when they will help you quickly cheer yourself up.

4. Say “thank you”

University of California psychology professor Sonya Lyubomirsky conducted a large-scale study of happiness and developed 12 strategies, which she then presented in a popular form in the book “The Psychology of Happiness. New approach.” The first strategy is to thank others all the time. It is advisable to make a list every week of everything that is worthy of your “thank you”, to thank with words, messages, constantly, throughout your life, trying to look for a new form so that this habit does not turn into a routine.

5. Set a goal for the day

To improve your mood, refer to a pre-prepared diary of achievements and victories

Refer to a pre-prepared diary of achievements and victories to improve your mood

6. Help others

Generosity and the desire to show kindness in any of us evoke pleasant feelings. This indirectly affects mood improvement. “Look around who you can help right now. To loved ones, friends, acquaintances, neighbors or just passers-by. And it’s not just and not so much about money. Actions will also work great,” explains Alla Buchkova.

7. Watch a funny video on the Internet

8. Hug

American psychotherapist Virginia Satir wrote that people need four hugs a day to survive, eight to maintain life and 12 to grow. Research shows that hugging reduces stress (6). There would be someone to hug.

9. Smile

Research has shown that smiling triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, even if there was no reason to be happy in the first place (7). In fact, it doesn’t really matter to the human brain whether a smile is fake or sincere; the process of producing happiness hormones starts automatically. When the corners of the lips rise up, this is a direct command for the brain to rejoice.

10. Learn something new

Scientists have found a direct relationship between visiting museums, theaters, and libraries and a good mood. Learning something new and interesting is a real joy for our brain. According to research, people who regularly attend various cultural events suffer less from depression and anxiety (8).

11. Get rid of negative thoughts

How to cheer up will not work

When a person is sad, an unplanned purchase can cheer up.  But after a short-term feeling of pleasure, the state of anxiety returns

When a person is sad, an unplanned purchase can cheer up. But after a short-term feeling of pleasure, the state of anxiety returns

1. Listen to fun music

It sounds logical: the more fun the environment around you, the faster your mood rises. However, our body is not designed exactly like that. Cheerful, energetic music is appropriate if you decide to dance, and in this case your mood will really improve – from physical activity. If you want to cheer yourself up only with music, then the compositions should be sad. The study showed that it is sad music that helps people get rid of sadness. It reduces negative emotions, provides comfort, and evokes nostalgic memories (9).

2. Alcohol

There are widely known myths that alcohol helps you have fun. However, after drinking alcohol, the ability to manage your emotions decreases, the serotonin system is damaged, and negative feelings intensify. Drinking alcohol increases anxiety, stress, and depression. You definitely shouldn’t use alcohol to cheer you up.

3. Shopping

When a person is sad or stressed, buying something pleasant and unplanned can lift his spirits. This helps to distract from anxiety and find a source of joy. However, after a short-term feeling of pleasure from the purchase, the state of confusion and anxiety returns. But money is not.

4. Eat chocolate

Vitalia Avetova: “Getting hooked on endorphins through sweets is very dangerous, since this hormone has a short-term effect and a person wants to eat again and again.” Scientists advise eating carrots, tomatoes or other fresh fruits or vegetables instead of chocolate (10).

Why some methods work and others don’t: expert commentary

There are three main hormones that are responsible for a good mood: endorphin, dopamine and serotonin.

There are three main hormones that are responsible for a good mood: endorphin, dopamine and serotonin.

Mood swings are a psychophysiological process that consists of three phases:

  • experience;
  • hormone production;
  • emotional response.
How to cheer up: 11 ways, advice from a psychologist