How to Boost Your Mood When You’re Feeling Down (Without Forcing Yourself to Be Positive)

how to be happy without trying

“Ignore your past mistakes. Remember the teachings.” ~Dalai Lama

The year had at last arrived. After reaching the age of thirty, I felt as if I had really become a member of the “adult” population.

I’d liked being in my twenties. After spending childhood years in an unstable environment with a narcissistic and alcoholic father, it was a period of amazing development and healing for the individual, as well as a time of experiencing life to the fullest, having fun, and traveling on exciting trips.

I was really content…right up until I turned thirty.

I started taking a less optimistic view of my life as I examined it more closely.

My health difficulties had grown more regular and frightening, my professional path was foreboding, I had not yet settled into an area where I wanted to live, and the answer to the major question for women my age (“Are you married with kids?”) was a resounding “no.” I got the impression that I had accomplished nothing worthwhile with my life.

As a result, I fell back on an old friend—the negativity blanket—whom I had known for a considerable amount of time.

We all have our moments when we wrap ourselves in a cocoon of pessimism. It’s not fluffy, toasty, or very large, yet it feels very much like home.

When I had nowhere safe to go, when I had no one to console me, when there was no one to give me a hug and reassure me that everything was going to be well, I wrapped myself in the blanket of negativity and used it as a shield. It was one manner in which it assisted me in coping with the challenging parts of my life.

When I was in my twenties, I finally figured out how to let go of that security blanket. I had gained the knowledge to let go of old routines that were no longer beneficial to me, to embrace the circumstances I found myself in, to cultivate a more optimistic mentality, and to work on finding answers to challenges without letting pessimism prevent me from moving forward.

It was time for me to adopt that mindset once again, but in order to do so, I couldn’t beat myself up over the emotions that come so easily to me.

It’s easy to beat ourselves up for not being upbeat and optimistic all the time, but we have to remember that we’re just human. It’s normal to go through rough patches, as long as we don’t allow them take over our lives.

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The following is a list of several methods that might help you make a smooth transition from a position of constant negativity to greater optimism:

1. Go Through the Motions of Whatever It Is That You Have to go Through

We all endure uncomfortable feelings. Possess them. If we do not take responsibility for our feelings, we will feel ashamed for having those feelings, and it will be more difficult for us to recognize the problem as it really is. It is even possible that it will be repressed or internalized.

Before I reached 30, I went through a roller coaster of contrasting feelings. When I thought about where I stood in life in relation to the vast majority of my contemporaries, I couldn’t help but feel disoriented and anxious. These were very normal feelings to have.

I was able to overcome them in the end by allowing myself to experience the emotions associated with them. People are fond of saying that the only way out is through.

2. Recognize the Things That Set You Off

If you are aware of the nature of the problem you are attempting to solve, the resolution process will go much more smoothly. When you break down an issue and identify your concerns, unknowns, and anxieties, you get greater insight into what you can alter, confront, or let go of, as well as what obstacles may be in store for you in the future.

For instance, some of my triggers were worries about being financially secure and cared for, as well as concerns about the possibility of having someone else in my life to care for in the future.

Realizing what it was that was upsetting me helped lead me through the process of seeking answers, such as refocusing my life objectives and making an effort to be more patient.

3. Find Some Room

Start putting some distance between yourself and the problems. Creating space in your life requires you to detach yourself from your feelings for a moment so that you may examine what you’re going through with a bit more objectivity.

I started making an effort to rid myself of the guilt I was experiencing as a direct consequence of the story I was telling myself, which was that I had not achieved anything significant by the time I reached thirty. In its place, I was able to create distance between my sentiments by letting go of my power over them.

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Instead of attempting to control the future by preparing for it or worrying about it, I decided to concentrate on my goals and aspirations instead.

4. Be Appreciative

The attitude of gratitude is a powerful force. It’s the first thing you should do to get yourself in the right frame of mind. It is not necessary to express gratitude for something that is directly relevant to the issue at hand; rather, all that is required is that you choose three things each day for which you are thankful.

I started practicing appreciation once I became aware that the life I was experiencing had more worth than I had previously given it credit for.

I was thankful for the chance to relocate to a new state, for the friends I had both in my old state and in the one I had just moved to, and for the opportunity to work as an ecological restoration technician in some of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural areas, in my opinion, on the face of the planet.

No matter what you’re going through, it’s always possible to find something positive and enriching in your life if you only remind yourself to be thankful.

5. Take the Good with the Bad

It’s not that terrible things never happen to good people; rather, how we respond to the challenges we face depends on the lens through which we see them. When you are able to acknowledge the negative aspects of a circumstance while simultaneously appreciating the positive aspects, you will have a sense of personal empowerment.

Even though I did not spend my previous years settling down, when I look back on those years, I see that I went to a variety of countries and states, worked a variety of cool jobs in the natural resources industry, participated in a variety of hobbies and activities that I never thought I could even do, and a lot of other things.

6. Keep An Eye Out for New Opportunities

Despite the challenges I was facing, I actively sought out chances to further my career and personal development. I began honing my talents across the many things that I pursued, and I also started developing habits that were more suited to my lifestyle and better for my health.

I came to the realization that this was a chance for me to develop into a better person and go in a more positive way than I ever had before.

In the end, to paraphrase Joni Mitchell: “Something’s lost, but something is won in living every day,” it may only take time and patient to grasp what may come out of a circumstance; after all, “Something’s lost, yet something is gained in living every day.”

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7. Develop Your Muscle

Put your fear aside and consider how being stronger may come from this situation.

At one point in my life, I was traveling overseas by myself for the first time, and I was having a horrible time of it. I was repeating my problems to a hostel roommate of mine, who seemed to have even worse luck than I did. From her point of view, “Sometimes the more you go through, the more you realize you are able to endure.” You must believe that.

8. Keep Your Attention on the Lesson

When you consider the problems that have occurred in the past, can you identify any important lessons? Have you successfully completed them, and how do you feel about having done so? That could be a glimmer of hope in all of this.

During this period, I was once again brought back to the realization that the lens through which I see the world has a significant impact on the way I deal with challenges and the degree to which I take pleasure in life. When seen in the broader context of things, the negativity blanket was not nearly as helpful.

It is not feasible, nor is it healthy, Pollyanna, to stay upbeat and optimistic during the whole day. Tragic occurrences, traumatic experiences, and drama all take place, and we have no choice but to suffer through whatever life throws at us.

When I started to feel horrible about how I was feeling, I told myself to ease up on being so critical of myself. Because of this, I was able to acknowledge the beauty that exists within the difficulties in my life and embrace the obstacles that I face.

The positive changes that occur on the inside of us as a result of the actions we do to inspire and drive ourselves come from the simple things.

Just accept whatever feelings come up, and try not to beat yourself up over how you’re feeling. Instead, draw yourself out of it in a kind and supportive manner, just as you would if you were helping a friend.

You will experience a significant increase in general strength as well as a significant boost in positive sentiment if you motivate and encourage yourself.

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