How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

While it’s normal to get nervous about an important event or life change, about 40 million Americans live with an anxiety disorder, which is more than the occasional worry or fear. Anxiety disorders can range from a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which is intense worrying that you can’t control, to panic disorder — sudden episodes of fear, along with heart palpitations, trembling, shaking, or sweating.

For those with an anxiety disorder, it’s important to look into strategies that can help manage or reduce anxiety in the long term, like talk therapy or medication. But everyone can benefit from other ways to reduce stress and anxiety with lifestyle changes such as eating a well-balanced diet, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and taking time for yourself.

Plus, there are steps you can take the moment when anxiety starts to take hold. Try these 10 expert-backed suggestions to relax your mind and help you regain control of your thoughts.

1. Stay in your time zone.

Anxiety is a future-oriented state of mind. So instead of worrying about what’s going to happen, “reel yourself back to the present,” says Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety. Ask yourself: What’s happening right now? Am I safe? Is there something I need to do right now? If not, make an “appointment” to check in with yourself later in the day to revisit your worries so those distant scenarios don’t throw you off track, she says.

2. Relabel what’s happening.

Panic attacks can often make you feel like you’re dying or having a heart attack. Remind yourself: “I’m having a panic attack, but it’s harmless, it’s temporary, and there’s nothing I need to do,” Chansky says. Plus, keep in mind it really is the opposite of a sign of impending death — your body is activating its fight-or-flight response, the system that’s going to keep you alive, she says.

3. Fact-check your thoughts.

People with anxiety often fixate on worst-case scenarios, Chansky says. To combat these worries, think about how realistic they are. Say you’re nervous about a big presentation at work. Rather than think, “I’m going to bomb,” for example, say, “I’m nervous, but I’m prepared. Some things will go well, and some may not,” she suggests. Getting into a pattern of rethinking your fears helps train your brain to come up with a rational way to deal with your anxious thoughts.

4. Breathe in and out.

Deep breathing helps you calm down. While you may have heard about specific breathing exercises, you don’t need to worry about counting out a certain number of breaths, Chansky says. Instead just focus on evenly inhaling and exhaling. This will help slow down and re-center your mind, she says.

5. Follow the 3-3-3 rule.

Look around you and name three things you see. Then, name three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body — your ankle, fingers, or arm. Whenever you feel your brain going 100 miles per hour, this mental trick can help center your mind, bringing you back to the present moment, Chansky says.

6. Just do something.

Stand up, take a walk, throw away a piece of trash from your desk — any action that interrupts your train of thought helps you regain a sense of control, Chansky suggests.

7. Stand up straight.

“When we are anxious, we protect our upper body — where our heart and lungs are located — by hunching over,” Chansky says. For an immediate physical antidote to this natural reaction, pull your shoulders back, stand or sit with your feet apart, and open your chest. This helps your body start to sense that it’s back in control, she says.

8. Stay away from sugar.

It may be tempting to reach for something sweet when you’re stressed, but that chocolate bar can do more harm than good, as research shows that eating too much sugar can worsen anxious feelings. Instead of reaching into the candy bowl, drink a glass of water or eat protein, Chansky says, which will provide a slow energy your body can use to recover.

9. Ask for a second opinion.

Call or text a friend or family member and run through your worries with them, Chansky says. “Saying them aloud to someone else can help you see them clearly for what they are.” It can also help to write your fears on paper.

10. Watch a funny video.

This final tactic may be the easiest one yet: Cue up clips of your favorite comedian or funny TV show. Laughing is a good prescription for an anxious mind, Chansky says. Research shows that laughter has lots of benefits for our mental health and well-being; one study found that humor could help lower anxiety as much as (or even more than) exercise can.

Sources

Tamar Chansky, PhD.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

I vividly remember being one of those teenagers who frequently woke up in the morning wanting to crawl right back into bed. On those mornings I just felt “off” somehow. When I’d tell my parents that I wasn’t feeling well, they’d suggest I just take shower at least and see how I felt after that. Most of the time, when I finished my shower and began getting ready for the day, I’d actually feel better. I always thought it was just the sensation of the hot water loosening me up, but there is new research out of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm on how to deal with depression that suggests the reason I felt better had more to do to with the fact that I got up and physically moved versus any magic worked by the hot water.

The scientists in Stockholm know what my parents and grandparents did; movement makes you feel better. They also know that depression brought on by stress often decreases with exercise, but what they didn’t know until now was why. But with a help of some stressed out mice (sorry, mice) researchers have identified a specific enzyme, PGC-1alpha1, that promotes a physiological process that breaks down kynurenine. (Translation: kynurenine is a substance that accumulates in the bloodstream as a result of stress. It causes inflammation in the brain which is believed to lead to depression. And yes, the scientists validated the data from the mice with a group of adult human volunteers so this info isn’t just valid for vermin.)

So, why should you care? Well, because winter is headed our way and with it, decreased physical activity coupled with an increase in sadness and depression. As if stress in our ordinary daily lives wasn’t enough. Compounded with that extra angst and worry that comes from major life change and trauma: divorce, moving, marriage, prolonged illness, job loss, sex troubles, or even just navigating the ups and downs of the holiday season.

To stave off depression . you have to get physical!

Now, before you get even more stressed out trying to figure out how to fit getting increased activity into your already over-scheduled life, take a deep breath (it’s good for you) and know that you can keep the moving and grooving simple and still see significant benefits. All you need to do is add pleasurable or neutral activities that naturally fit into your day. For example, when you start to feel the ennui of too many hours sitting at your desk, get up and take a walk to the staff lounge (or corner cafe) for a cup of herbal tea. Even this short walk can shift your mood and expand your horizons beyond your keyboard, helping you to remember that there’s more that matters in life than that tedious report you’re working on.

Don’t have time to walk all the way to the staff lounge (or, if your work from home, your own kitchen)? Just stand up right there at your desk, take a deep breath and stretch a little. Don’t want to stand up? (Wow, you’re just trying to make this difficult now, aren’t you?) Fine, then simply push your chair back from your desk and stretch your legs and arms straight out in front of you and rotate your feet and hands. Stretching does wonderful things for your blood flow; by simply stretching even a little bit you ferry a fresh dose of oxygen to your cramped muscles and your brain (which is always a good thing when you’re trying to think).

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Need a few other ideas? Here are some more easy ways to implement movement into your day to help you stave off the doldrums of depression:

  1. Instead of waiting in the carpool line, park your car and walk to the door to greet your child after school. It’s a refreshing block or two from here, there, and back again and this change of pace makes it a whole lot easier to give each other a big hug hello.
  2. Let someone else have the closest parking spot at the store and take the second closest so you get a few extra steps in your day, giving you a few extra seconds to enjoy the beautiful sound of the birds singing or the view of the sky (or to just smile at someone).
  3. Take a spontaneous dance break. Nothing will put a smile on your face faster than practicing your disco moves. I dare you to try this and not feel instantly better.
  4. Stand up instead of sitting down to take your next conference call. Believe it or not, standing burns a lot more calories than sitting because it requires you to use more muscles. (Of course, if you’re wearing killer heels you’ll probably want to kick them off first.) Feeling really ambitious? Perhaps you could even pace around a little while standing.
  5. Add a stretch in the next time you yawn. This is one of my personal favorites because I get so scrunched up in my body working at my desk all day.
  6. Take a lap (or more) around the coffee table the next time you get up from the couch to grab a snack during a commercial break of your favorite TV show. You’ll have the rest of the family laughing with you as you do your laps and you might even feel a little less guilty about eating that second sliver of chocolate cake.
  7. The next time you need to use a public bathroom, take the stall that’s furthest from the door. Besides getting in the few extra steps, you’ll also have more privacy—well, as much as you can get in a public bathroom.

The point? Movement doesn’t have to mean going to the gym; it can be really simple. The key is to just incorporate more physical movement into your daily life. Of course, once you start feeling less stressed/depressed from being up and about more, don’t be surprised if that enhanced “feel good” buzz motivates you to move and groove even more.

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

While it’s normal to get nervous about an important event or life change, about 40 million Americans live with an anxiety disorder, which is more than the occasional worry or fear. Anxiety disorders can range from a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which is intense worrying that you can’t control, to panic disorder — sudden episodes of fear, along with heart palpitations, trembling, shaking, or sweating.

For those with an anxiety disorder, it’s important to look into strategies that can help manage or reduce anxiety in the long term, like talk therapy or medication. But everyone can benefit from other ways to reduce stress and anxiety with lifestyle changes such as eating a well-balanced diet, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and taking time for yourself.

Plus, there are steps you can take the moment when anxiety starts to take hold. Try these 10 expert-backed suggestions to relax your mind and help you regain control of your thoughts.

1. Stay in your time zone.

Anxiety is a future-oriented state of mind. So instead of worrying about what’s going to happen, “reel yourself back to the present,” says Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety. Ask yourself: What’s happening right now? Am I safe? Is there something I need to do right now? If not, make an “appointment” to check in with yourself later in the day to revisit your worries so those distant scenarios don’t throw you off track, she says.

2. Relabel what’s happening.

Panic attacks can often make you feel like you’re dying or having a heart attack. Remind yourself: “I’m having a panic attack, but it’s harmless, it’s temporary, and there’s nothing I need to do,” Chansky says. Plus, keep in mind it really is the opposite of a sign of impending death — your body is activating its fight-or-flight response, the system that’s going to keep you alive, she says.

3. Fact-check your thoughts.

People with anxiety often fixate on worst-case scenarios, Chansky says. To combat these worries, think about how realistic they are. Say you’re nervous about a big presentation at work. Rather than think, “I’m going to bomb,” for example, say, “I’m nervous, but I’m prepared. Some things will go well, and some may not,” she suggests. Getting into a pattern of rethinking your fears helps train your brain to come up with a rational way to deal with your anxious thoughts.

4. Breathe in and out.

Deep breathing helps you calm down. While you may have heard about specific breathing exercises, you don’t need to worry about counting out a certain number of breaths, Chansky says. Instead just focus on evenly inhaling and exhaling. This will help slow down and re-center your mind, she says.

5. Follow the 3-3-3 rule.

Look around you and name three things you see. Then, name three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body — your ankle, fingers, or arm. Whenever you feel your brain going 100 miles per hour, this mental trick can help center your mind, bringing you back to the present moment, Chansky says.

6. Just do something.

Stand up, take a walk, throw away a piece of trash from your desk — any action that interrupts your train of thought helps you regain a sense of control, Chansky suggests.

7. Stand up straight.

“When we are anxious, we protect our upper body — where our heart and lungs are located — by hunching over,” Chansky says. For an immediate physical antidote to this natural reaction, pull your shoulders back, stand or sit with your feet apart, and open your chest. This helps your body start to sense that it’s back in control, she says.

8. Stay away from sugar.

It may be tempting to reach for something sweet when you’re stressed, but that chocolate bar can do more harm than good, as research shows that eating too much sugar can worsen anxious feelings. Instead of reaching into the candy bowl, drink a glass of water or eat protein, Chansky says, which will provide a slow energy your body can use to recover.

9. Ask for a second opinion.

Call or text a friend or family member and run through your worries with them, Chansky says. “Saying them aloud to someone else can help you see them clearly for what they are.” It can also help to write your fears on paper.

10. Watch a funny video.

This final tactic may be the easiest one yet: Cue up clips of your favorite comedian or funny TV show. Laughing is a good prescription for an anxious mind, Chansky says. Research shows that laughter has lots of benefits for our mental health and well-being; one study found that humor could help lower anxiety as much as (or even more than) exercise can.

Sources

Tamar Chansky, PhD.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness nowHow can I get past the tremendous sadness that my spouse’s extramarital affair has caused me?

“Impact! Dead on impact. Maybe I have confused separateness with the feeling of being dead. The tears fall like rain drops.”

“The pain is physically exhausting but I am still here.”

“Lord I give up. I am not even going to pretend to be brave because I am actually totally broken. I give up. Please, I don’t want this anymore. I can’t take this anymore. Really… I can’t Lord; I can’t. My heart is completely shattered.”

Will I Ever Be Happy Again?

These are the feelings of sadness expressed by those who have been betrayed. It is the feeling of death, except one is still alive and must continue to live. But how? When will it ever go away? Will I ever feel happy again? It seems impossible. And my family tells me to just ‘get over it!’ That hurts me even more. My friends don’t understand.

When I discovered my husband’s affair, I felt as if I had gained a new companion, a companion whom I didn’t want, who wasn’t welcome, who had not been invited and who would not go away.

That companion was pain. For me it was 2 ½ years until I felt happiness again, and I distinctly remember feeling it again, and I remember why.

Feeling Unloved

The feeling of sadness for me was caused by thinking that I was unloved, perhaps even unlovable. Surely if I was a lovable person, the one I loved the most would not have hurt me so deeply with betrayal, abandonment, deceit and lies. The problem was that what I believed about myself, about my life and about the people around me was untrue. The truth is that I am lovable and therefore I will always have lots of love in my life.

I wanted a guarantee. I wanted to be guaranteed that I would never be betrayed by my husband again. He gave me his guarantee, yet I still didn’t feel guaranteed. After all, had I not been given a guarantee the day we exchanged our wedding vows? I thought what I needed was to throw away the old and start over with the new.

Start Anew?

“Yes, that’s what I needed,” I thought to myself, “a new relationship with my very own husband of 18 years.” Yes, we should redo our wedding vows. Yet others have redone their wedding vows and been betrayed again! Wedding vows are no guarantee.

Then I realized that I can never be guaranteed what all of the future choices of another individual will be. Neither can anyone else on the planet be guaranteed that their spouse will never have an affair. There are no such guarantees in life. I wish it were different, but that is reality. One thing no person can take away from another is their own right to choose. And really…would we want to?

But How Can I Get Past the Tremendous Sadness?

How loved would I feel if another was forced to love me?

Prior to our meeting this week, I put out an email to the Beyond Affairs Network asking other coordinators, how they got past the sadness. Here are their responses which I shared at our meeting:

“It was the hardest of emotions for me to overcome, but I finally accepted the fact that it happened and that I had no control over the actions of my spouse. I continually reminded myself that unless I controlled my own actions, I would be bound by my own stubbornness to remain in the anger and resentment stage. The constant dwelling on what happened is what keeps people stuck there. Again I had to control my own thoughts and move ahead. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it can be done especially if you choose to stay focused.”

Another wrote:

“I think, hard as it is to accept, that ‘tincture of time’ is the best way to get past both the hurt and the anger. I also know that it is possible to get stuck in either place. So what I did, instead of trying to rush the process, was to really LET myself be sad and then to LET myself be angry for a while. I had spent so much time and energy trying to move on, that I found I was denying myself the right to feel what I NEEDED to feel in order to heal.

Once I acknowledged my feelings and that I wasn’t crazy for feeling them, it was much easier to let them go. Now when negative feelings come, I can acknowledge them and put them away much faster. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It has been nearly 3 years for me and I’m finally getting there.”

Another affair survivor wrote:

“For me, the greatest skill for dealing with sadness is gratitude. Define it. Practice it. It seems trite to say count your blessings when you’re in the midst of such pain, but there is no denying the practical benefits of just doing. It’s scriptural and I think it’s psychologically sound. This is NOT denial. It’s perspective and coping until time has had the chance to work its magic.”

Then I read Peggy Vaughan’s article “Moving from Pain to Recovery”, where she talks about the importance of controlling your thoughts. What we feed grows. If we allow ourselves to replay the pain over and over again in our minds, we don’t move forward, in fact, it can get worse with time, if time is spent nursing and rehearsing the wound over and over again. This is where it becomes so important in the healing process to educate ourselves and to share with others who understand, which is the purpose of Beyondaffairs.com, constructive ideas and efforts to get beyond the painful emotions.

Managing Pain

One woman shared how taking anti depressants (only for 6 months) had helped her to cope with life at somewhat of a normal level during the initial discovery period. Others managed their pain, and often depression that accompanies discovering marital infidelity, through cognitive therapy (which is learning to understand, recognize and control your thoughts).

During our meeting, one individual brought to our attention the value of a good comedy. What a great, but often overlooked point! Sometimes you’ve just been dealing with the darn stuff too long.

Need to Laugh

You need to go out and have a good laugh. Give all those serious, deep thinking, tragedy moments a rest. Search for things that make you laugh. A good laugh is medicine for the soul.

Getting past the sadness, it’s a choice. We choose whether we will read books, educate ourselves, increase our understanding, learn from others and most of all whether or not WE will control our thoughts. Can you get past the sadness? Absolutely! But it takes time and it is YOUR choice.

This article was written by Anne Bercht and is featured on the web site for PassionateLife Seminars, which is a dedicated to helping others survive marriage affairs, infidelity, adultery and betrayal. Anne’s book, My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me is an inspiring true story of one family’s courage and recovery after a devastating affair.

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

Have you had a run of bad luck recently? Can’t seem to make any progress? Maybe you’ve started wondering if you’ve been cursed. Or perhaps you have good reason to believe that a particular person has performed black magic and hexed you? Find out how to remove a curse, or hex, clear out any negative energy, and change your luck for the better.

Before going into the nitty-gritty of how to remove a curse, firstly it is highly likely that you aren’t cursed at all. You may be simply caught up in a negative cycle. Feeling as if you are a victim, or that things are going against you leads to negative thinking and negative expectations. These, in turn, cause more bad stuff to manifest. Don’t worry, we can deal with that kind of thing too.

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

What’s the Difference Between a Hex and a Curse

Not much really. A hex is a deliberate spell worked against you. Someone will have taken the time and trouble to construct a ritual to direct harm against you. A curse is more of a throwaway declaration, usually made in anger. They can be just as strong as hexes because of the energy and intent behind them.

Energy is energy; it is generally neutral. Yet it is possible to attract negatively charged energy when you are feeling negative yourself. Remember that like attracts like. So if you are habitually occupying the lower end of the emotional guidance scale, then you are going to get more of the same. It is easy, when caught in a ‘down’ cycle to believe you have been cursed or are having a seemingly endless run of bad luck.

There is also something called a ‘psychic attack’, which can be deliberate or accidental. Some people naturally carry negative vibes around with them and these can attach themselves to you. I’m sure you’ve met people who have left you feeling awful.

Do Curses Always Work

No, it depends on whether you are usually upbeat and positive-thinking, or wallowing around in that negative energy. Think of how easy it is to shake off a cold virus when you are strong and healthy. Yet when you are feeling lethargic and lacking physical energy, you seem to catch everything that’s going around. It’s the same with hexes and curses. They can only attach themselves to you if you are unable to ward them off. Like attracts like, remember?

I Really Need to Remove a Curse

Okay, well, it won’t hurt to perform these curse-removing rituals and they will help you to clear out any current negativity. Think of it as pressing the ‘reset’ button on your energy levels. It should bring you back to a neutral position on the emotional guidance scale, and from there you can take steps to improve your outlook.

Curse Removal: Clean Up Your Home

This may seem a little odd and overly simple, but often a good housecleaning, followed by placing positive energy attracting crystals around your home will raise the energetic vibrations around you.

Simply by opening the windows, dusting and breathing in clean air will cause a mild curse or hex to evaporate. Using protective crystals around your home helps to ward off negative energy.

Try this method first but if it doesn’t work, move on to the next.

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

Remove a Hex or Curse Spell by Visualization

You’ll need about 20 minutes of uninterrupted time for this. Prepare a ‘sacred space’ by tidying up, lighting a scented candle or incense. Have somewhere comfortable to sit.

Close your eyes and imagine that there is a column of pure white light entering your crown chakra. It’s pouring down, filling your whole body and aura with clean, positive energy. Simply sit for a while and allow this swirling energy to cleanse your being and surroundings.

Imagine the white light repelling and dispersing the negative energy that has attached itself to you. It might help to imagine the ‘dirty energy’ draining though the floor and into the ground. When you feel that the white light is beginning to fade, open your eyes, and get something to eat to bring you back to normal. You can repeat this visualization any time and as often as you like.

Send the Curse Back To Its Originator

This ritual returns the curse or hex to the person who cast it. However, you aren’t going to use it to hurt them. Instead you are going to transform it into something that will ultimately benefit both of you. Does that sound weird?

Okay, well, negative energy can’t exist in the presence of love. And the love we mean isn’t romantic love, it is the highest positive energy there is. It is the love that supports life, that keeps the universe functioning and dispels all bad things in its way. You might call it ‘Source’ or even ‘God’.

Prepare your space as given above. If you know who has hexed, cursed or psychically attacked you, write their name on a piece of paper.

Perform the visualization exercise as previously described. Now, while you are envisioning the pure white light flowing through you, place your hands on the paper. Imagine the paper holding the curse, now wash it away with white light. See it breaking up and dispersing into the air.

Now extend your vision to include the person themselves. Imagine the white light pouring from your heart chakra into theirs. See them reel in shock at the onslaught of the power of the positive energy charge directed right at them. Defeating them with a love bomb is far more effective than sending hate right back at them. It also ensures that they will not attempt to curse you again.

When you feel the energy subsiding, open your eyes. Breathe calmly, then get something to eat and drink to bring you back to your normal self.

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

Can you feel the difference now?

The curse has been removed, the energy around you is lighter and cleaner. Now you can go about your usual business, but remember, keep your positive energy vibes up.

If you think you have been cursed but are not sure how to deal with it, contact one of our psychics for help.

Every Sunday around 4 p.m., much of the developed world gives a collective groan. The weekend is fast receding, Monday is fast approaching, and the blues (a legit thing—ask the experts) set in. But you can outsmart them—and keep your mood in weekend mode till the clock strikes midnight—with a few easy strategies. Monday can wait.

Even after the best of weekends (or especially after the best of weekends), there’s a cloud that descends. Chances are, you’ve felt it. In a 2013 poll from the career site Monster.com, 81 percent of American respondents said they get Sunday-night blues—and 59 percent said they experience them “really bad.” As laid-back “weekend you” begins to morph into uptight “weekday you,” anxiety over anticipating an over­flowing in-box, the drudgery of packing school lunches, and the tyranny of a mile-long to-do list sets in.

“Sunday nights aren’t considered the end of a great weekend but the beginning of something neither the child nor the adult is looking forward to,” says Stuart Brown, a psychiatrist and the founder of the National Institute for Play, in Carmel Valley, California. But what is the cause of this dread? And what can we do to change it? If you’re prone to Sunday-night blues, try one (or, uh, all) of the following tips. And welcome to a future with no more sad Sundays.

Do Sunday on Saturday

Typically we schedule fun stuff on Saturday, obligations on Sunday. This only reinforces the blues. Instead, take care of buzz-killing chores, errands, and commitments on Saturday, when you’re naturally in a better mood. This could also change your experience of tougher tasks. For example, visiting your great-aunt in the retirement home when you’re already feeling down may remind you of the shortness of life; seeing her with a fresh Saturday-morning mind-set might move you to reminisce about summers at the cabin (happier for her, too). This weekend switcheroo leaves you open for “moments of unencumbered joy” on Sunday, when your psyche is in need of them most, says Cassie Mogilner, Ph.D., a happiness researcher and an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Homework is yet another Sunday downer. Nagging kids to hit the books creates an angst-filled evening. “Children may feel more positive on Monday morning if Sunday night is free of last-minute preparations for tomorrow’s school day,” says Erika A. Patall, Ph.D., an assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Slot time for homework on Saturday, with a little extra on Sunday morning. (Hash it out with your children beforehand so you can work around soccer games and birthday parties.) This can be a hard sell for teenagers, but if you have little ones, instilling this habit now can really pay off in a multitude of ways. “In general, students learn more if they distribute their studying over time, rather than trying to cram the learning into one long session,” says Patall.

Become a Forward Thinker

Another reason you feel off on Sunday, of course, is that your head is swirling with tasks for the upcoming week. Spare yourself this stress by ending your workweek with a plan. “Before you leave the office on Friday, prep your desk so you can jump in Monday without missing a beat,” says Peggy Duncan, an Atlanta-based professional organizer. Create a Monday-specific to-do list, line up necessary files, and tag e-mails that require attention. If you have to check your work calendar over the weekend, do it Sunday morning to avoid having the prospect weigh on you all day, then dive into a distraction (exercise, playtime with the kids) to keep yourself from becoming consumed with work thoughts. If it is within your control, don’t schedule Monday-morning meetings. “They just add to the sense of dread,” Duncan explains.

Getting your act together at the end of the week can be a boon to all aspects of your life, from planning meals and organizing carpools to managing long-term school projects. Anticipating challenges preweekend will prevent late-night dashes to the market and Staples, and the headaches that go with them.

Be a Social Animal

Slipping into hermit mode is all too easy come Sunday, especially in the short days before daylight saving time kicks in. But there is plenty of research that shows that people who are less social tend to be less happy. And a Sunday already potentially mired in the blahs is when you’ll need contact with others the most. Can you stay in your pj’s and communicate on Facebook? “Perhaps,” says Mogilner. “But connecting over a computer isn’t as effective as connecting with living, breathing humans.”

Any regular Sunday social ritual—church for some, yoga or softball for others—can lift spirits. In fact, a 2010 study published in American Sociological Review found that people who routinely attend religious services were more satisfied with their lives than were those who didn’t. The reason, researchers determined, isn’t just related to faith; it’s also about having friends in the congregation who give people a sense of belonging and, in turn, higher levels of well-being.

You may get similar benefits without joining a formal group. Institute a standing date with pals to skip the exhausting back-and-forth of making plans, suggests Gretchen Rubin, the author of Better Than Before ($19, amazon.com), a book about mastering good habits. “Being accountable makes it much more likely that you won’t back out at the last minute,” she adds. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. (Who wants to wash a fondue pot on Sunday night?) And it doesn’t have to involve many people. Something low-maintenance—like a scheduled phone call with your sister, margaritas with the neighbors, or even Yahtzee night with the kids—can make all the difference.

Volunteering is one more way to connect, but it has an unexpected perk, too. Giving away your time makes you feel as if you have more time, reports a 2012 study published in Psychological Science. Hence, it extends your weekend. “You get a sense that you’re doing a lot with your time,” says Mogilner, who worked on the study. “That inspires you to do more later on that day,” which leads to more satisfaction. It’s a tactic to fend off that “Where did the weekend go?” spiral.

Make Over Sunday Night

Why is it that 7 p.m. on a Sunday feels like 11 p.m., but on every other day of the week 7 p.m. is just the start of the evening? Maybe because our idea of “doing nothing”—say, binge-watching Game of Thrones—is not necessarily the best medicine for relieving the Sunday blues.

Active leisure—a book club, practicing yoga, or even going to the movies—will make you happier than choosing something that is passive. “If you’re engaged in an activity that keeps you moving, you’re absorbed in the moment and your mind has much less room to allow workweek worries to sneak in and take hold,” says Mogilner. So while we’re forever grateful to HBO for transforming Sunday nights, you may want to DVR your favorite episodes and watch them on a night less fraught with anxiety—say, hump day.

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

“The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.”

When I was eighteen, I got depressed and stayed depressed for a little over a year. For over a year, every single day was a battle with myself. For over a year, every single day felt heavy and pointless.

I have since made tremendous progress by becoming more self-aware, practicing self-love, and noticing the infinite blessings and possibilities in my life, but I still have days when those familiar old feelings sneak up on me.

I’m not always self-aware, I don’t always love myself, and sometimes I agonize over everything I don’t have or haven’t accomplished.

I call these days “zombie days.” I’ll just completely shut down and desperately look for ways to distract myself from my feelings.

I suspect we all have zombie days from time to time. I think it’s important to give ourselves permission to not always be happy, but there are also simple ways to improve our mood when we’re feeling down.

Everybody is different, and everybody has different ways of dealing with pain, but if you’re looking for suggestions, you may find these helpful:

1. Step back and self-reflect. Whenever I start feeling depressed, I try to stop, reflect, and get to the root of my feelings.

2. Reach out to someone. I used to bottle up my feelings out of fear that I would be judged if I talked about them. I’ve since learned that reaching out to a loving, understanding person is one of the best things I can do.

3. Listen to music. Music can heal, put you in a better mood, make you feel less alone, or take you on a mental journey.

4. Cuddle or play with pets. I have really sweet and happy dogs that are always quick to shower me with love whenever they see me. Spending quality time with a loving pet can instantly make your heart and soul feel better.

5. Go for a walk. Walking always helps me clear my head and shed negative energy. It’s especially therapeutic if you choose to walk at a scenic location.

6. Drink something healthy and reinvigorating. For some reason, orange juice always puts me in a better mood and makes me feel revitalized and serene. There are many health and mood benefits of drinking orange juice and other fruit juices.

7. Write. Writing is usually the first thing I do when I’m feeling down. It always helps me get my thoughts and feelings out in front of me.

8. Take a nap. Sometimes we just need to recharge. I always feel better after getting some rest.

9. Plan a fun activity. Moping around never helps me feel any better, so it usually helps to plan something fun to do if I’m feeling up to it. It can be something as simple as creating my own vision board or something as big as planning a trip.

10. Do something spontaneous. Some of my favorite memories entail choices I made spontaneously. We should all learn to let go of routine every now and then and do something exciting and unplanned.

11. Prioritize. Sometimes I feel depressed when my priorities are out of balance. I try to make sure I’m giving a fair amount of attention to all the priorities in my life, such as work, relationships, health, and personal happiness.

12. Look through old photographs or snap some new ones. Sorting through old memories or capturing new ones usually puts a smile on my face.

13. Hug someone. I am definitely a hugger. Hugs are such an easy way to express love and care without having to say a word.

14. Laugh. Watch a funny movie or spend time with someone who has a good sense of humor. Laughing releases tension and has a natural ability to heal.

15. Cry. I don’t like crying in front of people, but whenever I have an opportunity to slink away and cry by myself, I always feel better afterwards. Crying releases pain.

16. Read back over old emails or text messages, or listen to old voicemails. Whenever I feel dejected or bad about myself, I like to read kind emails and comments from my blog readers or listen to cute voicemails from my grandmother. Doing so reminds me that I’m loved, thought about, and appreciated.

17. Reconnect with someone. Get back in touch with an old friend or a family member that you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Reconnecting with people almost always puts me in a good mood and fills my heart up with love.

18. Write yourself a letter. I try to separate myself from my ego and give myself a pep talk every now and then. Cicero said, “Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.”

19. Try a deep breathing exercise. There are all kinds of deep breathing exercises out there. Find one you like and do it whenever you’re feeling stressed or overly emotional.

20. Cultivate gratitude. Practicing genuine gratitude on a daily basis has been a major source of healing in my life. When I step back and notice everything I have to be grateful for, it makes me feel like I have everything I need and that nothing is lacking. It makes me feel whole.

21. Re-watch a funny or inspiring YouTube video. I recommend Webcam 101 for Seniors. That video cheers me up every time. There are so many funny and inspiring videos online.

22. Bake something. Baking has always been therapeutic and entertaining for me. Plus, I can eat whatever I baked and share it with others afterward.

23. Get out of the house. I work from home, so a large majority of my time is spent indoors, planted in front of my laptop. I have to make a point to get out every now and then, whether it’s to get some fresh air or go out to eat with a friend.

24. Focus on what truly matters to you. Sometimes I forget what matters to me and what isn’t that important. Some things just aren’t worth getting too upset over.

25. Take a negative comment or situation and look for something positive about it. If someone says something negative to me or I get stuck in an unpleasant situation, sometimes it helps to look at it from a different angle. Perspective is everything.

26. Daydream. Take a mental vacation. Let your mind wander for a while.

27. Let some natural sunlight come in. Opening all the blinds and curtains and letting natural sunlight flood your home can help elevate your mood.

28. Take a mental health day. Sometimes we just need to take a day to clear our heads and nurture our souls. My mental health has a history of being a bit erratic, so nurturing it is a priority in my life.

29. Let go. This is a very simple mantra of mine. I usually say it to myself multiple times each day, which has been very liberating and empowering.

30. Read Tiny Buddha. And of course, you can always read Tiny Buddha! I personally love the quotes section. There is a category for almost every universal theme or emotion.

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

“Peace begins with a smile.”

Minor things can trigger bad days, whether it’s a having a tiff with your roommate, getting stuck in traffic, or just waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

As a fitness instructor, I’ve found that one negative comment from a member in a class can completely derail an otherwise happy day.

Someone in one of my fitness classes once griped about my music selection after what I thought was an amazing class. It almost drained my entire high, but after hearing from the other 99.9% of the class that was sweaty and happy—people who’d enjoyed my class—I brushed the comment aside.

This has happened to me quite often, and I have to remember not to let one measly comment tarnish an otherwise great day.

This is the good news: You can turn around a bad day just as quickly as it started.

The first thing you need to do is get some positive juices flowing. Once you’ve started to feel good inside, it’s much easier to change your perspective on the day and let the pity parade pass you by.

If a bad day’s got you down, try one of these 10 ways to turn it around in 10 minutes or less:

1. Listen to a favorite song and sing along.

Studies have shown that listening to music you like can alter your mood and even alleviate depression.

In your iPod, make a “Feel Better” playlist that includes songs that work for you. Try to choose positive, uplifting songs that you can sing along to. “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz works for me every time.

2. Take a shower.

I’m not sure what it is about taking a shower, but I feel that it metaphorically helps “clean” the negativity. Taking a quick shower, especially one that alternates cold and hot water, can help increase circulation and rid negative energy.

Start with a warm shower and then slowly turn the temperature of the water as cold as you can stand for 20 seconds. Then bring the temperature back up again. Alternate this cycle for 3−5 minutes to start until you can slowly start to tolerate longer durations.

3. Watch a funny YouTube video.

In a study performed at the University of Western Ontario, participants who listened to an upbeat piece of music and watched a funny YouTube video were more productive and better able to solve problems than groups who listened to depressing music and video clips.

In theory, watching funny YouTube video can actually boost productivity. (Try telling that to your boss.)

Watch this video and tell me your day didn’t just get 10 times better.

4. Pet an animal.

Petting an animal can dramatically improve your mood. It can have such positive effects that behavioral therapists use animals to help with healing—with equine therapy, for example. Even though owning a pet has been shown to improve self-esteem and well-being, you don’t have to have one to reap the benefits.

You may not be at a farm, but chances are, someone in your neighborhood or building owns a pet. Also, animal shelters are always looking for volunteers. Animals need us as much as we need them!

5. Give and get a hug.

We often overlook human touch as a form of therapy. Health providers actually use therapeutic touch as a form of energy healing in hospitals and hospices to help patients recover from surgery.

The next time you’re feeling a little wonky, reach out to your partner, a close friend, or a family member and share a quick embrace.

6. Practice deep breathing.

Deep breathing has a naturally therapeutic, stress-reducing quality that can help you quell the rush of stress hormones that a bad day can bring about.

Take a few moments to close your eyes. Practice inhaling deeply through your nose for a two-second count, pausing for two seconds, and then exhaling for another two seconds. This will help stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, thus quieting down your stress response.

7. Write about what’s bothering you and then write something you are grateful for.

Journaling is a great way to release stress and anxiety since it helps you get things off your chest in a safe way. Even if no one is going to read it, the fact that you wrote it down will make dealing with the stress a little easier.

Write in a journal exactly what’s bothering you and how you’re feeling about it. Then write a few things that you are grateful for. This will help bring you into a positive frame of mind, which will help get you out of your slump.

8. Do some light bodyweight exercises.

Even though you may not feel like it, getting up and moving your body will help stimulate blood flow and the release of endorphins, the well-known “feel good” hormone.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to tie your laces and head out for a three-mile run to get the benefits of exercise; even a five-minute routine that you can do right next to your desk can do the trick.

Perform a simple routine of light squats, push-ups, and easy stretches. This not only gets you out of the chair, it also stimulates happy hormone production, increases blood flow, and boosts your mood.

9. Sign out of Facebook.

Social media has done many positive things to bring people together, but there is a dark side.

Many studies have shown that checking social media can actually trigger depression because we often compare ourselves to our peers, creating feelings of inadequacy and doubt.

Heavily limit your exposure to your Facebook or Twitter feed. At work, check them only if you have to. Keep in mind that most people are always going to put their best foot forward, so don’t compare your insides to somebody else’s outsides.

10. Walk barefoot in the grass.

Being stuck inside all day without direct exposure from the sun, and without connecting to the energy of nature, can actually made a bad day even worse.

Grounding is the practice of exposing yourself to the ground, usually with your bare feet to help stimulate energy, improve immune function, and boost happiness.

The theory states that the earth’s magnetic field can lower stress hormones.

During your lunch break, find a grassy space where you can sit and relax for a few minutes, allowing your feet to rest in the grass. Enjoy your lunch or just sit and read a book for several minutes, letting your heart rate and stress levels go down.

These are just a few ideas to turn a bad day around. What helps you get out of a funk when you’re feeling down?

How to be happy again 13 simple ways to shake off sadness now

“The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.”

When I was eighteen, I got depressed and stayed depressed for a little over a year. For over a year, every single day was a battle with myself. For over a year, every single day felt heavy and pointless.

I have since made tremendous progress by becoming more self-aware, practicing self-love, and noticing the infinite blessings and possibilities in my life, but I still have days when those familiar old feelings sneak up on me.

I’m not always self-aware, I don’t always love myself, and sometimes I agonize over everything I don’t have or haven’t accomplished.

I call these days “zombie days.” I’ll just completely shut down and desperately look for ways to distract myself from my feelings.

I suspect we all have zombie days from time to time. I think it’s important to give ourselves permission to not always be happy, but there are also simple ways to improve our mood when we’re feeling down.

Everybody is different, and everybody has different ways of dealing with pain, but if you’re looking for suggestions, you may find these helpful:

1. Step back and self-reflect. Whenever I start feeling depressed, I try to stop, reflect, and get to the root of my feelings.

2. Reach out to someone. I used to bottle up my feelings out of fear that I would be judged if I talked about them. I’ve since learned that reaching out to a loving, understanding person is one of the best things I can do.

3. Listen to music. Music can heal, put you in a better mood, make you feel less alone, or take you on a mental journey.

4. Cuddle or play with pets. I have really sweet and happy dogs that are always quick to shower me with love whenever they see me. Spending quality time with a loving pet can instantly make your heart and soul feel better.

5. Go for a walk. Walking always helps me clear my head and shed negative energy. It’s especially therapeutic if you choose to walk at a scenic location.

6. Drink something healthy and reinvigorating. For some reason, orange juice always puts me in a better mood and makes me feel revitalized and serene. There are many health and mood benefits of drinking orange juice and other fruit juices.

7. Write. Writing is usually the first thing I do when I’m feeling down. It always helps me get my thoughts and feelings out in front of me.

8. Take a nap. Sometimes we just need to recharge. I always feel better after getting some rest.

9. Plan a fun activity. Moping around never helps me feel any better, so it usually helps to plan something fun to do if I’m feeling up to it. It can be something as simple as creating my own vision board or something as big as planning a trip.

10. Do something spontaneous. Some of my favorite memories entail choices I made spontaneously. We should all learn to let go of routine every now and then and do something exciting and unplanned.

11. Prioritize. Sometimes I feel depressed when my priorities are out of balance. I try to make sure I’m giving a fair amount of attention to all the priorities in my life, such as work, relationships, health, and personal happiness.

12. Look through old photographs or snap some new ones. Sorting through old memories or capturing new ones usually puts a smile on my face.

13. Hug someone. I am definitely a hugger. Hugs are such an easy way to express love and care without having to say a word.

14. Laugh. Watch a funny movie or spend time with someone who has a good sense of humor. Laughing releases tension and has a natural ability to heal.

15. Cry. I don’t like crying in front of people, but whenever I have an opportunity to slink away and cry by myself, I always feel better afterwards. Crying releases pain.

16. Read back over old emails or text messages, or listen to old voicemails. Whenever I feel dejected or bad about myself, I like to read kind emails and comments from my blog readers or listen to cute voicemails from my grandmother. Doing so reminds me that I’m loved, thought about, and appreciated.

17. Reconnect with someone. Get back in touch with an old friend or a family member that you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Reconnecting with people almost always puts me in a good mood and fills my heart up with love.

18. Write yourself a letter. I try to separate myself from my ego and give myself a pep talk every now and then. Cicero said, “Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.”

19. Try a deep breathing exercise. There are all kinds of deep breathing exercises out there. Find one you like and do it whenever you’re feeling stressed or overly emotional.

20. Cultivate gratitude. Practicing genuine gratitude on a daily basis has been a major source of healing in my life. When I step back and notice everything I have to be grateful for, it makes me feel like I have everything I need and that nothing is lacking. It makes me feel whole.

21. Re-watch a funny or inspiring YouTube video. I recommend Webcam 101 for Seniors. That video cheers me up every time. There are so many funny and inspiring videos online.

22. Bake something. Baking has always been therapeutic and entertaining for me. Plus, I can eat whatever I baked and share it with others afterward.

23. Get out of the house. I work from home, so a large majority of my time is spent indoors, planted in front of my laptop. I have to make a point to get out every now and then, whether it’s to get some fresh air or go out to eat with a friend.

24. Focus on what truly matters to you. Sometimes I forget what matters to me and what isn’t that important. Some things just aren’t worth getting too upset over.

25. Take a negative comment or situation and look for something positive about it. If someone says something negative to me or I get stuck in an unpleasant situation, sometimes it helps to look at it from a different angle. Perspective is everything.

26. Daydream. Take a mental vacation. Let your mind wander for a while.

27. Let some natural sunlight come in. Opening all the blinds and curtains and letting natural sunlight flood your home can help elevate your mood.

28. Take a mental health day. Sometimes we just need to take a day to clear our heads and nurture our souls. My mental health has a history of being a bit erratic, so nurturing it is a priority in my life.

29. Let go. This is a very simple mantra of mine. I usually say it to myself multiple times each day, which has been very liberating and empowering.

30. Read Tiny Buddha. And of course, you can always read Tiny Buddha! I personally love the quotes section. There is a category for almost every universal theme or emotion.