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How to Get Back Into a Good Mood | Scott H Young

Get New Input

You may notice that often when you are in a bad mood you don’t do very much. Depressed people often perpetuate their mood by remaining in the same environment.

Going to see friends, watching a movie, reading a book, even doing the errands and chores that need to be done, are all methods of getting new input.

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Self-control
Self-control

It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.

For example, successful self-control means sacrificing immediate pleasure (cookies and cakes) and choosing the delayed reward (healthy weight).

Why self-control matters

People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.

They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.

Biological limits to self-control

Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.

Spend time with furry friends

Play fetch with Fido or sneak in a few cuddles with your kitten. 

Interacting with your pets can release oxytocin in the brain ― you know, the “warm and fuzzy” hormone ― resulting in that joyous feeling.

Count your blessings

There’s nothing like a little thankfulness to boost your mood. Research shows expressing gratitude can make you happier

Try writing down three things you’re thankful for at the end of each night.

Remind yourself how great you are

 Studies show self-acceptance is crucial to a happier life, but it’s a habit we barely practice.

Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve set.

Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.