6 Keys to Raise Your Spirits Quickly

Have you been feeling discouraged lately? Do you struggle to find positivity? Then follow these simple recommendations so that you can regain your enthusiasm and promote your well-being.
6 Keys to Raise Your Spirits Quickly
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 February, 2024

There are times that taste like apathy; those when you feel like everything seems bland and gray. You don’t know why, but everything feels more difficult, and what you need most is to raise your spirits quickly. If you’re dealing with this feeling right now, the best thing to do is to give yourself a short break to disconnect and have a conversation with yourself.

It’s important to know that it’s impossible to feel motivated and happy every day. Our emotional states fluctuate, and there’s nothing as common as having a few days when desire and enthusiasm fail. Becoming aware of what you feel and applying appropriate strategies to regain well-being will promote the change you need. In the following article, we’ll give you the keys you need in order to achieve it.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.

~ Helen Keller ~

Ways to boost your mood quickly

Mood is that emotional experience of positive, negative, or neutral valence that accompanies you for a few days. Now, the tricky thing is that the way you feel affects your thoughts and behavior. This is what a study published in Frontiers in Psychology points out, even highlighting its role in language and how we communicate.

This explains, without a doubt, why when you’re caught in a bad mood or unexplained sadness, all areas of your life are altered. You perform less at work, you hardly feel like socializing, and you even argue more with your partner. In these situations, it’s very useful for you to have some simple strategies on hand to change that psycho-emotional state. We’ll share some with you right away.

1. Go for a walk outdoors

When stress, a bad mood, and discouragement tie your mind into knots, go for a walk in a natural environment. Sometimes, this contact with the mountains, forests, or beaches acts as a powerful agent for well-being. Your mind turns off negativity, and your emotions become harmonized.

Why does it work?

Contact with the outdoors elevates our endorphins and serotonin. In addition, the brain enters a state of calm and adopts other, more relaxed perspectives. Therefore, an article published by Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience highlights that although physical exercise already promotes emotional well-being, a natural environment amplifies these benefits even more.

2. Do something creative

A useful way to boost your mood quickly is to start a creative activity. There are those who paint mandalas, others write, compose, draw, cook or start gardening. Immersing yourself in an artistic task allows you to reach that state of mind that psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines as optimal experience. You’ll notice improved well-being in a short time.

Why does it work?

In a study published by the American Journal of Public Health, a significant link was found between art and mental health. Expressive writing, for example, is always cathartic and capable of inducing emotional balance.

However, although the mechanisms by which it manages to reduce stress and even depressive symptoms aren’t well known, it’s a complementary tool of great value.

3. Call a friend

When you’ve been in a sad and irritable mood for a few days, call that friend who knows how to listen to you. In those moments when the horizon looks a bit darker, the support of those who understand you will be your best pillar. Look for those figures who don’t judge, who don’t give advice, and who limit themselves solely to being emotional allies.

Why does it work?

People are social beings who bond and need the closeness of others. Venting your emotions, thoughts, and needs with significant figures acts as a healing exercise for your brain. Stress is relieved, and new mental approaches are assumed.

Meta-analyses such as the one published in Electronic Physician describe this significant link between social support and mental health.

4. Keep a gratitude journal

A simple strategy to boost your mood quickly is to carry out a gratitude exercise. Many times you’re not aware of all that you have, of those basic aspects that enrich you and give meaning to your life. Therefore, in those times when emotional discomfort clouds your daily motivation, keep the following keys in mind:

  • Buy a notebook you like and title it “gratitude journal.”
  • Include photographs of the happy moments in your life in that notebook.
  • Whenever you can, you can write what you’re grateful to have in your life: Friends, family, work, health, dreams to conquer, trips that are yet to come, etc.
  • When you feel discouraged, grab that notebook, and read it. You’ll remember those aspects for which it’s worth feeling grateful.

Why does it work?

Gratitude is more than an emotion; it’s an attitude toward life. It makes you appreciate what surrounds you and focus on the positive and valuable. Likewise, it also allows you to become aware of the transience of life and the need to focus on what’s important.

At the same time, research such as that published in Frontiers in Psychology also highlights the benefits of this practice to improve mental well-being. It’s a simple tool that, if you start, will bring you satisfaction and emotional balance.

5. Twenty minutes of mindfulness

Are you aware of what mindfulness is? Have you ever practiced it? Mindfulness-based meditation is a tool that can improve your mood in a short time. While it’s true that not everyone gets used to this strategy the first time around, it’s worth getting started with it. Your brain finds significant benefits with this resource.

Why does it work?

Science has been analyzing the benefits of mindfulness for years. A study published by Frontiers in Psychology found that intervention with this tool facilitates emotional regulation. What’s more, currently, various therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, also apply mindfulness.

6. Hug

It’s simple, economical, and one of the most rewarding exercises. How many hugs have you given today? Don’t skimp on the art of physical contact because the physical closeness of those you love improves your mood quickly. Partner, family, friends, and even your pets. Feeling those special beings close acts as a balm for stress, fears, and discomfort.

Why does it work?

Hugs are emotional acts that facilitate the production of endorphins and serotonin in your brain. When you experience that bodily proximity with someone you care about, you feel validated and protected. All these sensations affect your well-being. In fact, Psychological Science highlights that these acts not only cushion stress but also improve health.

What if these tips don’t permanently improve my mood?

When you feel bad, you want to quickly raise your spirits and stifle those uncomfortable emotions that are gripping you. Now, if anxiety and discomfort accompany you for several weeks, it’s a good idea to seek specialized help. The first and most decisive thing is to understand the reason for that feeling.

Often, we neglect our emotions, we focus on our obligations, and we choose to ignore what hurts. Conditions such as poorly regulated stress and anxiety can become chronic, and in these cases, it’s best to act as soon as possible. There are effective therapies that, in just a few sessions, can give you the tools you need.

Take care of yourself every day to lift your mood

To conclude, although it’s true that it’s normal to have a slightly lower mood from time to time, these experiences shouldn’t last over time. To do this, there’s nothing better than practicing self-care. The keys that we’ve described are dimensions that you can apply in your daily life to promote your well-being and intensify the appearance of positive emotions.

Hugging, walks in nature, meditation, and art are exceptional channels that will intensify your internal balance. Happiness is, after all, nothing more than being good to yourself, and this is something you can work on now.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.