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Have you ever just woken up in a bad mood? Or maybe you’re having a day when nothing’s going right.

I had a rotten day yesterday. Instead of doing something proactive about it, I indulged in it. Didn’t help much! I’m all for identifying feelings as they come up and sitting with them– this can be a great way to understand what might be causing you to feel a certain way. But I wasn’t using the self indulgence productively. I just wanted to feel sorry for myself. No good. So this morning I thought about how to change all that. Here’s what I came up with.

1. Meditate: Go to your happy place. In your mind, I mean; you don’t have to drive! Mine is a very particular spot I have always found serene and beautiful. Don’t have a happy place? Make one. Picture yourself sitting quietly and soaking in the beauty and calm of your surroundings. Then imagine positive energy from the earth/universe/whatever appeals to you coursing through you from bottom to top. Picture yourself being infused with glowing, positive energy.

2. Hug an animal or a friend or a lover to get the feel-good bonding hormone oxytocin flowing.

3. Compliment someone. Their genuine smile will brighten your day, too.

4. Eat happiness-inducing foods like dark chocolate, and stay away from sugar and booze, which may make you feel better temporarily but worse in the long run.

5. Take your focus away from feeling sorry for yourself and focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly for 7 counts and out for 8 counts. Do this several times.

6. Make a conscious effort not to complain. If you find yourself about to open your mouth with a complaint, immediately think of something positive to replace with the negative thought.

7. Exercise. Cliche, but it works. You don’t have to run a marathon or anything; just get out and take a walk outside. Breathe some fresh air. Endorphins will be released and you’ll feel better and burn some fat, too.

Bonus: a morning routine to get yourself centered and grounded all day.

What would you add to this list?

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