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10 things that naturally cheer you up

By Kristen Price for Arches Health Plan  |  Posted Oct 2nd, 2013 @ 11:50am


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SALT LAKE CITY — So you had a bad day. Before you take it out on a pint of Chubby Hubby or drown yourself in Adele albums, let's gain some perspective here. Barring major tragedy, most of life's little depressions are easily remedied by enjoyable activities that lift your spirits — naturally.

Make plans

There's nothing like an empty calendar to really kick you when you're down. Even if you feel like taking the night off (chick flicks and takeout Chinese, anyone?), thinking about a fun activity in the coming days or weeks can give you a little shot of cheer.

Go for a run

Or a walk. Or a mosey. The important thing here is getting out in the fresh air and exerting some energy. Whether you live a block from the beach or a block from a glue factory, getting outdoors will get those endorphins flowing.

Sleep

We're not talking about that "woe-is-me" kind of sleep. Getting real, productive sleep can actually make you less sensitive to negative emotions, according to recent research. If you're having a bad day (or week, or year), it's OK to go to bed at 9 and take that afternoon catnap.

Stop comparing yourself to others

We're only human, and as humans, we tend to compare ourselves, our homes, our cars, our appearances, our significant others (you know who you are) to those of our friends, families and acquaintances. The sad fact remains: keeping up with the Joneses never made anyone truly happy.

Help someone else

Whether you decide to cure cancer today or just help an elderly woman load groceries into her car, serving other people is a sure-fire way to lift your spirits. In fact, research shows that people who spent about 100 hours a year (roughly two hours a week) helping others were happier.

Open a book

Back in the old days, people actually sat down with printed paper and read (weird, right?). Whether you take a trip to the local library or download a new eBook, reading can transport you from your problems to, well, someone else's. Regardless, you'll spend less time dwelling on yourself, which tends to cheer you up.

Watch a comedy

You'd have to be in an epically bad mood not to crack a smile watching old episodes of Arrested Development. When you're down in the dumps, grab some company - like, say, Fred Armisen.

Pump the jams

We already hate ourselves for saying that, but seriously, music can play a huge role in cheering you up. Just make sure you're opting for something upbeat and happy. And maybe steer clear of Nine Inch Nails.

Meditate

You don't have to become a vegan or start donating all your money to the rainforest to benefit from meditation. Giving yourself some quiet, uninterrupted time to simply clear your mind can calm your nerves and send you to a happier place.

Go to Disneyland

When all else fails, head for the happiest place on earth. After all, if you're going to fork over more than $100 to spend a day with mice, you're going to make yourself enjoy it.

Ready to get happy? Be a natural.

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This article was written on behalf of Arches Health Plan and not by ksl.com editorial staff. BrandView articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ksl.com or its owners.

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