One could argue that humans are naturally predisposed to negative thinking, as we're programmed to scan our surroundings for possible dangers. Of course, the modern-day equivalent of this has us focusing on the overly crowded subway car or a 6 p.m. conference call rather than the many positives in life.
"We are seasoned vets at focusing our attention on all the things that we wish were somehow better or different," writes life coach and inspirational speaker Molly Joseph writes for PopSugar. "If we want to be happy, we have to learn how to turn the volume down on our negativity and shift our awareness to the parts of our lives that are working." The good news? You can start doing this right now. In her own words, here's exactly what you can do today to brighten your mood in 24 hours or less:
1. Listen to your favorite music. "Music is an extremely powerful tool for shifting your mood and mindset. Just make sure to choose music that energizes and elates you."
2. Call someone who supports you. "Hearing the voice of someone we love or a friend who gives great advice is always an instant pick-me-up."
3. Get into nature. "My personal favorite. There is nothing that calms and soothes me more than watching a sunset or being on the beach by my house."
4. Meditate. "This is a great go-to when you find yourself already pretty deep in the downward spiral. When we are stuck in negative thought patterns, the first physical shift that occurs is that we stop breathing. Shifting our focus onto our breath causes our minds to slow down and brings immediate relief."
5. Laugh. "Laughter is hands down the best remedy for releasing tension. Watch a silly movie or a YouTube video, or remember a joke that never gets old."