Everybody has bad days, everybody feels frustrated from time to time and everybody has moments of feeling like they can't cope. Life is not a singularly upward journey, and you have to ride the ups and the downs and try to find some balance along the way. But this practice is easier said than done. If you are noticing that you are having more and more grumpy days, that you snap at the slightest little thing and that you just can't be bothered anymore – don't ignore it. There are things that you can do to train your brain into lifting your mood and feeling more content. Here are a few starting points.
Daily meditation. Buddhists have been practicing mindfulness meditation for thousands of years, but with new studies that show connections between mindfulness and elevated mood, this practice is now catching on in the mainstream. Sit in silence for fifteen minutes a day, and just follow your breath – nothing more. This helps you to distance yourself from your own reactions and feelings so that you are less likely to snap, and more likely to take a moment to just be present when you feel grumpy or stressed.
Buy a puppy. If you have thought about buying a cute puppy for you and your family but you are scared about how it might destroy your furniture and the fur that will be left around the house, you should also consider the mood elevating benefits of owning a pet. A 1999 study even showed that men suffering from AIDS who own a pet are less likely to suffer from depression. Your pet can be a great playmate, a listener who doesn't judge, and somebody who gets you exercising too.
Visualise your future. Your lack of contentedness might just hinge on an inability to imagine what you want your life to be. One way to set your future in stone is with visualisation techniques. Buy yourself an inexpensive felt or cork pinboard and fill it up with things that inspire you and that you want for your future. If you have always dreamed of a trip to India but have pushed it to the back of your mind because of work commitments, pin a photo of the Himalayas on your pinboard to place your true desires firmly at the front of your mind. Place your motivational board in a place you are sure to see it every day, and you will find your inner motivation to reach your goals and improve your mood.