Ways to improve your mood in minutes.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Unhappy emoticon

Unhappy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sometimes a low mood is a mental illness; sometimes it’s not.

Everyone has days when they’re feeling down. When that down feeling goes on too long, and it interferes with your life, it becomes a thing we know as clinical depression. Treatment for depression can involve three separate approaches, medication, counseling, and changes in thinking and behavior. For that occasional blue moon, medication is not recommended. Using chemicals to change the way you feel can result in a substance use disorder.

Talking to people whether you’re in counseling or have a support system is useful even when your down mood hasn’t reached a diagnosable mental illness. People who incorporate talking and active behavior reduce the risks of developing depression, and these tools can be used to prevent relapse if you have been treated for depression.

Being more active will improve your mood.

Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous for you to receive benefit from it. Walking as little as 20 minutes a day can improve your outlook on life. More important than the intensity is the frequency. You can’t sit on the couch every day and then expect to make up for it by exercising all day on Saturday.

Getting into motion has lots of benefits. Many people report that they don’t feel like doing anything, but once they start moving, that sluggish feeling disappears.

Going outdoors makes you feel better.

Brighter light helps your mood, so does fresh air, and being in nature. If you’ve ever been to the mountains or the lake you probably felt better. Researchers believe that there are healing benefits for humans being around nature. The recommended dose of mother nature is at least two hours a week.

Connect with positive people to improve your mood.

Positive outlooks on life are contagious. Humans are social animals, and they tend to copy the people they spend the most time around. Pick your friends wisely. If you hang out with gloomy people, the joy leaves your life.

We all need a support system. It’s terrific if you have one person in your life you’re close with. But a support system needs to be more than one person. Having good Friends keeps you connected and prevents Loneliness.

Improve your self-care.

Get plenty of sleep on a regular basis even if you have to cut some things out of your life to do it. Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water. When you’re tired, hungry, or thirsty, your mood suffers, and you become irritable.

Scratch something hard off your to-do list.

When you have difficult tasks on your to-do list, don’t procrastinate. The longer that hard-to-do project sits on your to-do list, the more anxious or depressed you’re likely to become. Tackle that challenging project first, and as you see progress, towards your goal, you can take pride in your accomplishments.

Taking back your environment will make you feel better.

Straighten the things around you. Do a quick cleaning up project. Eliminate clutter. A little bit of rearranging can make you a lot more comfortable in your surroundings.

Do something for someone else.

Doing for others is a proven way to elevate your mood. Any time you spend doing for others is time you’re not thinking about your challenges.

Learn something new to build a sense of accomplishment.

The process of learning something can elevate your mood. Learn a new skill. Study something you’ve always wanted to know about.

Read a book to spark your imagination.

Lots of people watch TV or online videos. But there’s something about “reading” a book that has a lasting impact on people. Whether you read a physical paper book, read an electronic version, or listen to an audiobook, you will engage your imagination. Videos show you everything. Books suggest things, leaving you to fill in the details. Reading more can increase your creativity and make you feel better.

Acting as if you are happy makes you happier.

One way to break out of a down mood is to smile more. People who smile begin to feel happy. People who laugh more are more fun to be around.

Being happy makes you a better person.

Being happy is not selfish. It makes you an easier person to be around. Happy people are easier to get along with, more productive, and more likable.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Five David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

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For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

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7 Thoughts create success.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Success

Success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Think these 7 thoughts to have a successful life.

What you think tends to come true. You can’t accomplish things if you do not believe they are possible. Successful people do more positive thinking. Highly successful people make these 7 thoughts a part of their thought habits. To be really successful practice these thoughts every day until they become your default way of thinking.

1. Where I came from does not determine where I am going.

Your past may have put you where you where you are but you have choices on where you go from here. Having things in your past may limit some options but there are always more possibilities out there than most of us see.

Look for those options. Had a lousy childhood? Become your own parent and learn those lessons you should have gotten early on.

No education? Get back into school. There are a great many older students in college these days. Everyone needs to keep learning to keep up. Things change. Many of the students in the college evening classes I have thought were surprised to find they had far more ability than they thought.

Watch for an upcoming post on making learning fun and being successful at learning as an adult.

2. You only need to get up once more than you get knocked down.

Successful people keep getting back up. Life knocked you down? Get back up. Do learn from the things that happen to you. Change your game plan, your study routines or get more help. The truth is that most “naturals” became naturals by practicing over and over. You make the most progress at things by working on your weak spots not by limiting what you do to the things that come easy.

3. What you think about things is more important than what they were.

If you focus on what happened, why did that have to happen and why you, you can get stuck in the past. Learn from these experiences. I get that some experiences can be extremely painful, but if you want to have the rest of your life you need to see how you could do things that can make your life better.

Look at the future as another chance and good things just might happen for you. Find it hard to believe? Short on hope? Work on developing a group of supporters that can see the possibilities ahead even when you find them hard to see.

4. This is not fear – I am on the jazz.

Change, new experiences, can provoke anxiety. Some people, they look for all the things that could go wrong and the result is they stay stuck. Really successful people reframe those butterflies in their stomach as excitement. New experiences become their friends.

What possibilities could you get excited about? What novel situations could give you the chance to shine?

5. The best one to create my life is me.

Successful people think that they are the one to make things happen in their life. Getting the breaks and having a successful person recommend you or offer you opportunities is great, but sitting back thinking I can never do it unless someone else does things for me is a sure recipe for failure. Want to create your dream? Go out and do the work. Practice and learn. Once you become good at things others will notice. Most of those big breaks come after years of practice and study.

6. You need to make mistakes to learn.

Mistakes need not be catastrophic. Highly successful people make lots of mistakes. They learn from those errors. Do lots of things, some work some do not. Stop doing the things that do not work out for you. Put in more effort on the things you see that need improvement and see just how far you will go.

7. Aim high if you want to achieve worthwhile things.

Aim low and that is what you will hit. Aim high and even if you do not go all the way you will still end up a lot further along. Have high aims and aspirations while accepting that if you are hitting every target the first time you are still not aiming high enough. Not missing the mark a lot? You are underestimating yourself and playing it too safe to ever go as far as you are capable.

There are seven principles of success that have shown up repeatedly in the literature on success and have been born out in the lives of those who achieve great things. Have you discovered other principles that you would like to share?

For more on this topic see these other posts on counselorssoapbox.com

Success

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.