There are no quick fixes for chronic unhappiness.

That may sound odd coming from a self-development blogger, but it's a harsh reality that we all must face at some point in our lives.

If you're in a bit of a funk, however, there are a few things you can do to improve your mood right this instant and go from down-in-the-dumps to content and satisfied.

These tips aren't meant to turn your life around, but they can help you through a rough patch or difficult day.

Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Mood Instantly


1. Lend a Helping Hand

When you go out of your way to help a friend, a coworker, or even a perfect stranger, you're putting out into the world what you'd like to receive.

Hold the door for a stranger. Buy lunch for a colleague. Offer your ear to a hurting friend.

You don't have to make some grand gesture in order to have an impact on the lives of others. And, similarly, you don't have to make a huge impact on others to feel more joyful. Small gestures can sometimes be the most meaningful, and you should never feel that the help you offer is too small to be worthwhile.

2. Give a Genuine Compliment

It's easy to take for granted those who are in our lives from day to day, but letting them know that you appreciate all that they do can go a long way in improving their mood as well as yours.

It takes two minutes to send someone an email or text message with words of genuine appreciation, and even less time to do so in person.

3. Take a Small Step Towards a Larger Goal

It can be so easy to become overwhelmed when you look at the larger picture.

If you're having a rough day but you have a bit of time to work on yourself, dedicate that time to taking a small step towards a larger goal.

If you're looking to improve your overall health, take a walk around the block.

If you're aiming to learn a new language, go through some vocabulary flashcards.

If you're hoping to gain a better understanding of a certain topic, check out some library books or search the web for some beginner guides.

When you work on small goals that lend themselves to larger goals you'd like to achieve, you're setting time aside to work on yourself. This can have a huge impact on your feelings of productivity and purpose, and it's a fantastic way to keep your larger goals in the forefront of your mind on a regular basis. And, not to mention, it's an easy way to improve your mood when you're in a funk.

4. Do One Thing You've Been Putting Off

Everyone has that one thing on their mind that they've been avoiding. If you're feeling a bit discouraged or unmotivated and would like an instant mood boost, consider checking that one task off of your to-do list.

I, personally, hate making phone calls. So, whenever I have a non-urgent call that I need to make, I put it off and put it off until I absolutely cannot anymore. Then, after I make the call, I'm able to mark it off my list and a weight is lifted. Of course, the unnecessary stress could have been avoided had I dealt with the task earlier. So, if you're putting something off and it's been weighing heavily on your mind, take some time to get it done now.

5. Take a Moment to Acknowledge the Good

Even when you've had an absolutely horrible day, there's always one good thing that you can take a moment to acknowledge.

You didn't get that promotion you wanted, but you were able to practice your interviewing skills.

Your friend cancelled on you last minute, but you were finally able to start reading that book you've been putting off.

You broke up with a significant other, but you proved to yourself that you won't stand for disrespect or abuse.

However crummy your day, week, or year, there HAVE been some highlights and it's important to take a minute to acknowledge them when you begin to feel overwhelmed.

What do you do to improve your mood when you're feeling a bit down?

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