How to Give Yourself an Attitude Adjustment, In Just 5 Minutes

published Aug 1, 2019
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Ever feel like you’re waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but, like, every day? If you find yourself frequently crabby, salty, or discouraged about work, relationships, or life in general, it’s possible to re-align yourself back to a happier and more positive place.

When you’re ready for a quick, effective attitude adjustment, here are a few expert-suggested strategies for re-examining your outlook, anywhere, anytime.

Credit: Emma Fiala

Take a mental trip

Sometimes, feeling “off” requires a bit of a mental break from the moment, says therapist Stephanie Korpal. “Recall a place or event that brings you so much joy, and let it fill your mind—remember the people, the jokes, the smells, the food. We hold memories and emotions in our bodies, so when we recall those happy times, we can shift our mood in the present!”

Replay your accomplishments

Feeling down on yourself? Therapist and social worker Alisha Powell recommends a quick, laser focus on your own positive accomplishments for putting things back into perspective. When you can cultivate a sense of pride in how far you’ve come, the petty issues of today will seem less significant—and you may find yourself more motivated to accomplish even more. “I find I’m more optimistic when I remind myself how small my current situation is in the big picture of things,” she says.

Watch something funny

There’s nothing like laughter to pull you out of a slump, so pull up that YouTube clip that makes you giggle without fail. “If you’ve had a bad day or your boss yelled at you, watch a 30-second funny cat video, and you’ll find that your perspective is bright and optimistic again,” suggests therapist Katie Ziskind. “Once you start laughing, there’s no way to think about negative things in that moment. You’re completely present and in a joyful state.”

Lift something heavy

Since resistance training requires focus on repetitive movements, it’s actually a great form of meditation. Strength training can boost your mood while you’re doing it, and the effects can last long after your workout. Amber Nash, founder of Fit Healthy Best, says that while all exercise produces mood-enhancing chemicals like serotonin, weights in particular are thought to “wake up” mood-improving genes in our muscle fibers.

Scroll through Pinterest

“Exposing yourself to some positive, inspiring quotes can quickly give you a boost of motivation,” says therapist Tatiana Garcia. Whether you make your own inspiration board with magazine cutouts or scroll through your Pinterest feed, make an effort to connect with quotes or affirmations that remind you what you value and where you want to go in life.

Credit: Ana Kamin

Ground yourself in gratitude

Tricking yourself into a positive attitude is much easier when you don’t give yourself even a moment to embrace negativity. “Studies show that shifting your focus to think about what’s joyful in the moment can retrain your brain to focus your attention on the positives, which not only improves mood, but supports emotional health,” says life coach Wade Brill. Try to start each day off with positivity, even before your morning cup of coffee: “The second you place your feet on the ground, think about three things you’re grateful for, big or small,” Brill recommends.