It's hard not to sweat the small stuff when we're already dealing with so much big stuff these days.
Try these six science-based strategies for bouncing back from frustrations and resetting your mood.
1. Make contact. Social connection creates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional, and physical well-being. Isolation can lead to all kinds of negative health outcomes including inflammation at the cellular level. Call a friend, schedule a video chat, or just go outside and say hi to your neighbor—the power of closeness and belonging can snap you out of a funk.
2. Take some deep breaths. Deep belly breathing encourages the full exchange of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide, slows the heartbeat, and lowers blood pressure. Focusing on your breath can also help you disengage from distracting thoughts and sensations, and bring you back to the present moment.
3. Move your body. A 2019 study found that you don't need to engage in a vigorous workout to enjoy the mood-boosting benefits of physical activity. Walking, stretching, doing the dishes, learning a TikTok dance, or taking the stairs can all help you get out of an emotional rut.
4. Get grateful. Write a thank you note, start a gratitude journal, or just concentrate on the people and things you are thankful for. One study on gratitude showed that participants who wrote down what they were grateful for each week were more optimistic and felt better about their lives than both the group that focused on irritations and the control group.
5. Find a new challenge. In 2019 researchers found that individuals can improve emotional functioning by improving their general cognitive functioning. Play a word game, learn a new skill on YouTube, or keep practicing that TikTok dance. Strengthening your brain is a welcome distraction and can help you rebound from low spirits.
6. Boost resilience with adaptogens. The body's natural stress response is composed of three parts—alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms reduce negative reactions during the alarm stage, which helps us stay in the resistance phase, and minimizes the impacts of stress-related exhaustion and burnout.