The Quickest Way to Go from Sad to Happy

young woman hiding her emotions

Since the self-help movement began in the 70’s many techniques to help improve your life have evolved.


One of these techniques is affirmations. Affirmations are strong positive statements that you say to yourself to improve your self-confidence and self-esteem.


Makes sense. Say something that you desire over and over and before you know it you are living it.


For many people affirmations have been a vehicle for great success. Many of the self-help gurus like Tony Robbins and Louise Hay promote affirmations on a daily basis.


In my many years as a nutritionist and fitness trainer I always taught my clients the power of affirmations. I still believe that affirmations can be beneficial to self-improvement.


But… yes there is a “but” here.


In a study in the journal Psychological Science they found that affirmations can be damaging to participants who had low self-esteem.


When they asked these participants to allow negative thoughts in with the positive thoughts they felt better.


Why is this?


When asked to have only positive thoughts like “I am a good person” these participants felt a sense of contradiction because they didn’t really feel like a good person at the time.


They also found that focusing only on positive thoughts can actually strengthen negative thoughts.


The conclusion of this study was that positive thoughts can be beneficial to individuals with high self-esteem but can have the opposite effect on individuals with low self-esteem.


I can relate to these results because when I feel mad or bad about something I cannot immediately jump to feeling good.


There has to be a bridge from feeling bad to feeling good.


Using affirmations to increase positive thoughts when you are flat out pissed is like adding insult to injury.


When you are in a bad mood it can be near impossible to switch to a good mood instantaneously.


So, if you are in a bad mood should you just ride it out and brood all day?


No, that is not the answer either.


You have the power to change how you feel any time you want.


It’s just that you may need to “bridge the gap” so to say from bad thoughts to good thoughts so that you can just find “relief.”


If you have ever been depressed then getting angry could bring you relief.


If you are feeling angry then the lesser intense feeling of worry or frustration might give you some relief.


By finding relief you empower yourself to move to a better feeling thought and before you know it you won’t even remember why you felt bad in the first place.


When you get to a better feeling place such as contentment or hopefulness then I believe that affirmations can then be beneficial.


Here are two simple tools that can help you to feel relief even if you feel really bad.


  1. Look at the Silver Lining– Did you ever have a bad situation but after you relax a little you realize it could have been worse? When you look at the positive side of a bad situation you can’t help it but to instantly feel “relief.” I know I have said “Thank goodness it happened this way and not that way.”
  2. Use Mood Boosters-Have a few ways to boost your mood in your back pocket that you can pull out whenever needed. Mood boosters help you to find “relief” by helping you to reach for the closest positive thought that you can grasp. Maybe you had a fight with your teenager so a mood booster could be getting out for a walk or listening to upbeat music. Remember the objective is to create relief not solve the problem or win the argument. Other mood boosters to keep in your arsenal are looking at photos, planning your weekend or vacation, calling a friend (not to complain but to connect with someone who cares about you).                                                                                                   

Did you know that you have the power to change your mood anytime you want?


I can attest that feeling good is so much better than feeling bad.


There are ways to change how you feel and boost your mood actually quite quickly.


Affirmations are a great tool to gain relief but studies have shown that they aren’t for everybody.


If affirmations just don’t do it for you that’s OK you may then want to try either “to look at the silver lining” or “to use mood boosters” to help you to find that instant relief.


Why is finding relief important?


Because when you improve your mood you improve your emotional well-being which is the foundation for a healthier and happier life overall.  


Have ever tried to use affirmations to boost your mood or self-esteem? Do affirmations work for you?


Thank you so much for reading my blog today. If this post moved you in anyway please leave a comment. Your comment could make a difference in the day of one of my readers. Blog

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