If you woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, you might be struggling to put a smile on your face. Sometimes they just creep out of nowhere, and other times they are caused by bad days at work, problems in relationships, or other world events. It can feel like optimism and joy are far out of reach, but you do not have to spend the entirety of your day in a bad mood. There are quick and easy ways to help you change your mood and give you a different perspective. You will be feeling uplifted in no time.

Figure out what is bugging you.

Before you can really change your attitude around, you will have to figure out what is bugging you in the first place. Are you snapping at the people you love because you had a bad day at work? Are you feeling flustered because some of your basic needs aren’t met, like food and sleep? Do you feel frazzled because your life is unfulfilling? It might be a big problem, or something small, but you need to figure it out in order to change your outlook. You might even realize that the problem you are looking at really isn’t a problem at all, and does not deserve your stress. Sit down and iron out the things causing you strain. Then, you can make changes to overcome it.

Write a gratitude letter.

When you are stuck in a bad attitude, it can be difficult to see any way out. When work sucks, then everything else in your life does too. You might feel like your boss doesn’t value you, your cash flow isn’t as strong as you want it to be, or that you are doing too many mindless tasks and are wasting your life. While all these are terrible and negative, they are not the only things in your life. Rather than thinking about all the things that are going wrong, write a list of all the things going right. It can be as simple as saying you are grateful for waking up this morning, or you are thankful that you had a delicious cup of coffee. When you are feeling particularly dark, it will help put things into perspective. You will realize there is a lot of be happy about.

Avoid falling into a victim mentality.

If you constantly think that things are happening to you and because of that your circumstances will never change, then you block yourself from feeling happy. Do not turn yourself into a victim because that takes the power out of your hands. You do have the ability to change negatives into positives, but you have to be responsible for your thoughts and actions. We really do have an unlimited potential to create our own realities and change our lives. You have the power to choose your emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.

Use positive speech.

If you want to change your negative attitude, you have to change how you think. Instead of saying “I can’t do this giant project”, say “I can finish this portion of the project on time, and that’s an accomplishment”. There is always a different way to look at the situation and move your brain in a more positive direction. If you really struggle with your negative thoughts, keep a mantra that you say throughout the day. It can be something like “I am hopeful”, “I can solve anything life throws at me”, or even “I will do things that make me happy today.” The words you use when you talk have a major emotional impact on yourself. Look at it this way: if it isn’t something you would say to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself.

Lose the sense of entitlement.

Everyone has big dreams they want to accomplish. But you need to set realistic expectations and break down your dream into steps that are achievable in the short-term. When you have the mindset of being entitled then you will just expect everything to fall into place. A negative attitude lines up when expectations do not align with reality. This will make it hard to achieve any of your goals, and instead you will become frustrated and angry. For example, if you want to hit a goal of losing 50 pounds, then you have to put in the work to make it happen. You cannot dwell and be upset that you weren’t blessed with a faster metabolism or didn’t crave sugary foods. You have to set realistic expectations, try your hardest, and come to terms with where you get.

Do something enjoyable.

For short-term relief from negative energy, do something that will make you smile, laugh, and have fun. It will help you shake off those angry and depressive feelings. When things seem downright terrible it might be hard to get yourself to do something enjoyable, but push yourself if you can. This can be going for a walk with a friend, watching a funny movie, or doing something creative like painting. If you’re able, get out into nature and breathe the fresh air. If you are at work or somewhere else you can’t leave, keep a photo on your phone or computer of a beautiful, favorite place and take a moment to imagine yourself there.

It’s not easy to shake off a bad mood, but going through these steps will help you overcome it. Life isn’t always fair or easy, so negative emotions are bound to happen at one time or another. It’s healthy to feel these emotions and work through them, but they do not have to dictate your entire life. These steps will help you overcome.

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