I often write and talk about creating and setting a positive tone first thing in the morning. But on some days, you might just wake up in a bad mood. It happens. Or something unexpected occurs during your day that dampens your livelihood and puts you in a sour mood.

Life happens. Shit happens.

So, what do you do?  Is your day shot and ruined?  Should you just aim to start over tomorrow?

No.  The day is not over yet friends!

Here’s what I do to improve my mood:

1.  Appreciate What You Have

I can’t say it enough: An attitude of gratitude will unlock the doors in your life.  This is my go to pick-me-up.

I start off every morning with a gratitude practice where I write down 3 things I am most grateful for.  But I also realize that sometimes, you need a dose of gratitude to improve your mood throughout your day.

Here’s what I do:  No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I get some space from others.  I set aside 1-3 minutes to express gratitude silently to myself.

The conversation usually sounds like this:  Alright, this situation isn’t great, but there’s always something I can be grateful for.  What I am grateful for right here and right now?

Usually I come up with 3 things, sometimes it might only be one thing.  You can tell yourself you’re grateful for your health, the food in your pantry and your clothes on your back.

But it isn’t enough to simply acknowledge what you’re grateful for. You have to feel it. Think of all the reasons why you’re grateful for a specific thing or person.  (This technique will not work if you just go through the motions.)

Then I return to whatever situation I’m in with more appreciation and calmness in my heart.  My mood is instantly improved and anything that was bothering me before usually seems quite mundane and petty at the end of the day.

2.  Act Like How You Want To Feel

I recently starting approaching problems by reverse engineering them.  I even do this with my emotions.

If I want to be more positive, carefree and sociable then I make sure I act accordingly.  (Even if I don’t feel like it on the inside!)

You may not feel positive, you may not feel carefree or being social, but if you know deep down these are the emotions and feelings you want to have, then you must start acting like it!

You can approach your daily affairs by engaging with others in the way you truly want to feel.  You can show up in every situation, from the moment you walk through the door, as someone who is approachable and friendly.

This small shift in your mindset will help you create the feeling you want to have.  If anything, it will give you a reason to practice smiling.  Because at the end of the day, we don’t say to ourselves, “Gee…I wish I were more angry and unpleasant.”  No, we wish we were happier, more carefree, easy going and so on.  Start acting like it now.

3.  Hand Out Compliments Like Confetti

You can lift your own mood by graciously handing out compliments.  I’m not talking about superficial compliments like, “I really like your shirt.”  I’m talking about compliments that require a few moments to think of and genuine affection in delivering them.

Take a minute or two to come up with something you really appreciate about someone.  The next step is easy:  Compliment them.

By creating positive energy in someone else’s life, you will in turn create that same energy in your life.