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9 best ways to make yourself smile
The best ways to brighten up a day that just isn't turning out as planned are simple, but they make a big difference oftentimes, simplicity is all it takes! - photo by Becky Squire
The best ways to brighten up a day that just isn't turning out as planned are simple, but they make a big difference oftentimes, simplicity is all it takes!

1. Serve others

This one is my favorite by far the most effective way to turn a bad day around. You can do anything, from making a treat for a friend to buying groceries for the frazzled mom in line behind you at the store. Satisfaction guaranteed!

2. Go outside

I don't care if you're not an outdoorsy person. Just step outside of your home. A little grass between your toes and some fresh air is good for the soul.

3. Treat yo'self

Food fixes feelings, right? No? Well, then, you haven't tried my cheesecake. Seriously though, some foods do cause your brain to release dopamine, helping regulate emotions. So, as a temporary fix to turn that frown upside down, I highly recommend treating yourself!

4. Put your phone down

...or tablet, or any type of technology. Unplug! Studies show that excessive use of devices can lead to sleep disorders, stress and depression. Leave the worldwide web behind, and be present in the real world.

5. Pick some flowers

You can even buy yourself a bouquet at the store. I never pegged myself as a flower person. When I was first married, I told my husband that I would rather have a slice of cheesecake or new shirt before I would ask him to "waste money on flowers." He didn't listen (good hubby). The first time a fresh bouquet was delivered, it donned the center of my table and cheered me up for days.

6. Listen

What speaks to you? Birds chirping outside? The sound of rain? How about your favorite song? Turn off the buzz that normally fills those passing moments of each day, and listen to what really makes those moments count.

7. Grab your favorite drink

Maybe all you need is some hydration. As a new mom, one of the tricks I learned to cheer up my ornery toddler was to give him a late afternoon sippy drink. Not just a few sips of water either a big ol' drink of vitamin-rich milk. Maybe milk isn't your nectar (I don't blame you EW!), but adapting my "trick" a bit can work on us big kids too.

8. Get inspired

I love inspiring quotes. Take to Pinterest or even Google for a quote pertaining to something that may be worrying you or taking away your happiness. Read your favorite book. Certainly there will be someone or something that lifts up your soul. Pour over a favorite message that has always spoken to you, or find a new one!

9. Meditate

You don't need to master lotus pose while chanting "hommm" to be a master at meditation. Find a quiet moment. I like to focus on three things while meditating. First, focus on breathing deeply. Second, focus on your thoughts. (My thoughts have a tendency to be all over the place. Scatterbrained equals me!) Think of something that makes you happy or calm. Third, focus on your emotions. How have you been feeling all day? How are you going to feel the rest of the day? Use that moment to correct your course.

It's okay to take time to take care of yourself. If you don't, you won't be much good to anyone! You are in control of brightening your day!