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Increasing Positive Emotions

If you are looking for a way to improve your mood, you need to make sure to have pleasant activities throughout your week. Pleasant activities often get sacrificed when we get too busy, overwhelmed, or feel like we don’t have enough time. A persistent, negative mood, like depression, can impact what you do and what you find fun. It may even feel like a hassle to consider doing something different. If you are trying to talk yourself out of doing something fun, it’s a good sign that something probably needs to change.

  • Go for a walk or hike
  • Eat your favorite food
  • Take a warm bath or shower
  • Swing on a swing
  • Cook a meal
  • Cuddle with an animal
  • Play a game
  • Get a massage
  • Have lunch with a friend
  • Read a book or magazine
  • Sit in the sun
  • Garden or take care of a plant
  • Talk to friends or family on the phone
  • Watch something that makes you laugh out loud
  • Draw, doodle, paint, or color
  • Listen to music
  • Watching a movie or TV
  • Sing and dance
  • Play an instrument
  • Go on a picnic
  • Exercise
  • Sit in a peaceful place
  • Write a letter to someone you care about. Write it out by hand.
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Go somewhere new
  • Relax with a hot drink
  • Spend time in nature
  • Go out to eat
  • Sit outside
  • Watch the birds
  • Volunteer
  • Repair something
  • Take a nap
  • Make a gift for someone
  • Have your picture taken
  • Look at your favorite photos
  • Pray
  • A day with nothing to do
  • Meet someone new
  • Get dressed up, do your hair and/or makeup
  • Go shopping
  • Finish something on your to-do list
  • Remembering good times
  • Listen to someone
  • Go somewhere with beautiful scenery or architecture
  • People watch
  • Remember your favorite vacation
  • Write down why you are grateful
  • Have a quiet evening
  • Go to a party
  • Go to a museum or art gallery
  • Pamper yourself
  • Daydream
  • Watch or play sports
  • Act silly
  • Write in a journal
  • Read a meaningful letter or email
  • Clean
  • Help someone in need

This list is only a sample of possible activities. Think back to what you used to enjoy. What did you love to do when you were a child? What could you get lost in for hours? What do you wish you could do again? Are there things you want to try for the first time? Part of this process could be reconnecting with previous behaviors along with discovering new activities. Think of activities that are not on this list and add them on the back. Pick 5-7 activities and find time throughout the week to reconnect with pleasant activities. Have fun!