10 Great Ways to Lift Your Spirits

In today's fast-paced, overtaxed and sometimes uncaring society, it can be challenging to find anything to lift your spirits when you get down in the dumps. In spite of how dismal things may appear, there are some things you can do to get happy and enjoy your day. Here are 10 great ways to lift your spirits.

1. Get yourself an attitude of gratitude.
For centuries, religious groups the world over have recognized how powerful gratitude is when it comes to lifting one's spirits. Frequently we are so caught up in what we lack that we fail to recognize all that we possess. Often, we are only reminded of the blessings present in our world when we encounter someone worse off than we are or when those blessings are no longer a reality. Be thankful for what you have. Keep a list of things for which you are grateful - in case you need to jog your memory.

2. Brighten someone's day.
It may be you who is feeling the blues, but when you brighten some else's day, yours automatically becomes brighter. Call it the ripple effect. Smiles are contagious. Do what you can to start an epidemic of happy faces.

3. Get organized.
Many experts agree that when you organize things in your life, it makes you feel better about yourself and your circumstances. Clear the clutter lying around your house or yard. Detail your car. Organizing closets, garages and other areas that have become detritus dumping grounds are great places to start.

4. Get some fresh air.
Fresh air revitalizes the senses and makes you more apt to get up and do something rather than sit there in a sullen mood. Go for a walk with a friend. Take a bike ride. Even just puttering in your flower or vegetable garden will do the trick.

5. Pamper yourself.
Get a facial or a manicure. Rent a movie and order takeout. Buy yourself a bouquet of your favorite flowers. Take an aromatherapy bath complete with candles and soft music. Oak-moss, lavender and geranium are great mood lifters.

6. Tap into your creative side.
Whether it's cooking, writing, painting, crafting, sewing or another talent you possess, being creative will give you a sense of direction and accomplishment.

7. Turn on the music.

Upbeat music will stimulate your mind and distract you from whatever's bringing you down. Sing along with your favorite songs and feel your spirits rise.

8. Treat yourself to a flavored cup of java.
Don't have any at home? Not to worry. Add some cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla to your regular coffee.

9. Get some exercise.
Because the heart rate and breathing rate increase during exercise a greater amount of oxygen is delivered to the body tissue. In addition to relieving stress, heightened physical activity will decrease the level of the stress hormone, cortisol. This promotes the release of endorphins, the body's natural form of pain relief. As such, your mood can quickly shift from a state of stress to one of joyfulness.

10. Make someone laugh.
It's speculated that laughing helps to kick in your endorphins, giving you a natural high. The jury may still out on whether laughter is actually beneficial to your physical health, but there's no jury needed to conclude that laughter lifts spirits.