Anyone who has ever traveled knows that in order to experience the amazing highs that come with exploring a new place, you have to go through some really frustrating times as well. There are some days where everyone talks too fast, walks too slow, and you find yourself feeling lost and going in circles. It’s on these days that you want to throw your hands up and go back to the home you know, the people you love, and say, “Screw it, I’ve seen enough.” But then you find an off-the-beaten path gem, a stranger smiles at you, and you remember why you decided to follow your bodacious dream to see the world.
On the days that you find yourself feeling melancholic and the world seems to be a bit lackluster, step outside of yourself. Adjust your attitude. Remind yourself that you have a precious human life, and you’re not going to waste it. As this fantastic quote by Rumi says, “If you’re irritated by every rub, how will you ever be polished?” Keep this in mind, and when the day isn’t going your way don’t get pissed, get polished.
Here are some things I try to do to improve my mood when I feel myself walking down a dark path of loneliness, contempt or self-pity. These are things we can all do, whether we are traveling or just having a bad day at home.
1. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remember that whatever negative thing you’re feeling- it will pass, if you let it. You’re in charge of how you feel. Choose positivity. Find the bright side of things. Did you just step in shit? Well, as Forrest Gump says, sometimes it happens.
2. Exercise yourself into a better state of mind. Sweat out your worries, increase your endorphins, and strengthen your body in the process. Whether you’re counting your squats or push-ups, focusing on your breath during yoga, or trying not to trip while running down the sidewalk, your mind will be busy.
3. Smile. Smile at yourself in a reflection. Smile at a stranger and see their reaction. Smile to the sun and remember that life is good. And if you’re crying, smile. Be happy you’re not a heartless robot.
4. Find a quiet place, preferably with green space. Breathe the life of the plants. Admire their beautiful details and remember that we are all connected. Whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone.
5. Pick up trash. You’ll distract yourself and make the world a better place at the same time. At least if you’re feeling worthless you will be doing something worthwhile. And smile. Remember, one person can make a difference.
At the end of the day, try not to let every rub hit you the wrong way; allow yourself to become polished. You’re only as happy as you make up your mind to be, so put a few of these tips to the test and see if you can turn your frown upside down.