8 Ways to Make Yourself Smile

We've all had days when it just seems impossible to smile. Maybe you're stressed, or upset, or just tired of being so busy.


But it's important that you look after yourself, and ... that thing you're down about? I'm guessing that, however bad it is, there's not much you can do about it. The good news is that the one thing you can control is the one thing that, I've found, really helps.

You have to step back and do something that'll make you smile.

(I guess it's important to note here that I'm not a doctor or a metal health professional. I'm just a human who gets sad, and these things have been known to help me be happy again.)

#1 ~ Bed. Book. Bliss

Grab that book off your TBR - you know, the one that you've been looking forward to for weeks but never quite got round to - brew some hot chocolate, or tea, or coffee, and burrow yourself inside your duvet. It doesn't even have to be evening, if you don't want it to be. Just laying back and drifting into your own little book-cocoon really does help you get perspective ... and, of course, puts a smile on your face.

(By the way, if you're reading this in summer ... sitting on your bed without the cocoon and sipping something ice-cold and fizzy is just as relaxing without the sweat factor.)

#2 ~ Enlist the help of the internet

After I've been upset about something, I'm often left feeling kind of fragile, as if I'll burst out crying at the slightest hint of something going wrong. And ... well, I'm definitely not smiling when I feel like that. 

I like to reach for my laptop and scroll through a special Pinterest board I keep called "I Need to Smile Today". It's stuffed full of ridiculous memes, bad puns and basically everything the internet has to offer that might distract me and lift my mood a little. And it might take ten minutes or so, but by the end I am always smiling.

#3 ~ Don't go it alone

When I'm sad and I don't really know why ... it often turns out that I'm more lonely than anything. And even if there is something I definitely know that I am sad about, it just makes me sadder to be sad alone.

That paragraph had the word sad in it a lot. Let's just go with it, okay?

So when you are sad, try to stop being sad by talking to someone. Hug your parents. Or your neighbour. Or your cat. If you need to talk to someone, call a friend - even if you just want to chat about something completely unrelated and get them to make you laugh for a while, they'll be there for you. Don't worry about being a burden, because if they really care they'll be happy to look after you.

#4 ~ Watch some comedy 

Sometimes just smiling isn't anywhere near enough. There are levels of sadness that cannot be beaten by anything but a full-on belly laugh, and if you're looking for full-on belly laughs you need people that are trained to make you full-on belly laugh.

That would be a comedian, if you're wondering.

Personally, I like to listen to people like Tim Minchin and Russell Howard, but they are very very rude. And some of the things they say might be a little - or a lot - controversial. So choose whoever's going to appeal to your sense of humour, type their name into Google, and be prepared to laugh so hard you can't breathe.

It helps. I promise.

#5 ~ Get on with something

After a while ... well. There are situations when you can look after yourself as well as possible and make yourself laugh as much as you can, but as soon as the last joke fades - you're back to crying again. 

It's a horrible cycle to be in, I know. I've been there - and to be honest, we probably all have. To stop it, though, you're going to have to give yourself a bit of tough love. Take a deep breath, put it to the back of your mind, and come up with something you can do instead. Something you can achieve - preferably in a pretty short time. Let it be the only thing you focus on until you're done; and trust me, the feeling once you've finished that task, achieved your goal, and ticked that item off your mental to-do-list, might just put a smile on your face.

#6 ~ Sleepy time, suckers

You know when you've got some sort of electrical device that just isn't working, you'll turn it off and on again? Well ... sleep is kind of like that. (I'm about 75% sure I got this comparison from somewhere on Tumblr, but the blog has hidden itself in the dark realms of the internet where I can't find it, so if you know where, tell me! I'll be a good girl and link up.)

So you've tried a bunch of things, and you still can't smile? You need to turn yourself off and on again, mate. Being overtired isn't exactly going to help in a situation where you feel run-down, and even when you feel pretty okay, it's important to get enough sleep so that it doesn't catch up with you. This, as I'm sure you're aware, would lead to sadness and that is bad.

Oh. You just woke up from a super-long sleep, and you're still sad? Maybe you're ... hungry?

Yeah. You're probably hungry. My point is, deal with your basic needs. They might be what's making you gripey.

#7 ~ Remember that you don't have to be perfect
Expecting the best from yourself when you've had a bad day is just kind of unrealistic. And silly. And unhelpful. I mean, I do it the whole time, but ... yeah. Isn't a good thing.

A rough day is often a sign that you need to take it easy and look after yourself. THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO ACHIEVE EVERYTHING OF EVER AT THE SAME TIME, 'KAY?

Because ... perfect is overrated and unachievable. Trying to reach something impossible that probably wouldn't even make you very happy when you got there would stress anyone out. So don't.

Just be you instead.

#8 ~ Also, THIS. This ALWAYS makes me smile.

That's right. Only on Another Teen Reader could an almost cheesily earnest pep talk be followed by a comedy ballet.

In the comments: What do you guys do to cheer yourselves up? Would you recommend it to others, or is it just your thing? Do you have any advice for people going through difficult times?
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  1. Oh, I needed these reminders today. This whole week has been insane. I spent most of last Wednesday crying, feeling scared, and frantically texting my friends who were also terrified. Reading has definitely helped (I always turn to Harry Potter when I need a pick-me-up), and I also LOVE watching panels from "Supernatural" conventions on YouTube. Those actors never fail to cheer me up. :)

    1. Kate, I was freaking out on Wednesday, and I don't even live in America. I can't imagine how you were feeling - but I hope you're at least a little less terrified now you've cheered yourself up? Harry Potter, after all, is always the best pick-me-up, especially when you need a little bit of comfort.

      *sends squishy warm hugs*

  2. I just spent three and a half minutes watching ballerinas pretend to be bad and I don't know why I'm laughing so hard.

    But anyway, if I'm feeling that lonely-sad hybrid, I call my best friend and then all is better. But if I'm feeling that hopeless sad, I usually turn on soft music and read, draw, or do some yoga.

    Looooooovely post as usual <3

    1. You're laughing because it's awesome, Julia, that's why. I thought you might like it, with your whole musical / disney obsession.

      Oooh, calling a friend is always a good one - and I can imagine that I'd find art super relaxing if I wasn't rubbish at it. I just kind of end up screaming at the page for not looking the way I want it to ...

      Loooooovely comment as usual :-P

  3. Things that make me happy:
    1. Cartoons
    2. Anime
    3. Bad Sitcoms
    4. Dancing in the rain
    5. My friends
    6. Geeky things
    7. My favourite books
    8. Release dates being moved forwards (never happens)
    9. Chinese food

    Brilliant idea for a post. Everyone needs cheering up sometimes!

    1. Things I would like to say about this comment:
      1. Thank you for being fab.
      2. I ... have never seen an anime. Does that make me a bad fangirl?
      3. YES! Although I think my mum would kill me if I called Frasier a "bad" sitcom. Meh. My opinion.
      4. How fitting, considering your name.
      6. Harry Potter jewellery is my all-time-favourite geeky thing. What about you?
      7. Re-reads always make me feel fuzzy ... I love the feeling of going back to an old friend.
      8. Ah. We can dream.


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