How to Cheer Yourself Up When Your Head is Feeding You Lies

How to cheer yourself up

One of the best ways I cheer myself up is by talking to myself like a stereotypical comedy where the main character is talking to the mirror, hyping himself up for a date. That’s my secret when people ask me to share my methods on how to cheer yourself up.

Every so often I would have these periods of sadness where I’d be beating myself up, feeling sorry for myself, and feeling like I’m alone. Sound familiar? I’m willing to bet many of you have had this happen often as well.

Feeling better about yourself is pretty hard at times like these. Why? It’s because these moments are random and are created by your head through over-thinking. Notice how the three points I mentioned above are feelings that are created from the inside. There’s no external influences that give me proof I should feel that way.

So how do I deal with these tough storms when the waves are pushing me further away from the coast? I talk to myself by pacing around the rooms, using hand gestures, and talking in the third person.

If you want to learn how to cheer yourself up, you wouldn’t worry about how ridiculous you sound or look. You’d take the time to talk to yourself about:

Why you’re amazing

“Vincent, what the hell are you doing? You’ve got a great life. You’ve grown so much in just the past two years alone, made progress that people would struggle to make in years, and you can approach any beautiful woman you want with sure confidence and get a number (or get shot down without caring.) Plus, you’ve got a love of life that people often lose somewhere along the way.”

How could you be sad when you tell yourself exactly what you have in life?

Perhaps there are people who aren’t as fortunate as I am and without a doubt, you’re reading this wondering if this applies to you. It does apply to you.

Find something amazing about yourself and congratulate yourself. Everyone has at least a few.

Maybe you have a great sense of humor. Awesome, now tell yourself that. You managed to look at a stranger in the eye today when several years ago you were afraid of the smallest exchange? Sweet! You’re awesome!

There’s something amazing about you, just dig deep enough to find it.

If you don’t feel like there is anything amazing about you then get out there and create some memories. This involves stepping out of your comfort zone but there are so many things you can learn NOW so you can look back and say, “Yeah, I’m amazing.”

Don’t know? Well here’s a list of traits that are absolutely important yet many people lack.

Building confidence, learning to talk to strangers, maintaining eye contact, remembering good posture, practicing active listening, and getting out of your own head.

Master any one of these and you’ll have something worth praising yourself for.

The things you have

“You’ve got it easy in college, you’ve got great friends, Self Stairway, your internships, your work as a content marketer, and so much more. You’re brilliant and confident. You exude this aura of magnetism not many people you know can claim to be able to do the same. Most importantly, you’ve got the knowledge that self-improvement is a constant work-in-progress.” 

Just recently, I was having a bit of a struggle going on inside. I was feeling like crap and it wasn’t something I could share with a lot of my friends. It was also something that my head was manufacturing and only existed in my head.

So I began to talk with myself, remembering aloud that I have more than enough.

Then I reminded myself of what many of my close friends are lacking or the troubles they faced in recent years. Some have had parents split apart, family members pass away, and many are still struggling to find their place in the world.

I am fortunate enough to not have to go through any of that. What gives me the right to be sad?

Do the same. Talk to yourself in the third-person and use your own name like you’re scolding yourself. Remind yourself what you already have.

The future-you will be okay

“Why are you so hung up on this right now, Vincent? You know, you’re going to be okay 10 months from now. So is it worth beating yourself up right now? You’ve gone through this before and you’ve come out on the other side. Same thing here.”

This is one of the most effective parts of the self-talk. During the pacing around the house, I try to project the future of my mood, my feelings, my thoughts, and everything else.

Is it going to matter 10 minutes from now? 10 months? 10 years?

If I’m going to be okay several months along the line, it’s probably an issue not worth hanging onto.

Right now, I’m sort of sad that it’s been a long time since I felt truly attracted to a girl beyond her looks alone. Isn’t that a silly thing to think about? It’s crazy to be hung up on the fact that I’m… What? Independent? Happy?

I’m sad over a feeling (or lack of) that others would be glad to have control over. I should be grateful that I work so well on my own.

Yet, I allowed my brain to overanalyze and sort of force myself to fall for someone, only to fall back out after a week. My brain was telling me there’s something wrong. Shouldn’t I be attached to someone?

Talking to myself and asking myself if I’d still be worrying about something so silly 10 months from now allows me to snap out of it. Hell, I’ll meet the girl I inevitably fall hard for eventually. Until then, I keep working on myself because I know I won’t be worrying about this several weeks from now.

Last time you felt this way (and survived)

 “Hey, Vincent, you smug bastard. Don’t you remember the last time you went through these exact thought processes? Dude, you got through all that. Don’t you remember? You got through it all then came out even better. Guess what? The same thing will happen soon.”

Your head has a way of creating problems that aren’t real. If this happens to you now, chances are it had happened many times before.

If that is the case then that means you’ve survived the last storm of negative emotions. How’d you manage that?

You could have felt the world was going to end on you, yet here you are. So why not remember the last time you felt like it was all over?

You got through it and I am betting you’ll do it again.

Seriously, this just seems ridiculous, but talking to yourself is a great way to kick yourself out of a rut. Perhaps it won’t be enough to get you over something as tragic as your pet dying, but this will get you through those moments of sadness that seem to come from nowhere.

Question: How do you cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down?


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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

Latest posts by Vincent Nguyen (see all)

31 responses to How to Cheer Yourself Up When Your Head is Feeding You Lies

  1. Sometimes when I’m sad I ask myself why? And if I have a valid reason I feel it and write about it. If I don’t have a valid reason, I recognize I may be needing something. Sometimes rest, sometimes something to refresh myself so I go to the list of what refreshes me and pick one.

    I enjoyed your post, because I think you were addressing those times we feel negative without needing to stay there.

    • Asking yourself why is a good idea, Anne. There are times when I’m sad and I honestly have no clue why. That’s when I bust out a new Word Document and write stream of consciousness style. Eventually, I stumble upon the issue through writing.

  2. There is definitely a time and place to be critical, and never overcritical. Great insight.

  3. Beautifully written post, Vincent!!! I am a big fan of the 10 min, 10 mth,10 yr thingy too. I begin taking action again and tell myself not to be a jerk. I simply do not have time to get down on myself. Oh, and I have Lady Hoombah over here always willing to tell me the same;) Really, she keeps me honest and outta my head and I do the same for her. Together, we attack boredom and sorrow. Humor works wonders most of the time too.

    • CJ, I think you’d be THE most interesting person to listen to during a discussion with yourself in the third-person. If you do this, please please please record it. 🙂

  4. Hi Vincent! I love the idea of talking to yourself out loud. I have not tried this, but I imagine it would be really fun…or at least humorous which would pull me out of my downward thought spiral. I often see my negative thinking as a loop, so breaking that loop is critical.

    Your posts are always so much fun to read with real-life examples and practical approaches. Be fussy on the woman front. If you do fall hard, you want her to be pretty darn special because you sure are!

    • It is VERY fun. I don’t do it for entertainment as often as I do it out of necessity though, but it does go either way!

      Glad to know I’ve still got that “practical touch!”

  5. I used to do something similar to this. Whenever I wasn’t getting work done, or was just generally unmotivated – I’d look in the mirror and tell myself that I had to harden up and just get back to it, “Stop being an idiot Sam, the only way you’re gonna get where you wanna get is by working. Get back to it.”

    It’s not exactly the same as what you’re talking about, but it was definitely a third person self-review kinda thing. I stopped doing it as I realized that I was beating myself up, and though it was fine at the time, if I kept it up it could have had some negative effects.

    One thing that cheers me up, and you touched upon it in this post; is gratitude. I’m trying to build the habit of mentally listing things that I’m grateful for in the morning and evening. It’s a good way to bring perspective to your life and remember what you actually do have.

    Thanks for the great article, Vincent!

  6. I like to leave things I’m not sure of for “future Tom” to deal with. The other thing I do when things get to be too much is to figure out the one thing I need to do next and then do it…building momentum along the way.

  7. Haha, you’re too colorful, Vincent! I think you’ll make a fine comedian someday! 😉

    Joking aside, you’ve got some great thoughts here. I especially like your point on reminding yourself how you got through this the last time. It’s always easy to get caught up in the moment and think the world has ended – again. Perhaps if we just think back to what happened last time, we’ll be able to find a way out quickly.

    Another great way to cheer yourself up – or simply keep you in a great mood all day – is to smile. Specifically, close your eyes for 10 seconds, and think of a happy memory, a loved one, the great weekend plans you have coming up, or whatever. And while you’re doing it, smile. Really relax and smile. Force yourself to do so if you have to.

    You may just find that the ACTION of smiling will quickly bring about the FEELING of happiness. After all, how can a person stay upset when they are smiling?

    • Ah, I always hear about how smiling cause you to become happy, but I rarely ever remember that. I’ve tried that a few days ago and it felt sort of strange so I resorted to the self-pep talk again. 😛

  8. Instead of 10 months or 10 years, I like to remind myself of where I’ll be in 100 years. Far from being morbid, it really helps me put my simple, petty problems in perspective. I find it especially calming in work situations where I still get caught up in politics and the corporate race. It reminds me that there are much more important parts of my life to focus on. Thanks for the advice Vincent!

  9. There’s a concept in NLP that I often use that is very powerful, called ‘reframing’.
    Our brains at a fundamental level is always thinking negative thoughts because it’s part of our survival mechanism to not put us in danger.

    What reframing trains you to do is to consciously train your brain to rethink a negative thought into a positive.

    After a while, it will become subconscious and you’ll have no other choice but to be positive. This was a life saver for me because It helped me improve my negativity and depression.

    • Been hearing that term a lot lately. I think I already do “reframing” to a certain extent but I never had the term for it. Thanks! I’ll be sure to keep this in mind.

  10. I’ll confess, I’ve talked to myself before. Not so much to cheer myself up, but to fire myself up. Kinda like Sam mentioned. I’m not so sure it would work when I’m feeling down, but it sure as hell works when I need some “pump.”

    But I think you’re making a good point here. Like you say, we have to get out of our own heads. That’s really the key. We manufacture these negative thoughts and feelings ourselves, and it’s up to us to tear them back down. However works best.


    • Hell, I still struggle with getting out of my own head sometimes. It really is a killer and if you can learn to get that pep-talk down into an inner dialogue, you’d be really set.

  11. I play music, write, take walks, go to the gym. In fact, yesterday I was a bit in a grumpy mood. I took a walk and then went and played with my dog. I told him, “Things are really pretty good, Shep. Life’s not bad.”

    • I do some of the same things you do as well, but I’ve found that the talking to yourself thing is one of the faster “pick me ups.” Plus, you can do it anywhere (sort of!)

  12. I practice my spiritual disciplines (Mainly prayer) and use self talk to lift myself up. It’s amazing how our viewpoint and mindset shift when we start speaking good and positive words into our life. Great post!

  13. Great post. One way to cheer us up is to stop thinking negative thoughts. One way to do that is to focus our attention on our breathing. Learn to control breath helps us control our mind and thoughts.

  14. Realized that whatever I’m facing isn’t the end of the world (I am alive aren’t I?). The fact that we are here at Self Stairway means we are literate (not everyone is), have time (otherwise we would be too busy) and are life long learners (we read after all). We have it so good.

    Problems and worries are relative.

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