10 Ways to Improve Your Mood
Are you feeling down in the dumps? Fortunately, you can easily improve your mood without having to do anything overly-complicated. But you would be astounded by how stupidly simple actions can have such profound effects on your disposition. Here are ten ways you can improve your mood.
Nutrition plays an important role in how you feel, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. If you eat well enough and are in good health, you have fewer chances of feeling down. However, there is scientific evidence that hunger in itself is a critical factor in altering your mood. Low sugar levels can cause physical symptoms of a poor mood, such as sluggishness and stress.
So, the next time you’re feeling grouchy, try to have a bite and see if it improves your disposition. You might, after all, just be hangry. If that does not seem to help much, maybe you need to take a better look at the quality of your overall diet as it has also been found to be linked to depression. Enrolling in a Healthy Eating Masterclass might help you sort this out.
Yet another thing that can help you lift your spirits is to get some downtime. Lacking sleep seems to alter the mood just as hunger does. Studies show that people who are sleep deprived tend to display negative moods such as irritability, anger, frustration, and sadness. You should not be surprised if you’re acting all grumpy after a rough night.
Luckily, you can correct this by paying up your sleep debt. Unfortunately, this kind of debt is one that you can’t pay off so easily. Accordingly, it may take up to four days to recover just one hour of lost sleep. However difficult it is to do so, sleep recovery is important for overall health and mood improvement. Sleep is a restorative activity that helps the body heal and reorganize itself to face its natural functions properly. The lack of it can be catastrophic to your overall well-being, including your mood.
Physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins or feel-good hormones that can instantly improve your mood. You can engage in roughly two hours of moderate aerobic activity in a week. To improve your mood, you will need to do at least fifteen minutes of high-intensity exercise in a day such as running and kickboxing; or at least an hour or low-intensity exercise like housework.
Have a cup of coffee
Or maybe a bite of chocolate. These two things may seem indulgent, but there’s more to them than just plain deliciousness. These two particular foods contain caffeine—the most vastly used psychoactive substance there is. Study upon study confirms that caffeine has an uplifting effect on mood as it mainly works in the brain as a stimulant. If you need a quick pick-me-up, a small espresso or a piece of chocolate can give you an instant boost. Just make sure not to overdo it, or consume it in the evenings as you might have trouble falling asleep.
Take a shower
As it turns out, showering doesn’t only keep you clean; it also has a host of other health benefits, including mood improvement. If you notice closely, you’ll see that you feel like a whole new person after a shower session, and it’s no trick. It does wonders for the mind and the body.
But did you know that different shower temperatures lead to different results? Cold showers tend to perk you up and get you going, making you alert and more rejuvenated. It is also said to improve immunity, aid in weight loss, speed up muscle recovery, and is better for keeping hair and skin moisturized.
On the other hand, hot showers help relax the muscles, detoxify by stimulating sweat glands, help with cellular recovery by means of promoting the release of growth hormones, and is a great way to decongest if you happen to have colds.
Go out for a walk
Nature has a healing effect. It often reduces feelings of anger, fear, anxiety, and stress with some exposure. Additionally, getting exposed to social presence and the hustle and bustle of the community can take your mind off of the things that might be bothering you. To wrap it all up, going out for some sun early in the morning or late in the afternoon covers your daily dose of Vitamin D, which helps overall immunity and health.
If you live in the countryside, you can use your natural environment to your advantage, go for a hike every now, and then perk yourself up and improve your mood. If you’re a city-dweller, things might be a bit trickier, but even just going out to get some milk and eggs can at least help you out a bit compared to staying cooped up.
Listen to some upbeat music.
Researchers at the University of Missouri found that cheerful music can actually help brighten your mood. You can take advantage of your monthly music subscription and put some cheerful music on shuffle whenever you’re feeling down, or if you would like some cheering up. However, the same researchers caution not to obsess too much about your current level of happiness while you’re listening, but rather just enjoy the experience of the melody, beat, and lyrics to maximize its mood-boosting effects.
Talk to a friend
Sometimes you might just need to vent it all out. Talking to a friend, family member, or even a professional such as a psychologist or a life coach, particularly one who is empathetic and can listen to you without judgment, can help you relieve yourself of the weight of your troubles, unburdening yourself in the process. Similarly, talking to strangers can also help you out if you feel lonely. Participating in social interaction helps you improve your communication skills and helps maintain a healthy mental state.
If your friend is within arm’s reach, and you feel like you need a pick-me-up, you might just want to dive in for a hug. There is a biological reason as to why people hug each other in times of heightened emotion. This holds especially true for times of great grief or distress. That’s because hugging causes a release in oxytocin, which onsets a set of mood-boosting effects on the body, such as decreased heart rate as well as stress hormones. With the decrease of stress hormones in your body, you can only expect to be finally rid of your grumpy disposition.
It turns out, massage has the same effects as well with added and amplified benefits. You can opt to learn massage to help someone whom you think needs a mood boost.
Have you ever heard the advice that says “fake it ’til you make it”? If so, you’d be surprised how the same principle can be somewhat applied to happiness as well. Smiling can trick your brain into thinking happier thoughts. Couple that with a good laugh, and you can get to partake of the mood-boosting benefits of being in a happy and relaxed state. If you need some guidance, or if you feel too silly doing it all by yourself, you can participate or enroll in a laughter therapy session—yes, it’s actually a thing!