10 INSTANT MOOD BOOSTERS
We all know what it’s like to feel low. Mood changes, hormonal imbalances, and stress can impact many areas of your life including your relationships, your career, and most importantly your physical and mental health.
Whether you’re feeling tired, anxious, or unmotivated, the good news is there are many ways to lift yourself up.
Here we share 10 simple and easy ways to boost your mood, instantly!
1) Move Your Body
Physical activity can have a positive impact on self-esteem, quality of sleep, and overall well-being.
If you don’t already love fitness, it’s time to fall in love with being active. Choose an activity that you enjoy such as dancing, spinning, or weight training. You’re more likely to stay active if you engage in an exercise that puts a smile on your face. Research suggests that exercise increases brain serotonin function.
Music has also been shown to instantly elevate mood, so make sure you’ve got your favorite tunes on your playlist or join a fitness class that plays music you enjoy.
2) Recite Positive Affirmations Daily
Depressed mood is associated with a reduced ability to imagine positive events. According to one study, higher levels of visual mental imagery were associated with better mood.
Practicing positive affirmations daily can greatly impact your mood, especially if you can visualize happy memories and events in your life. Make time for daily appreciation by writing in your gratitude journal twice a day—upon rising in the morning and before bed.
3) Practice Yoga or Meditation
An easy way to reset your coconut and boost your mood is through yoga and relatively short daily meditation. You should have no problem finding a yoga studio or meditation group in your area. If you are more comfortable at home, try online videos, a meditation app, or a podcast.
One study examined the effects of daily meditation relative to podcast listening on mood, prefrontal and hippocampal functioning, cortisol levels, and emotional regulation. Within just eight weeks of daily meditation, participants reported reduced negative mood states and decreased anxiety scores. This is one of many studies showing the benefits of meditation. Short daily meditation can have comparable behavioral effects to lengthier and higher-intensity meditation.
4) Declutter Your Space
A clean, de-cluttered space is a healthier space. Not only can it reduce sensitivity reactions to dust, but it also can help you feel calmer, more relaxed, and happier.
Once you’re done reviving your space, turn on your Himalayan salt lamp and run your diffuser using uplifting essential oils such as lemon, lavender, or cinnamon. This may be just what you need to elevate your mood.
5) Take a Fish Oil Supplement
Omega-3 fatty acids—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—are important nutrients that the body does not make, so they must be obtained through diet or supplements.
While fish such as mackerel, anchovies, and sardines are rich omega-3 sources, high-quality fish oil supplements may be a better choice since they are purified and tested for environmental pollutants. Studies show that EPA is particularly important for mood, so look for a supplement that delivers high amounts of EPA.
6) Get Your Sunshine Vitamin
Winter limits sun exposure and puts us at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D—the “sunshine” vitamin— is considered an important nutrient not just for physical health, but mental well-being as well. To maintain healthy vitamin D levels, the arms and legs need sun exposure for five to 10 minutes, two or three times per week. This doesn’t mean you should go bake in the sun; you’re likely getting this exposure just by walking to your car and getting your morning coffee.
If you aren’t spending your winters down south, consider taking a supplement. If you don’t want to add another supplement to your basket, look for an omega-3 fish oil supplement that contains vitamin D.
7) Take a Probiotic for Mood and Stress
By now you’ve probably heard that probiotics (also known as protective bacteria) are good for your gut, but did you know that probiotics can impact mood by communicating with the brain?
While it may be a good idea to increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods such as organic yogurt, sauerkraut, or tempeh, targeted probiotic supplements for mood can be particularly helpful during times of stress.
In one study, oral intake of two bacterial strains— Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175—showed beneficial effects on anxiety- and depressi
on-related behaviors in human volunteers.
8) Go on a Nature Walk
Most of us would agree that sunlight, fresh air, and nature are good for our health. Exposure to nature is associated with improved mental well-being in comparison to indoor synthetic environments. Being in nature can improve self-esteem and mood, reduce anxiety, and promote feelings of calmness and comfort.
As humans, we are not meant to spend hours sitting at a desk indoors. Most of us have a natural desire to connect with nature and feel happier after spending time outdoors. Consider hiking on a trail, walking by the lake, or picnicking at a local park in your city.
9) Unplug at Least One Hour Before Bed
If you aren’t getting good quality sleep, this could definitely put a damper on your positive mood. Consider taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath or having a cup of calming herbal tea such as chamomile or valerian root before bed.
Be sure to keep your bedroom very dark and stay away from blue light sources such as your smartphone at least an hour before bed. It can delay the release of melatonin (a hormone that your brain produces to regulate sleep) and throw off your natural circadian rhythm.
10) Choose Brain Food
We all know that sugar and processed foods are best avoided for optimal health, but which foods fuel the brain and support a healthier mood?
Opt for Brazil nuts (rich in selenium), antioxidant-rich fruits, and green vegetables such as spinach, okra, and broccoli. Folate deficiency may impair the metabolism of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are important for mood...