Sometimes no matter what you do, the day seems off. Call it a funk or just a bad mood, you can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong. Hopefully this doesn’t happen too often, but when the inevitable happens, everyone should know that there are ways to get through it. There have been studies on what effects mood and how, but these are a few of my favorites. Try them when you need a mood booster or share them with a friend needs it.
A greasy meal may cheer us up for a minute when we’re feeling down, but that’s not what I’m talking about (and I think we can all agree that’s probably not the best route). Treating yourself to a littledark chocolate can enhance your mood though! The cocoa can boost your serotonin levels and increases feelings of contentedness. Bananas, turmeric, and berries have also been known to boost moods.
You may know how much I utilize sound therapy to relieve stress and anxiety. Taking time to focus on the sounds around you can put you in a better mood. I meditate with my singing bowl, but you can also listen to binaural beats, which are perceived when each of two sounds of different frequencies are heard in each ear. (Listen here). Certain frequencies can promote brain activity, or even a more relaxed state. But you can also pick up your mood by listening to some of your favorite songs. These days, you can find music for every mood, so don’t underestimate its power in brightening your day!
Exercise is perhaps the most well known stress reliever. But did you know it can actually trigger positive emotions? Yep, that feeling after you just kicked butt at the gym is often compared to a temporary euphoric state brought on by an activity’s endorphin release. Regular exercise can alsodecrease feelings of pain, but regular is the key word here. You have to make it a regular part of your routine to really benefit long term.
Time spent in nature will work wonders for your mood. Countless studies have linked to nature as a promoter of positive attitudes. And like certain foods, being outside is said to boost serotonin. Nature also helps keep your circadian rhythm on track, which helps make you more alert during the day and have more restful sleep at night. But if you can’t spend the day hiking or camping, no worries! Even looking at videos or pictures of peaceful nature scenes can boost your mood. If you like nature and are looking for a way to increase positive vibes this year, consider making going outside one of your resolutions. Even a quick walk on your lunch break can give you comfort, energy, and help you refocus.
Although all artists know that creating art is essential to our happiness, even the not-so-artsy types should definitely give this a try. In fact, those who appreciate the arts are known to generally be happier than those who don’t. My suggestion is to set aside a few moments to doodle, paint, create a scrapbook etc. – without any expectation. You’ll likely get lost in creating and find that it did lift your mood!
Sara Dal Monte