How do you boost your mood right now?
Everybody experiences times when they feel restless, unhappy or irritable. Some days you feel on top of the world and other days, you don’t feel like getting out of your bed. Experiencing changes in our mood is normal and it’s something that we can learn to cope with.
Moods are part of your emotional rhythm and can be useful indicators of issues that need to be dealt with. Understanding your moods and the triggers, events and experiences that impact it can help you work out what causes them and how you tend to behave in various moods. This, in turn, will help you find the most suitable coping tools to manage your moods.
There are several natural ways to boost your mood, including improving your physical health, cultivating and maintaining relationships with friends, family and community, practicing techniques to manage our thoughts and emotions, and addressing deeper issues with a licensed professional.
Keep reading to learn more about how you can apply these hacks and find tools that can help you get a better understanding of how moods work.
What impacts our moods?
Moods are complex and many things can cause them to fluctuate. Studies show that three factors impact our emotions: mindset (personal traits and learned responses), biology (brain chemical and hormones), and environment (stress and illness.)
The most common everyday causes of unpleasant and negative moods are:
- Tiredness and lack of sleep and rest
- Hunger or poor nutrition
- The news
- The weather
- Interactions with other people
- Lack of physical activity
- Body changes (hormonal issues due to PMS, puberty, menopause or pregnancy)
Other causes of negative mood are:
- Medication side effects
- Substance abuse
- Mental health conditions (bipolar disorder, dementia or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Chronic pain or physical illness
Environmental mood triggers include:
- Chemicals in the food you consume (pesticides, additives or preservatives)
- Seasonal changes
- Poor air quality and noise pollution
- Natural disasters
- Unrest in your community or country
How do I monitor my moods?
Monitoring your mood is an effective way to manage your emotions and identify patterns of behavior that you need to change to feel better faster. You’ll know what triggers to avoid and make better lifestyle choices that will improve the quality of your life.
The objective is to watch for changes in your mood during the day, particularly the high swings and the low dips, so that you know when you need to act to balance your emotional state.
There are many ways to self-monitor. Choosing the right practices and tools will make it easier for you to make it part of your everyday routine.
Journaling: Journaling is simply writing down your thoughts and feelings so that you understand them better. It’s a private place where you jot down your fears and concerns, as well as the wins and happy events. Getting your feelings out of your head and down on paper is therapeutic and gives you a sense of your mood patterns. If you need some guidance on choosing a journal, check out this article, where we’ve included our favorite picks.
Bullet journaling: A more focused form of journaling is mood tracking in a bullet journal. In this system, you use bullet points to log daily activities, set goals and create to-do lists. Instead of writing a long narrative style typical of diary-keeping, you use a series of short, simple sentences that describe daily happenings and future tasks.
Mood color chart: A fun way to define different emotions is by using a color chart. Each color corresponds to a type of mood—for example, red equals “angry,” yellow represents “happy,” and blue expresses “sad.” By keeping a mood color chart, you’ll have a vivid visual representation of how you felt during a certain period and see where you’d like to make some changes.
Using a mood tracker app: Not everyone has the time to write in a daily journal – that’s why they prefer a time-saving alternative like a mood tracker app. Having access to these apps helps you keep track of your moods faster and easily. Several high-quality apps with innovative features available in the market can help you stay attuned to your feelings. Choose one that you find easier to work with and gives you the information you need to stay on top of your moods.
What foods can I eat to boost my mood?
No matter what’s causing you to feel blue, it’s hard to be in good spirits when you’re hungry and your body lacks key nutrients. When we’re down, it can be tempting to reach out for sugary, high-calorie treats but while these treats can be a quick fix, they are not the healthiest solution.
While there’s no single food shown to prevent the lows in our lives, studies show that eating a healthy balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and the right vitamins and minerals energizes you and helps you feel your best.
Nonetheless, growing research indicates that we can harness the use of certain mood-boosting foods to impact our mood and wellbeing positively. These 7 foods and 8 vitamins and supplements have been shown to help ease stress, stabilize mood and relieve anxiety.
- Fish (specifically fatty fish like salmon)
- Green tea
- Spinach and other leafy greens
- Red bell pepper
- Nuts (walnuts particularly)
- Fruits (berries and banana’s mainly)
- Fermented foods (sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, yogurt, kefir and kombucha)
- Dark chocolate
- Chia seeds
- Maca powder
- Goji berries
- Cacao powder
Vitamins and minerals:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
10 ways to instantly boost your mood
While it may seem like happiness is like a distant goal that’s waiting around the corner, there are several things that you can do to find happiness wherever you are. Boosting your mood will help you feel positive about your life, no matter how tough it can be. Instead of postponing your joy until you get a better job, a bigger home, or go on your next vacation, use these quick strategies to elevate your spirits right now.
1. Connect with others
Feeling more connected to those around you reminds you that you are not alone. If you’re feeling down, call or go out with a friend or family friend.
2. Go outside
Step outside to a natural setting with trees and plants or go out for a walk in nature.
3. Engage in a hobby
Whether it’s gardening, painting or reading, doing something you enjoy and that engages your mind can make you feel better.
4. Breathe and rest
Lower stress levels and induce tranquility by taking slow and controlled breaths. Also taking the time to relax or even catch up on sleep will leave you feeling more energized.
5. Change up your routine
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut or just bored with the same old routine and the best way to break out of this is by doing something new and exciting. Changing things up in your life can be as simple as visiting a new restaurant or taking a new route to work.
6. Listen to uplifting music
Music is known to have the ability to improve one’s mood. For a boost of happiness, listen to your favorite playlist.
7. Laugh more
Laughter triggers mood-boosting hormones with benefits that go beyond improving mood. To experience these benefits, watch a comedy show or spend time with a friend who has a good sense of humor.
8. Move your body
Lace-up and go for a run through the park, lift some weights or do a yoga routine at your home. Even a simple stroll outside can release those feel-good endorphins.
9. Focus on what you’re grateful for
Shifting your focus from what needs fixing in your life to what is going well can increase your happiness. Make a note of what you’re grateful for in your journal.
10. Do something nice for someone
Many people find that engaging in acts of altruism brings feelings of happiness. There are many ways to give back such as helping out a friend or a neighbor, making donations or volunteering for a cause in your local community.
What you need to boost your mood
This bestseller supplement contains a formula of 5-HTP enhanced with SAMe and L-Tryptophan, which have been indicated to help 5-HTP conversion to serotonin, creating a synergistic mood booster.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Mood cards offer a simple and fun way to identify and understand your moods and feelings. Each of the 42 cards contains guided questions for self-exploration and positive affirmation. Using the cards can boost your emotional intelligence and help you understand your emotions more clearly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
This device uses a combination of personalized breathing regulation, multi-sensory stimulation and calming scents to provide a quick solution for people to regain a sense of balance, relaxation and focus.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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