It’s normal to feel down in the dumps sometimes. We’ve all been there! It’s a natural part of life, but it pays to learn how to improve mood and sadness. Otherwise, mental stress can take a toll on the brain and body.1
Be kind to yourself by practicing self-care. Of course, this will be different for everyone. But thanks to these nine simple mood-boosters, you can start feeling better.
1. Go Outside
The great outdoors is nature’s best remedy. Sunshine can treat your body to vitamin D, a nutrient that’s linked to good mood and less depression. It’s thought to help the nerves in the brain function properly.2
A quick walk around the block might be all you need. Eating breakfast and reading outside are other relaxing ways to get some fresh air.
2. Move Around
When it comes to mood boosters, you can’t go wrong with physical activity. It’ll help your brain make more endorphins, the feel-good” chemicals that improve mood. And since exercise encourages oxygen circulation, your brain function will flourish.3
This means you can just run, take a Zumba or dance class to melt away the blues. Even a few jumping jacks and push-ups can make a difference.
3. Do Yoga
If you want a mood boost and natural stress and anxiety relief, try yoga. This activity stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which boosts levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). This brain chemical is related to mood. So the more GABA you have, the better you’ll feel.4
A light and easy practice will work wonders. But if you need a quick fix, stretch for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure the room is free of distractions and phone calls.
4. Call A Friend
Having a good laugh with a loved one can brighten your day. After all, connecting with others is big part of mental health. So take time to catch up with friends or relatives.5
Better yet, meet up for coffee or lunch. By nurturing your support system, your mood will have a better chance of staying up.
5. Do Something You Love
Making time for your favorite hobby is always worth it. Doing so has been linked to great psychological health, making room for uplifting moods. Even life satisfaction and physical activity increase with leisurely hobbies.6
Remember, you don’t need to be a pro at something. The point is to do it for fun, not perfection. And thanks to the Internet, it’s so easy to learn new hobbies.
6. Take A Bath
If you’re wondering how to get out of a depressed mood fast, just fill up the tub. A warm, relaxing bath maybe just what you need after a stressful day. It’s also a lovely way to practice self-care.
For a bigger mood boost, add five drops each of lavender and rosemary essential oil. These double as soothing natural remedies that can enhance mood. The aromas will rejuvenate you in the best way.7
7. Write In A Journal
A journal is like a cheap form of therapy. It gives you the chance to release your thoughts, a key factor in relieving stress. You’ll also be able to practice gratitude and recognize what makes you happy.8
You don’t need a fancy pen and paper – any notebook will do. Try to write in it everyday, but know that it’s a judgment-free zone. The goal is to take the weight off your shoulders.
8. Snack On Almonds
Eating almonds is a great way to fuel up on omega-9, or oleic acid. This healthy fat is linked to improve brain function and a better mood. It’s also linked to physical activity, which can kick sad feelings to the curb.9
To enjoy almonds, eat them in a trail mix or by themselves. You even toss them in salads, yogurt, or cereal.
9. Eat Saffron
The vibrant color of saffron is enough to make anyone smile. But eating it has its perks, too. This spice relieves depressive symptoms, helping boost your mood and happiness. In fact, it may work just as well as prescribed anti-depressants.10
Saffron is available as a loose spice, pill, and tea. It pairs especially well with cinnamon.
Think about what makes you happy. It doesn’t matter how silly or simple it seems! If it makes you feel good, keep it on your list of things to do when you’re feeling low.
|↑1||5 Things You Should Know About Stress. National Institute of Mental Health.|
|↑2||Penckofer, Sue, Joanne Kouba, Mary Byrn, and Carol Estwing Ferrans. “Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine?.” Issues in mental health nursing 31, no. 6 (2010): 385-393.|
|↑3||Exercise for Stress and Anxiety. Anxiety and Depression Association for America.|
|↑4||Streeter, Chris C., Theodore H. Whitfield, Liz Owen, Tasha Rein, Surya K. Karri, Aleksandra Yakhkind, Ruth Perlmutter et al. “Effects of yoga versus walking on mood, anxiety, and brain GABA levels: a randomized controlled MRS study.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 16, no. 11 (2010): 1145-1152.|
|↑5||What Is Mental Health? Mental Health.gov.|
|↑6||Pressman, Sarah D., Karen A. Matthews, Sheldon Cohen, Lynn M. Martire, Michael Scheier, Andrew Baum, and Richard Schulz. “Association of enjoyable leisure activities with psychological and physical well-being.” Psychosomatic medicine 71, no. 7 (2009): 725.|
|↑7||Moss, Mark, Jenny Cook, Keith Wesnes, and Paul Duckett. “Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults.” International Journal of Neuroscience 113, no. 1 (2003): 15-38.|
|↑8||Baikie, Karen A., and Kay Wilhelm. “Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing.” Advances in psychiatric treatment 11, no. 5 (2005): 338-346.|
|↑9||Kien, C. Lawrence, Janice Y. Bunn, Connie L. Tompkins, Julie A. Dumas, Karen I. Crain, David B. Ebenstein, Timothy R. Koves, and Deborah M. Muoio. “Substituting dietary monounsaturated fat for saturated fat is associated with increased daily physical activity and resting energy expenditure and with changes in mood.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 97, no. 4 (2013): 689-697.|
|↑10||Hausenblas, Heather Ann, Debbie Saha, Pamela Jean Dubyak, and Stephen Douglas Anton. “Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.” Journal of integrative medicine 11, no. 6 (2013): 377-383.|