We all feel down from time to time but if your case of the crankies has overstayed its welcome it might be time to take control of your mood…naturally. Here are a few tips for simply and organically lifting your spirits. Because after all life is too short to waste it being in a bad mood.
Get your heart pounding-Get up and get moving! Take a walk, ride a bike or take the dog for a run. Physical activity is great mood booster. It can burn calories and reduce body fat making you feel more accomplished, active and alive.
According to a study by researchers at Dalhousie University, a 30-minute walk is effective at reducing tension, anxiety, and mood disturbances and increasing energy and vigor. Getting out of the house has additional benefits. Natural light stimulates the brain which produces the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which can significantly improve your mood.
Get Plenty of Sleep-Your body and its natural processes depend on you getting enough sleep on a daily basis. Sleep is important for concentration, memory formation and repair of damage to your body’s cells during the day. When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body’s functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Time.com estimates that you should get between 6.5 and 7.5 hours of sleep per night. Citing that getting too little as well as too much sleep can be equally unhealthy.
Listen to music-By playing your favorite tunes you can change your mood in an instant. According to Good Housekeeping, listening to music has a powerful effect on people’s moods. In one study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, listening to music reduced stress hormone levels up to 41 percent. Whether you prefer to bust out your favorite records or jam to your I-Pod, it’s the music itself that positively affects mood rather than the lyrics. So make sure to listen to something with an upbeat rhythm and melody. Listening to your favorite songs from years past can be nostalgic. By triggering vivid memories and nostalgic feelings you can also improve mood and lower stress. Just make sure that the memories they evoke are pleasant ones.
Chocolate makes everything better-Everybody’s favorite sweet indulgence is also proven to be a mood elevator for many people. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine which is a mood-regulating chemical found naturally in the brain. The high levels of sugar found in chocolate, triggers your body’s release of serotonin which is a natural antidepressant. Chocolate is a good mood booster in moderation. Since it’s loaded with sugar and fat a little self-control is necessary. Try nibbling a little chocolate while you treat yourself to something else you enjoy, like a funny movie or a good book. Go ahead; it’s OK, spoil yourself a little!
Lend a Hand-Nothing re-energizes your soul like the feeling of accomplishment and making a difference that you get through volunteerism. When researchers analyzed 37 studies on volunteering, they found that people who offered their time had a better since of well-being, were happier with their lives, and were less likely to feel sad and anxious. Volunteers have also been found to recover more quickly from surgery, sleep better and have healthier immune systems compared to people who do not volunteer. Doing something nice for somebody else can run the gamut from organizing a book drive to helping an elderly neighbor out around the house. Doing good ultimately leads to feeling good so give of yourself and reap the benefits today.