Being in a bad mood is hard to shake. Sometimes, the day is not going your way and your temper flares. When you’re not sure what will help you feel happy, we have eight ways that can boost your mood. Sometimes you need a little push in the right direction.
1. Fuel Your Brain
Fish like salmon or bass is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which act as brain fuel. These healthy fats improve your cognitive function so your memory and concentration with soar. It can also help regulate your moods so if you’re feeling low, it may be a sign you are lacking omega-3. There are also antioxidant powers in omega-3 that maintains healthy cells all over your body. If you’re not a fan of fish, you can take fish oil supplements. Analyze That is a great review site to compare the supplements available to make it easier to find the best one for you. There are two different types of omega-3 fatty acids that you can get in a supplement: DHA and EPA. Make sure a supplement you buy has at least 1500 mg of omega-3 with more EPA for best results. Look at brands like Research Verified that ensure there is the correct amount of DHA and EPA, as well as including a three-month guarantee in case you are unsatisfied with the results.
2. Take A Nap
If you’re in a dark mood, sometimes all you need is some sleep. Rely on yourself to know when you need a break and allow yourself to sleep for a half an hour nap. People are often irritated and on edge if they are sleep deprived, so you can calm yourself just by taking a break and getting some much-needed rest. The National Sleep Foundation claims that a short nap improves your mood and helps you feel more alert when you wake up. Make sure you don’t nap longer than 40 minutes, as it will affect your sleep/wake cycle and take away from your sleep at night. To feel your best, set an alarm to ensure you’re getting just enough sleep and you’ll feel rejuvenated.
3. Animal Therapy
Petting a fuzzy animal like a dog, cat or horse can lower your blood pressure and decrease your stress levels. There was a study that showed people who had higher than normal blood pressure and adopted dogs. After five months, all of them showed a healthy decline in their blood pressure. When you’re under a lot of stress or feeling overwhelmed, the comfort and presence of an animal can do wonders. This is why pet therapy is more and more common; pets are brought into old age homes, pre-schools, and even prisons which can improve human interaction, teach people about companionship, and even lead to understanding of unconditional love. Studies have shown that playing with an animal increases the dopamine levels in your brain, which are your happiness receptors. You can feel relaxed and pleased after petting a trusting animal.
4. Get Your Chocolate Fix
This isn’t made up; studies have shown that chocolate improves your mood and can alleviate depression and anxiety. Eating anything sweet releases serotonin in your brain which helps you feel relaxed and happy, but especially dark chocolate has shown the highest effects when tested with other candies. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants, which help your cells maintain their health. Some researchers think the high amount of flavanols in chocolate improve a person’s mood, but there are not enough studies to prove it yet. Either way, eating a sweet snack can help dissipate a sour mood.
Although this may not be an option for you throughout the day, taking time out of your week to regularly exercise can greatly improve your mood. We’re not counting the uncomfortable workouts that you probably don’t enjoy, but after a workout, your body is filled with endorphins released from exercising, which lift your mood. Weekly exercise can also improve your overall health by maintaining your weight, improving your heart rate, and lowering your blood pressure overall. Sticking to your routine, soon you’ll be able to relate to the “runner’s high” and even look forward to your workouts.
Meditation takes practice and control, but everyone can try it. Finding a quiet time where you will be interrupted may be difficult, but even attempting ten minutes of meditation when you are too stressed or depressed can greatly improve your mood. There are many different meditation methods; the most accessible one is to sit with your eyes closed and just focus on your breathing. Although it is difficult to clear your mind, especially when you are feeling down, focusing on a natural bodily function can help calm your mind and allow you to release pent-up stress. There are apps like Breathe2Relax that help get you in the right mindset and provide guided meditations for beginners.
7. Listen To Music
Music connects to humanity in a way that words and pictures cannot. Research has proven that music acts as a mood lifter while connecting with other people. You can play a song that brings joy to you or play an instrument if you have that talent. This is an incredibly helpful tool because unlike other items on this list, you can play a song while doing other things. Music allows you to drown out what is going on around you and transport you to another place. It is a kind of meditation as you focus on the beats and the words instead of the stressful situation around you. So, turn up the volume of your favorite song and you’ll be able to tackle any situation.
8. Clean Out Your Closet
Cleaning may be stress-inducing to some of us, but being productive is a great way to clear your mind while you’re actually cleaning your home. Choose three outfits you haven’t worn and donate them. Arrange your closet so your clothes are folded nicely and are more organized. The act of doing a constructive activity can help organize your mind and allow you to feel calm during a tumultuous time.
Fell Calm Yet?
Most of these solutions show immediate stress reduction, improving your mood immediately. However, if you find yourself feeling down and depressed for weeks on end, perhaps it is time to turn to a medical professional. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in America, and there are a lot of resources you can find to help you feel like yourself again. There is help out there, and you will be able to feel better.