We’re all prone to feeling a little blue on occasion. That’s just life; it’s full of ups and downs, and sometimes all we can do is hang on tight and ride the waves. But the good news is that no matter your mood, you have the power to change how you show up for yourself and others each day.
If you’re feeling down and wondering how to snap out of it so that you can better embrace the day, here are a few excellent options to boost your mood.
Science-Back Methods To Help Boost Your Mood
These are science-backed mood-boosting methods to help you tackle the blues, improve your mood, and ward off anxiety or depression.
Fresh air and, specifically, sunlight and moving bodies of water are charged with negative ions that increase serotonin and combat feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression.
According to Healthline, “exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused.”
Forbes also provided some reasons why you should get moderate amount of sunshine when you want to elevate your mood by boosting your serotonin levels.
Have a cuddle or give a hug
Oh yes, grab your nearest human or pet (or plant!) and give them a squeeze. Human connection has been shown to improve moods almost instantly. Science Daily says, people with bad mood find find more comfort in pleasant sensations.
When you’re feeling down, give someone a hug. The healing power of physical touch is remarkable. According to Cleveland Clinic’s Scott Bea, PsyD, “If you received a hug on a day that you had experienced some interpersonal conflict, the hug was actually a modifier of the stress response – meaning you had less of an increase in negative emotion, and less of a decrease in positive sentiment, if you got a simple hug”.
PLOS ONE Research Journal also states that hugs can really help us reduce stress.
Turn the radio up
You may not feel like it but do it anyway, and you’ll soon find yourself dancing around the kitchen to some of your favorite tunes and feeling all the better for it. Sometimes, it takes some positive songs to boost your mood.
According to Journal of Positive Psychology study, people who listen to happy music while trying to beat those sad feelings were reported feeling happier. Thus, if you want to shrug off that sad mood, you should listen to some happy songs.
Crack open a bar of chocolate
Don’t think we’re crazy for telling you to turn away from your greens and embrace every health lover’s nightmare for a quick pick-me-up. There’s actually a good, science-backed reason for choosing chocolate; dark chocolate stimulates endorphins, the same stuff you get from exercise, which in turn stimulates our ‘happiness buddy’, serotonin.
Laugh Out Loud
Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. If you want to elevate your mood, you should find something to laugh about. You can listen to jokes, watch funny cartoons or comedy shows to boost your mood.
It’s proven that laughter increases dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter made in the brain, released during pleasurable situations to elevate the mood. It oxygenates your body and cools down the stress-response system, giving you a calm and happing feeling.
Meet a friend
Sometimes, just hanging out with a friend and sharing your worries and concerns can be all you need to take a load off and start to feel better. According to a 2011 chapter published in the Oxford Handbook of Stress, Health and Coping, your friends would always give you reasons to be happy.
When you interact with your friends, you get a sense of belonging, and this can make you feel happy.
Exercise, take it out on the gym
Is there a punching bag at your local gym? Then this is a great place to take out all your frustrations in a safe and controlled environment, plus you’ll get the added benefit of a bit of exercise too.
According to NCBI Journal on Exercise for Mental Health, exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. It improves mood by increasing blood circulation to the brain, and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress.
Similarly, when talking about serotonin, exercise is another sure-fire way to give this glorious hormone a boost. This means, taking a walk around your block will do the trick, when it comes to improving your mood.
When things start to overwhelm you, yoga is a great way to tune into deeper feelings of calm and inner peace.
According to Harvard Health, “research suggests that yoga practice modulates the stress response”. It may also increase your stress tolerance. Thus, this is as good a time as any to unroll your yoga mat!
Hey Joyfreshers, how do you boost your mood when you’re feeling down? How do you turn a bad mood around?