Things to Boost Your Mood

Most people (most of us!) would like to boost our moods. The good news is that we can boost our mood!

What do you like to do when you feel happy? Go for a walk? Call a friend? Clean the house while listening to your favorite podcast?

Identify the behaviors you engage in when you’re in a good mood. Write those things down.

Those are your mood boosters. Keep that list handy. 

Whether you need a boost during your lunch break or you want a go-to strategy when you’re feeling lonely, here’s how to create your personal mood booster list that will help you feel better fast.

When an uncomfortable emotion isn’t serving you well–your anxiety is causing you to withdraw or your sadness is zapping you of energy–do something on your mood booster list. You won’t feel like doing it–but it could shift your mood.

Change your behavior first. The feelings often follow.

Mental Strength Exercise to Try This Week: Find Your Mood Booster

15 Practical Ways to Boost Your Mood

Your mental outlook can affect your physical condition, and your physical condition also may affect your mental health. It’s like the chicken and the egg: which comes first? It’s normal to feel sad or discouraged about certain life events. When sadness persists for longer than a few weeks without relief, you may have depression. Depression is treatable; please seek help if you have chronic feelings of hopelessness.

For less serious mood fluctuations, and for help in navigating the inevitable ups and downs of life, here are 15 things you can do to manage your mood from day to day:

  1. Stay active. Exercise, even a brisk 10 minute walk, can relieve stress and release endorphins – the feel good hormones. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. But even 10- or 15-minute increments count.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep. Inadequate sleep can increase stress and irritability. If you struggle with sleep, consider 11 tips for a good night’s rest.
  3. Talk to yourself positively. How do you view yourself? A consistent stream of negative self-talk can be detrimental. Nobody’s perfect, but give yourself the benefit of the doubt and recognize if you need an attitude adjustment.
  4. Be thankful. Gratitude is a great antidote to feeling negative, and it’s consistently linked to feelings of well-being. If you’re having trouble finding people or things to appreciate, begin a gratitude journal and periodically write down reasons to be thankful.
  5. Give back. Finding ways to help others often results in making you feel good yourself. There are many volunteer opportunities with organizations, or just look around. Carry someone’s groceries, rake leaves for an elderly neighbor or watch your friend’s children for an hour.
  6. Stay in the present. The what-if’s and if-only’s of the past and future can be paralyzing. Recognize how much time you spend outside of ‘now,’ and be realistic about what you can do about the situation. Carpe diem! (Seize the day!)
  7. Eat healthy. When you nourish your body, you nourish your brain. Protein, foods that contain vitamin B-12 (such as dark leafy greens, broccoli and oranges) and complex carbohydrates like oats, pears or beans can help keep mood elevated or stable. Junk food and sugar may satisfy in the moment, then lead to a crash.
  8. Find a friend. Friendships prevent isolation, which can have a detrimental effect on mental health. Having someone to talk with – and listen – can make all the difference in the world.
  9. Appreciate nature. A Stanford University study found that walking in nature could lead to a lower risk of depression. Any green area will do – find a park or walk around a neighborhood with trees if you don’t have ready access to wide open spaces. And, natural sunlight can also enhance your mood.
  10. Get a pet. Nothing says unconditional love like a wagging tail to greet you at the door or a purring cat to hum you to sleep. Studies show that animal companions can reduce anxiety and stress.
  11. Don’t turn to alcohol or narcotics. The temporary masking of a problem can lead to increased depression, addiction and other negative or life-threatening outcomes.
  12. Seek counseling or professional help from a therapist, clergy member, case worker or licensed mental health specialist. They can help with strategies and goal-setting to help you get your life back on track.
  13. Find a support group – if you’ve experienced a major life event, such as job loss, divorce or loss of loved one, it can be helpful to talk through your feelings with others who have been there. You are not alone.
  14. Take a class, try a new hobby, join a group that has a similar interest, or explore a new place. If you’re feeling bored and uninspired, trying something new can help you discover a new passion or talent that you weren’t aware of.
  15. Disconnect. Finally, practice some time away from screens and social media. In an always-on world, time on screens becomes the norm. However, the effect of being always connected may actually lead to social isolation. The first step is to be aware of how much time you spend on screens and what it does – or doesn’t do – for you.

Mood Boosters for Mental Health

Boosting Your Mood: Simple Strategies for Better Mental Health

Maintaining good mental health is not just about managing stress; it’s also about cultivating positivity and boosting your mood. Whether you’re feeling a bit down or simply want to enhance your overall well-being, incorporating mood-boosting strategies into your daily routine can make a significant difference. Here are some effective tips to uplift your spirits and promote a healthier mindset:

1. Engage in Physical Activity

Exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health but also for your mental well-being. Physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators, which can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a gym workout, find an activity you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine.

2. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation techniques are powerful tools for calming the mind and improving mood. They encourage living in the present moment, which can alleviate worries about the past or future. Spending even just a few minutes a day practicing mindfulness can enhance your overall sense of well-being.

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Sleep plays a crucial role in mood regulation and overall mental health. Lack of sleep can contribute to irritability, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night by establishing a consistent bedtime routine and creating a comfortable sleep environment.

4. Connect with Others

Social connections are vital for mental health. Spending time with friends, family, or loved ones can provide emotional support, reduce feelings of loneliness, and boost your mood. Make an effort to nurture your relationships and engage in activities that promote social interaction.

5. Practice Gratitude

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can shift your focus from what you lack to what you have. Keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you are thankful for each day. This practice can foster positive emotions and improve overall life satisfaction.

6. Spend Time in Nature

Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve mood. Take a walk in the park, hike in the mountains, or simply sit by a lake or beach to recharge and uplift your spirits.

7. Engage in Creative Activities

Creative activities such as painting, writing, playing music, or crafting can be therapeutic and promote relaxation. These activities allow you to express yourself creatively and focus your mind on something positive and enjoyable.

8. Limit Stressors

Identify sources of stress in your life and take steps to manage or minimize them. This may involve setting boundaries, learning to say no, or delegating tasks. By reducing stress, you can prevent it from negatively impacting your mood and mental health.

9. Seek Professional Help if Needed

If you’re struggling with persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or mood swings that interfere with your daily life, don’t hesitate to seek support from a mental health professional. Therapy or counseling can provide you with tools and strategies to improve your mood and overall well-being.

Incorporating these mood-boosting strategies into your daily life can have a profound impact on your mental health and happiness. Remember that small changes can lead to significant improvements over time. Prioritize self-care, nurture positive relationships, and be mindful of your thoughts and emotions. By taking proactive steps to boost your mood, you can cultivate resilience and thrive in all aspects of your life.

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