Health & Fitness
Feeling Blue? Try These Quick Mood Boosters
We all struggle with a low mood from time to time, and about a quarter of us will face clinical depression or anxiety at some point in our lives. Whether you're in a foul mood or struggling with something a bit more sinister and long-lasting, the choices you make really do matter. Check out these easy mood boosters for a better day.
If you want a panacea for all that ails you, exercise is as close as you'll get. Fifteen to 20 minutes of aerobic exercise -- such as walking, jumping rope, or swimming -- releases powerful endorphins that can boost your mood for several hours. If you exercise five times a week, you can see lasting mood change that may even help you fight depression.
Listen to Music
If you've ever rocked out in the car, you know that the right song can turn everything around. Research has shown that music gets your brain working overtime, making it a great solution to distraction and challenges with motivation. Put on something that makes you feel great, and don't be afraid to sing along -- you might find yourself feeling better in a matter of minutes.
Wear Something Pretty
It might feel a little ridiculous, given that it's what's on the inside that matters. But the way you conceive of your appearance can affect how you feel about your life. If you're feeling blue, throw on something that makes you feel absolutely fabulous. The confidence boost may be sufficient to pull you out of the dumps.
Fake a Good Mood
You really can fake it till you make it. Smiling tricks your body and brain into thinking you're happy and producing brain chemicals that are associated with happiness. Simply smiling a few times may be all it takes to remedy a foul mood. If you're dealing with more chronic moodiness, though, focus on conveying happiness to others. People are nicer and friendlier to people who seem happy. If you project happiness, people will treat you better, and that can make you feel better.
Get a Hug
We all thrive on touch, and a quick hug or cuddle session can "trick" your mind into thinking everything's ok. Don't have someone who's readily available to give you a hug? Cuddle with a pet instead. Stroking a pet for just a few seconds has been shown to quickly improve even the worst moods.
You have to breathe to live, of course, but you might not be breathing right. Take slow, deep breaths, and then exhale at roughly the same pace. When you exhale slowly, you bathe your brain and organs in oxygen, yielding a better mood and a healthier body.
You might be grumpy because your back is killing you and you've been sitting around for too long. Spend 10 minutes stretching and you might feel better. Yoga is an excellent option, but even just walking around or stretching your knees can help you feel better about yourself and, therefore, better about your life and surroundings.