There are times when we all feel stuck in a funk; it is quite impossible to be upbeat 24/7 and 365(6) days a year. To feel good you also need to feel the opposite. Some days staying positive will seem like a constant and repetitive battle, similar to the one of Sisyphus rolling a rock up the mountain. There are, however, small ways in which to improve our mood, and each person has an individual toolkit at their disposal at all times (it’s just that sometimes we forget it’s there).
These small steps might give your mood a quick boost or some might even help to keep your mood improved for longer. Let us know below in the comments of some of your favourite ways to boost your mood.
We all constantly breathe; the average person takes around 17 280 breaths a day, how many of them are you aware of? Taking a break and being aware of your breathing is a simple way to bring your mind back to the present moment, as a result your mood won’t be down by something that happened in the past or anxious about something that might happen in the future. Breathe mindfully, check in with your breathing throughout the day, and use it as an anchor to the present moment, your mind and body will settle.
Observe your mood
As you bring your awareness to your breath, observe what else arises physically and mentally. To be able to notice when your mood shifts, you have to observe your mood and see what other changes happen when your mood shifts. Know that all the emotions are valuable and needed, observe whatever arises and be with it. Acknowledge where you feel different emotions physically in your body. Just for a moment observe your mood. It will help you to gain understanding of how your mind and body works depending on the way you feel, and eventually you will notice that all the emotions come and go, you just have to let them go. Sadness and anger will come and go, just as happiness will come and go. Breathe, observe, let go. Be present with whatever you are feeling.
Gratitude is a great way of lifting your mood. Whenever something bad happens, it could have gone better, but it also could have gone worse. It is always worth to check in with your gratitude list, mentally create one or write it down. It has been scientifically proven that keeping an attitude of gratitude might be the easiest way to improve the quality of your life, well-being and happiness.
You can read more about the attitude of gratitude and how it might boost your mood and overall quality of life here.
Several studies have shown that physically active people have generally lower risks of developing depression and anxiety. In addition, a recent observational study – A Systematic Review of the Relationship Between Physical Activity and Happiness – looked at the link between exercise and happiness, and in the study as The New York Times writes they concluded:
“If people exercised for at least 30 minutes on most days, which is the standard American and European recommendation for good health, Dr. Chen says, they were about 30 percent more likely to consider themselves happy than people who did not meet the guidelines.”
So even a small amount of exercise every day can give your mood a boost, as well as increase your motivation. You have probably noticed yourself that after a swim, run, yoga, hike or any other type of movement you feel a lot better than you did before. Do more what makes you feel good.
This one is really individual. Everyone has little rituals that you do when you feel like you deserve a treat, be it going to cinema, taking a bath or diving into a new book, these little treats can work wonders. They also work as gratitude towards yourself, and you deserve them. Don’t be shy of taking care of yourself, you can’t pour out of empty cup. Go out and treat yourself!
P.S. If all else fails, there is always dark chocolate. Eating dark chocolate (40 g of it) every day reduces stress hormones, most likely thanks to the amount of antioxidants found in the dark chocolate.