Feeling a little down in the dumps lately? We’ve all been there. It’s completely normal to have ups and downs. But when it seems like the downs are lasting a little too long, it might be time to try and improve your mood naturally.
We’ve compiled a list of some proven methods for improving your mood. Whether you’re looking for a quick fix or something more long-term, there’s sure to be something on this list that can help.
Taking care of yourself is an important part of maintaining a positive mood. By prioritizing your own needs and well-being, you can create a more positive and fulfilling life.
1. Get Moving
Exercise is a natural mood booster. That’s right, by moving your body and getting your heart pumping, you can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, and even help you sleep better. Go for a run, take a yoga class, hit the gym, or simply walk. Find what you enjoy and make it a part of your daily routine.
2. Get Some Sunlight
Sunlight triggers special areas in the retina then cues our brain to release serotonin, the hormone responsible for boosting mood. Spend time outdoors, have lunch on a park bench, take your pet for a walk or sit outside and relax. Go ahead and soak up some sunshine. Just a friendly reminder, don’t forget to use sun protection if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside. You want to take care of that beautiful skin of yours!
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
What you eat can have a big impact on your mood. Focus on nourishing your body with whole, healthy foods. Avoid processed and sugary foods, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and ultimately lead to feelings of fatigue and irritability. Here are some foods that can improve your mood and feel better than ever.
Foods that Improve Your Mood
Feeling connected and supported by others can make a big difference in our mood and sense of well-being. From birth, we are all wired to seek connection with others. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things, you’ll be surprised at how much a little social interaction can improve your mood.
4. Spend Time with Friends and Loved Ones
Isn’t it mood boosting to spend time with your friends and family? Whether it’s a catch up for a coffee or a more structured outing, it can lift your mood and provide a sense of connection and support. So put your cell phone away and spend quality (yep, undivided attention) time with them.
5. Join a Club or Group
What activities do you enjoy or are interested in? Do a little research and you will find a club or group out there for you. When you get involved in activities you’re passionate about, you can meet new people, try something new and enjoy that sense of community and belonging. I tell you, it will lift your spirit and make you more positive and motivated.
In Maslow’s’ Hierarchy of Needs, after safety, the thing that people need most is emotional belonging. This explains why we feel happier when we experience acceptance and that sense of belonging. Volunteering brings people together to socialize and bond over a common goal. This can make them feel like they belong with other people. Next time you need a pick-me-up, find a cause that you’re passionate about and look for a volunteer opportunity that fits your schedule.
7. Hug Someone
Have you ever noticed how good a hug can make you feel? Hugs stimulate the production of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of happiness and well-being. Go ahead and give someone you love a hug today! Please accept a virtual hug from me as well.
Research shows that giving to others can activate the reward centers in the brain, releasing feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. When you help others, it gives you that sense of purpose and fulfillment. It can also help to shift your focus from your own problems and challenges to the needs of others.
8. Offer a Helping Hand
If you want to feel good, do good. Be aware of the people around you, observe their needs. Offer some help to them. Whether it’s a neighbour needing help with groceries, a friend who could use some emotional support, or giving up your seat on the train, a little bit of help can go a long way.
9. Donate to a Charity
It was found in a 2008 study by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton and colleagues that participants were happier when they gave money to someone else than when they spent it on themselves. Making a financial contribution to a cause you care about is a quick and easy way to help others. Search for a charitable organization that aligns with your values and make a donation, no matter how small or large.
10. Share Your Skills
No skill is too small or too large to share. If you have a particular skill or expertise, consider offering it to someone in need. For example, you could teach someone how to fix a car, help them with their resume, or offer them tutoring in a subject you excel in. You may also share your skills through blogs or social media platforms. Check other some of our videos from members on the 365give YouTube channel and be inspired.
Check out more giving ideas at 365give.ca.
So, the next time you need a mood boost, remember these:
These small actions can make a big difference in how you feel. And using a natural approach means that you can incorporate these ideas into your every day life. But please remember, if you or someone you know, is feeling down for an extended period of time, it’s always a good idea to speak with a mental health professional.
What is the first thing you will do today from this list? Write in the comment or with us at 365give.ca – we would love to know!