12 Ways to Boost Your Mood
Do you feel overwhelmed at times? A little Flat, or Moody?
Do you ever feel moody, more emotional or teary than ususal, or even snap at someone – like you’ve just lost control? Or, you may notice that your tolerance for things or people, which may ordinarily not be an issue for you, suddenly is. You may feel frustrated, or just a little down in the dumps over something that has happened.
These feelings may be due to work challenges, being a parent, feeling like things are suddenly ‘stacked against you’, trying to juggle too much, lack of sleep, not having the courage to say ‘no’ to others, financial pressures, or just feeling ‘stuck’ at the moment.
When you recognise that you’re not feeling your happy self, you could try doing something different to change your mood.
Here are some ways that you can take charge, and start to boost your mood:
1. Start a New Hobby / Sport
Do you feel that something is missing in your life? Is there an activity you have always wanted to try, or that you haven’t done in a while? Perhaps getting into something that makes your heart sing, brings you joy, fun or brings back that passionate feeling, can do wonders for your sense of self and wellbeing. This may be a team sport, a creative hobby like painting or sewing, or maybe getting into gardening, in your own backyard.
2. Engage in Play
It doesn’t matter how old you are, we can all benefit from the act of play. Whether you’re doing something fun or silly with friends, playing a team sport, playing with your children at home, or at the park, play can be restorative, energising and a break from the serious, mundane tasks that make up much of your everyday. It can help you laugh, relax and enjoy yourself.
3. Go for a Walk or Workout
We all know exercise is good for our health – physically and mentally, so this is more of a reminder, if you’ve let it slide, lately!
Getting your body active helps to release endorphins – those feel-good chemicals that rush around your brain and body. Exercise can relieve stress, help relax your body and mind, and help you sleep better at night.
4. Listen to Music
Whether you turn some music on in the car while you’re driving, or have some favourite tunes playing at home, or while you’re out exercising, this can be an easy way to lift your mood. Whether it’s listening to upbeat, tunes, or relaxing music of another genre that works for you, this could be something to bring back into your everyday.
5. Practice Gratitude
When we take some time to reflect on the things we are grateful for each day – no matter how big or small – neuroscience has shown how our brains can change over time, in ways that make us feel more positive.
Have you tried to really think about something you are thankful for?
Try thinking about how a special person in your life makes you feel. Savour these feelings and thoughts as deeply as you can. You might just feel how difficult it is to feel lousy, when your mind is immersed in thinking and feeling all the good that comes from something that makes you smile. This could be something as simple as the beautiful sunshine around you, a favourite spot you get to enjoy in the garden, or the love that your partner or children have showed you today.
6. Get out into Nature
Being outdoors, amongst nature can be wonderful for our health. Breathing in fresh air, listening to the birds sing, enjoying nature’s beauty and getting away from your work environment, or home, can really lift your mood. Pay attention to what you see, hear, smell and feel around you, and take some time out.
7. Start a Thought Journal
Writing down how you’re feeling, in a private journal can help you clarify what’s going on inside you. Learning to write – without editing, without judgement, and without the expectation that someone else will read what you’re writing – can become a cathartic process. This could lead to feelings of acceptance, greater clarity toward yourself, and help you make that big decision that you may be mulling over.
8. Head to a Yoga class
Yoga can be such a wonderful activity – with both physical and emotional benefits. It may improve your flexibility and posture, get your blood flowing, relax your body and strengthen muscles. Regular or on-going yoga practice may also affect your brain chemicals, such as serotonin and cortisol, leading to greater feelings of happiness and relaxation.
9. Take a Closer Look at What You’re Putting Into Your Body
Science is showing us more than ever before, that what we put into out bodies can affect our physical, emotional and mental health.
What does your diet look like?
Have you heard much about the Gut-Brain connection? (This is worth learning about)
Could your sugar intake be impacting your energy levels and moods?
Are you drinking too much caffeine, causing anxious feelings, or a constant need to keep up with the caffeine cycle?
Is your body reacting negatively to something you may need to cut out of your diet? (It may be useful to chat to a Nutritionist or Naturopath if you feel this is something that would be worth taking a closer look at).
10. BREATHE – Deeply
Take a few deep breaths! Learning to breathe mindfully (as a way to reduce stress and relax) can be really helpful. As a general guide, take a deep breath in through your nose for about 4 seconds, hold for 1 second, then exhale through your mouth for about 6 seconds. Try focusing just on your breath and body sensations while you do this. Repeat until you feel more relaxed.
11. Plan Your Next Holiday or Day Trip
Grab a pen and paper (or your laptop!) and plan a fun getaway that will make you (and your friends/family) happy. Whether it’s a day trip, camping, or jet-setting somewhere new, looking forward to something exciting and adventurous, and doing some research into making this happen could well lift your spirits!
12. Talk it Out
There are many benefits that come from talking to someone you can trust and confide in – whether this is your partner, your best friend, or a Counsellor. Getting those thoughts out of your head, feeling the tension move out of your body when you share how you’re feeling, and connecting with another person who can empathise what you’re going through, without judging you, can do wonders for your emotional and mental wellbeing.
Wendy Gilroy is a Mother of 2, and a professional Counsellor for women. Wendy has a degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Addiction Studies, and a Diploma of Counselling. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and offers secure ONLINE counselling for women around the world, as well as telephone, face-to-face and home visit services for mums.
Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only. If you have any concerns about your physical or mental health, please consult your healthcare practitioner for medical advice.