There’s no question about it. But sometimes that’s not something we can control on command. However, if you focus, you may find that it’s not as tricky as it sounds. Want to boost your mood right now? Start with one of these exercises.
It’s no secret that exercise can boost mood. You’ve heard that before. To prove it, researchers at the University of Texas studied this and found that a single 30 minute bout of exercise will boost your mood immediately. But heaven knows you don’t want to hit the treadmill right now. Instead, turn up the tunes and rock out to your favorite beat in private. You’ll get the benefit of exercise all rolled into a fun experience that just might make you crack a smile.
2. Get a Massage
Don’t you wish you could get a massage every day of the week? Make that a reality right now and you’ll notice a reduction in stress and improved mood overall. Studies show that after just a five minute massage, your heart rate decreases significantly. If you’re up to it, head to a local spa for a good mood booster, but if you don’t have the time or the money, get your significant other to rub your back. And if you’re all alone? Give yourself a foot massage and relax your way to a better mood.
Seriously. All you have to do is smile. When we’re happy, we smile. Believe it or not, it works the other way around, too. When we smile, we’re happy. And if you have to fake it, then go ahead. You can even force yourself to smile by biting down on a pencil length wise. Likewise, frowns will only bring you down, so the least you can do is get the sour expression off your face.
Whether you’re in the comfort of your own home with a yoga mat on hand or you’re sitting at your desk, performing a few stretches can help you feel better. Stretch your arms above your head, stand up and touch your toes, and move your shoulders up and down a few times if that’s all you can do right now. It will increase circulation, reduce stress, and even alleviate the pain of sitting at your desk all day.
5. Go for a Walk
Taking a quick break and going for a walk can do a few things for you. First, it gets your blood pumping and can help you relax. Second, if you head out on a sunny day, the sunlight will help stimulate mood-boosting neurotransmitters. Finally, it gives you a quick break from your stressors to help you sort through your thoughts and worries. Plus, you’ll get the mood boosting benefits of exercise.
You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, but is that true? Turns out, there is some truth to that saying. If you’re at your desk, do a quick search on Youtube for funny videos. One of the best things you can do is to keep something on hand that you know will make you laugh, such as by keeping one of your kid’s silly books nearby or by bookmarking a funny article online. That way whenever you’re feeling down, you’ll be able to boost your mood immediately.
7. Hug Someone
Sometimes hugging a loved one or even an acquaintance is all you need to boost your mood. That’s because hugs cause an increase in oxytocin in our bodies, says CNN.com. This can decrease heart rate to help relieve anxiety, stress, and other bad moods.
8. Try Aromatherapy
Maybe you’re a sceptic, but the truth is that certain scents will help calm you. In fact, research shows that the scent of rosemary can boost your performance and make you feel more confident. Scents like lavender and jasmine help calm your nerves, and even lemon can help you concentrate. Head to the kitchen cabinet for now, and then consider keeping an array of essential oils at your desk.
9. Flip Through Old Photos
Break out the scrap book (or just go to your Facebook profile), and take a walk down memory lane. Researchers at the United Kingdom’s Open University looked at several common mood-boosting techniques, including watching TV, listening to music, and even eating chocolate. What they found was that looking at personal photos was the largest indicator of boosted mood. In fact, it boosted people’s moods by 11 percent whereas sipping alcohol only boosted mood by 1 percent.
10. Get Spiritual
People who attend religious services are generally happier, says the Journal of Economic Psychology. Boost your mood right now by praying. If that’s not for you, engage in another spiritual activity like meditation or yoga.
What will you do right now to boost your mood?