If you’re human, you probably could use a few really cool ways to improve your mood fast. Let’s face it, we are living in unprecedented times of uncertainty that are, of course, bring new and unique challenges. Even if, like me, you’re typically upbeat and positive, you still may be faced with challenges that try your faith and shift your mood from time to time. I’m super supportive of the notion that as humans we need to feel our feelings. However, there comes a time when we need to shift our mood, if possible, so that we don’t fall into a rut of sadness or worse, depression.
If you’re feeling a bit blue, you might be surprised to hear that there are some really smart ways to lift your mood in less than a minute. Skeptical? Try a few of these and see!
- The Power of Essential Oils: Essential oils are all the rage right now and rightfully so. These plant-based oils are one of many of nature’s healing remedies. If you do your research, you will discover that many of these claims are backed by science. For starters, put a few drops of lavender and orange essential oils in a diffuser. These oils have been shown to help with anxiety and to promote a sense of calmness and positivity.
- Have a Healthy-ish Snack: You might think that the only way to increase your endorphins, a mood-boosting neurotransmitter, is by taking a brisk walk in nature or completing a challenging HIIT workout. We’ll get to that in a minute. But did you know that a handful of nuts or a square of dark chocolate will send endorphins flooding into your brain and lift your mood fast? It’s true. Dark chocolate is so amazing in its ability to lift your mood that experts have said that it can invoke similar feelings of falling in love! How’s that for a mood lifter?
- Get Some Sunshine: Go outside and get some fresh air and some sunshine. Studies have shown that people who have significant exposure to light have less depression, fewer sleep problems, and are even more productive. If you can’t make it outside, go and look out of a window, preferably at a tree. Studies have also shown that looking at nature has all sorts of mood-lifting benefits.
- Go for a walk: Even walking around the block will help to lift your heart rate and energy levels. Walking also increases your circulation throughout your body. Studies show that something magical happens to your brain as your foot hits the pavement.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath: Breath in and out deeply three times. Apparently, there’s something awesome about the number 3 when it comes to deep breathing. But just 3 deep breaths can take you into the parasympathetic nervous system. This is where you want to be when you’re focusing on lifting your mood. It’s otherwise known as the rest and digest system where you can conserve energy and slow your heart rate down. Focused breathing also lowers your blood pressure and calms the mind.
- Lift your shoulders up to your ears and then let them drop: Do this three times and feel the tension ebb away. We tend to hold a lot of tension and stress in our hunched up shoulders without realizing it. This exercise will cause you to relax at a deeper level.
- Give yourself a big hug: This may sound silly, but it works. So many times we are too hard on ourselves and we forget how important it is to love ourselves. What better way to show love than a hug. Breathing in, open your arms wide, breathing out give yourself a big hug. It’s almost impossible to do this without smiling and feeling a bit silly.
- Smile! Smile and make eye contact with a co-worker, family member, or yourself in the mirror! The physical act of using your smile-muscles can genuinely make you feel happy. And it’s contagious. Chances are if you smile at someone else, you’ll inspire them to smile too and improve their day.
- Stand up straight, lift your head and throw your shoulders back: There are multiple studies that support the power of body language and posture on your mind and emotions. Adopt an upright posture and feel the change in your energy almost immediately.
- Try a “cuppa” of tea or coffee. Nothing soothes the mind and body like a nice warm drink. It can instantly lift your mood. Caffeine is a stimulant. So of course, that’s why caffeinated drinks can lift your mood. But even low or no caffeine hot drinks will give you a boost or calm you down. You can try soothing herbal teas like chamomile or green tea, golden milk, a chai latte, or even just hot water and lemon.
- Listen to the music that you love: You can choose custom mood music, or play your old favorites. Music has been shown to have a powerful effect on your mood.
I hope you remember, some of these quick go-to solutions when you find yourself down in the dumps so to speak. Start out with the ones that may be the easiest or that resonate with you at a deeper level. Before you know it you will have developed a simple prescription for lifting your mood that works for you!
Be well + prosper,