Improve Your Mood And Increase Energy Levels
Food And Drink
You can change your mood by eating and drinking. It is common for people to seek out drinks containing caffeine just for the caffeine. Coffee, pop and energy drinks are used on a daily basis to keep people alert. Some people get a rush of energy when they consume a lot of sugar. Chocolate has a calming effect. If you have cravings for specific foods you could be craving the release of feel good chemicals or neurotransmitters. These cravings can lead to overeating.
Sometimes the effect does not last very long so you experience highs and lows like a kid on a sugar rush. This often happens when you eat junk food. I recommend paying attention to how the foods and drinks make you feel. You can satisfy your cravings with healthier alternates like fruit. Instead of eating a lot of fatty foods to improve your mood try exercising.
A New Routine
Starting a new exercise routine can be hard. You need to give up one of your old habits and your body needs time to adapt. I felt tired and unmotivated. After I sat on the couch and started to watch TV I did not feel like getting up to exercise. Even if I was bored I did not feel like doing anything. Sometimes after sitting around doing nothing I would feel sore. I used the excuse that I was already tired and sore to avoid exercising.
Then I manged to start exercising on a regular basis. It was hard mentally and physically but it became easier and more enjoyable as my body adapted. Soon I was exercising 5 days a week. I noticed I felt better and had more energy. It did not require a lot of will power because I enjoyed it. When I took days off I actually missed it. It was hard to sit around. Basically it was like the reverse of how I felt before I started exercising on a regular basis.
Exercise can become a habit just like watching TV. However exercise can be boring at times. To keep myself interested I focus on improving, set big goals and try out new routines once in a while.
Prolonged exercise that lasts for 30 minutes or more causes your body to release endorphins and other chemicals. These chemicals can give you a second wind allowing you to perform better. They reduce pain and can make you feel really good. That is how the term "runner's high" got started.
To experience this feeling I recommend biking, hiking, boxing or running. Choose a workout routine or an exercise you can do for at least 30 minutes. It does not take long to increase your endurance so you can build up to doing it for 30 minutes.
The chemicals are released when you push yourself. It helps you to keep going. I often experience it while biking or running long distances. Occasionally I experience it while I am weight lifting. One minute I am struggling to keep going and the next I do not want to stop. It can make you feel relaxed and powerful. Exercising regularly is a good way to reduce stress. It can also boost your confidence.
Slow Moving Exercise
Slow moving exercises like tai chi, qigong, yoga and pilates can also improve your mood. When I practice tai chi or qigong it leaves me feeling relaxed and energized. People often do them in the morning to make their day more enjoyable. Meditation is also a good way to experience feelings of euphoria. When I am in a deep state of relaxation while still awake it feels really good.
Controlled breathing is a big part of those exercises. Even if you are not exercising or meditating you can influence you mood by changing they way you breath. Deep belly breathing relaxes me especially if I do it with my eyes closed. The feeling I get from relaxing my mind and body is different than when I am lifting weights or doing intense cardio exercises but it can feel just as good.
You can increase the blood flow to your brain by inverting yourself so your head is below your heart. This increased blood flow can make you feel happier and is good for your health. That is why they are used in yoga and pilates. Handstands, shoulder stands and headstands can be difficult but you can lean against a wall to make it easier. One of the easiest ways to invert yourself is to use the stairs.
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A lot of people suffer from pain. It is hard to feel good when you are stiff or in pain. Stretching and slow moving exercises like yoga can relieve back pain. It helps by decompressing the spine and strengthening your back muscles. Poor circulation can also cause discomfort or pain. You can improve your circulation doing cardio exercises.
There are medicines you can take to reduce pain but they do not fix the problem and endorphins are natural pain killers. Meditation or exercise can reduce the pain and possibly fix the problem. They can even cause you to heal twice as fast.
Sense Of Accomplishment
When I finish an exercise I often feel a sense of accomplishment especially if I put a lot of effort into it. After a long run or bike ride I think to myself "I did it". It is a great feeling. If you move past your current limits and try new things it can become a common occurrence. I enjoy the feeling I get after doing something that was impossible. When you do the same things over and over again you miss out on the feeling a sense of accomplishment.
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