- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
37 Ways to Boost Your Mood and Lift Your Spirits
Boost your mood and make those "blues" go away!
We have all had days that we felt like we had no energy at all to get through the moment much less the day. Even if we were able to muster some faint form of something that reminded us of energy, would we have the "want to?"
It's called the "blues." Sometimes, on these days, I feel like the whole world is against me. There are ways to get yourself out of this slump. It is extremely important to learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression. Is there a difference between the "blues" and depression? You bet there is! Just remember this depression happens all day everyday whether you notice it or not. The "blues" is not something that happens all day everyday,
Depression could require immediate attention.
Mood Boosting Ideas
Here are some ideas to help get you back on your feet, gain a whole new perspective, and motivated to be productive again:
- Dance, Dance, Dance. Put on your favorite "happy music" and let the music lead the way! Keep in mind this is not the time for those jerk country songs. Be sure you choose something with an upbeat tempo, one you know every word too and dance, scream or sing your heart out. It works nicely. This one is what gets me going every time!
- Exercise. This is one of the quickest ways to pick yourself up because it stimulates circulation and releases those happy hormones, otherwise known as endorphines. Before you know it, you will be taking over the world or at least feeling like you can!
- Take a power nap. Maybe it is time for a little rest? Why not take a 20 minute nap? You will be surprised how a 20 minute power nap rejuvinates the mind, body, and soul.
- Focus on the positive. When things just are not going our way, we tend to let it get to us and suddenly we are focusing on the negative. This is when the whole thing gets distorted and blown out of proportion. When this happens it is time to step back and re-focus. Take a look around and look at everything that is positive and going right, what you have accomplished and how far you have come. It will give you the boost you need to keep going.
- Go the opposite directions. Sometimes getting in that down mood is the result of spending too much time on one particular task. This is when you need a different kind of break. The best thing you can do is just walk away and do something completely different. When you do get back to the task at hand, you will be in a whole new mindset.
- Write. Get a piece of paper and just start writing about how your feeling. When you are finished, you will feel as if a weight has been lifted off of you.
- Treat yourself with compassion. Like you would a child. Quit judging yourself.
- Watch a funny movie. Sometimes laughter is the best medicine of all!
- Look your absolute best everyday. When you do, there is not too much that can get you down.
- Do something special for yourself. Treat yourself to one or all of your guilty pleasures. Pamper yourself.
- Be around your family and friends. Those that love you the most are your best support system.
- Is there a smaller issue that you could quickly fix? If so, do it and you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Bond with nature. Go somewhere private and sit by the River or where ever your most favorite spot is and relax.
- Meditate. Even if it is for only 30 minutes everyday find a quiet spot and have alone time. Everyone should do this everyday anyway.
- Don't fight the feeling. Welcome your feelings and deal with them. Don't wallow.
- Give generously to people in every way you can. It will make you feel better to make someone else feel better.
- Spend quality time with your kids. My kids are often times the best medicine because they make me smile and feel loved.
- Think of the things you are grateful for and write them down. Feel the gratitude in every cell of your body and enjoy how it feels.
- Plan an activity with a friend and enjoy the day.
- Go outside to let the sun shine in and feel the warmth!
- Give yourself some space and let the tears roll down like rain. Sometimes a good cry is worth a million!
- What ever you feel you lack offer it to someone else.
- Practice patience. This is the hardest one for me at times but it helps you to remain calm.
- Take a shower. It will allow you time to step away from the moment. It is good for your body temperature and it gets you back into the right mind-set. It takes you away from a bad habit or routine just long enough to allow you some distance from it.
- Spend at least twice per week with a close friend. Regular social contact with a close friend may boost your self-confidence and encourage you to make other positive changes that will lift your spirits.
- Eat a seafood twice per week. According to a Dutch study if your diet is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat found in cold-water fish such as salmon and mackerel, were less likely to suffer from depression than people whose diets were low in this important fat. Another study, this one conducted in England, found that pregnant women who didn’t eat fish had twice the rate of depression as women who ate 10 ounces of fish a day. Keep a container of ground flaxseed in the fridge. Use it to sprinkle on everything from ice cream to yogurt to cheese omelets. Mix it into muffin mix, shakes, and salad dressings. Flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Play with a dog a few minutes every day. When non-pet owners played with a dog for just a few minutes a day as part of a University of Missouri study, blood levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and oxytocin — both mood elevators — rose. You don’t need to own a dog to experience these feel-good effects (although dogs are great antidotes to the kind of chronic stress that can result in depression). Pet your neighbor’s dog for a few minutes a day, volunteer at an animal shelter, or stop by your local pet store for some furry one-on-one therapy.
- Get a 12-minute massage three times a week. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. Whether you pay a professional or ask a spouse or friend to rub your back, the result is the same: a natural mood boost.
- Pull an all-nighter. Staying up all night for one night — and therefore depriving yourself of sleep — has been shown to lift depression for as long as a month.
- Just bang on something. Employees at a retirement community who took a drumming class felt more energetic and less depressed six weeks after the class than before they started it.
- Take a 10-minute walk three times a day during the winter. Many people feel depressed during the winter months, when they travel to and from work in darkness and don’t get enough natural sunlight.
- First thing in the morning, lie on your back with your head hanging over the edge of your bed. Grip a 5- or 10-pound dumbbell with both hands and extend it behind your head, letting your arms hang down toward the floor. Take 10 deep breaths, trying to expand your rib cage as much as possible. Bring the weight back and place it on the bed beside you. Scoot onto the bed so your head is supported, and take another 10 deep breaths. Repeat three times. The stretch will open your rib cage and chest, making it easier to take a deep breath. “The most common unrecognized source of mild depression is restricted trunk flexibility that interferes with full respiration,” says Bob Prichard, a biomechanist and director of Somax Sports in Tiburon, California. “Most people with mild depression are shallow breathers because their chest and stomach are too tight to allow full, easy breathing,” he says.
- Drink one to two cups of coffee or tea each morning. Regular, modest caffeine intake decreases the risk of depression by more than 50 percent.
- Sleep in a different bedroom. Many people with depression also have insomnia. Switching your sleep location can help, says Dr. Cumella. You can also reduce insomnia by getting up at the same time every day, never napping for more than 20 minutes, shunning caffeine after 3 p.m., and relaxing for an hour before bed.
- Get a day of vigorous outdoor recreation, like hiking, canoeing, or biking. Let the combination of nature and physical activity work their magic on your mood.
- Brighten someone else's day. It may be you who is feeling the blues, but when you brighten some else's day, yours automatically becomes brighter. Call it the ripple effect. Smiles are contagious. Do what you can to start an epidemic of happy faces.
- Get organized. Many experts agree that when you organize things in your life, it makes you feel better about yourself and your circumstances. Clear the clutter lying around your house or yard. Detail your car. Organizing closets, garages and other areas that have become detritus dumping grounds are great places to start.
When to seek professional help.
If no matter what you do, you just came seem to shake the blue's. Seek professional help.
Can you think of any that work for you that I have not listed? Please feel free to share them by commenting and I will add them to the list!