- Mental Health
How to Improve Your Mood: Get Back the Good Feelings
Take Inventory of Yourself:
There are many factors that play into a person's mood. If you have been stuck on a negative train of thought lately and you're getting sick of feeling sad, cranky, angry, or just aren't enjoying life like you used to; it's time to be proactive and solve the problem!
It all starts with making the decision to change your frame of mind and/or change the external environmental factors which may be causing you to feel this way. It isn't always easy, but it can be done. You just have to want it!
So what is it that brings us down and prevents us from lifting back up? Here are some aspects to look at and consider. Always be honest with yourself! If you are unwilling to admit that a problem exists, there is nothing anyone can do to fix it. There is no "magic pill" to make it go away for you.
1. Stress Levels: Have you been under a moderate or severe amount of stress for an extended period of time?
2. Nutrition: What is your diet like? Are you eating what and when you should? "You are what you eat"... so if you are eating "junk food" odds are you are going to feel like junk.
3. Sleep: Like it or not, sleep has a huge impact on your body's ability to regenerate and "reset". If you are missing out on sleep, you are missing out on a vital part of your health.
4. Relationship Issues: If you are on the "outs" with any of the people you hold dear to your heart, this causes emotional stress and turmoil. It could be a family member, friend, or partner. In some cases the stress caused by not getting along with a co-worker or boss can have an equally dramatic effect. Do you have fences that need to be mended in the relationship department that you have been putting off?
5. Drug or Alcohol addiction: Using substances to help you feel good are short lived in the "feel good" department. All too soon you find yourself taking more and more of these just to feel "normal" rather than "up". Aside from the internal damage they reek on your body, they also alter your emotions and ability to cope with the world.
6. Chemical or Hormonal Imbalances: Believe it or not ~ all of the above (and more) contribute to this silent sufferer. Since most of us don't understand the complex workings of how our bodies work, this factor is seldom considered as an option. When people think of this one it is generally in terms of: menstrual cycle, menopause, postpartum, or mental illness.
7. Seasonal depression: Many people get the "blues" during the colder months when the days are shorter. This is actually caused by a vitamin D deficiency which can easily be supplemented.
8. Environmental factors: Loss of a loved one or loss of a job generally take front seat in this category. Maybe you had to move when you didn't want to, or something in your life just isn't going the way you had hoped or planned. It's easy to get into a rut when these types of events occur.
9. Low or Poor Self-Image or Self-esteem: When you don't think or feel very highly of yourself it's hard to put on a happy face or to feel good. There are endless reasons behind why people don't feel good about themselves. We are our own worst enemies and critics sometimes.
10. Uncertainty: That feeling of having no direction or just not knowing what you want to do or where you want to go. Not knowing the outcome of a situation that you wish you had an answer for but don't. When faced with the "unknown" it is easy to loose the feelings of security which allow our happiness to flow freely.
There is none! There is no magic pill that is going to make everything better right here, right now. There are, however, a great number of things you can do to improve your mood and take steps to a happier, more positive you:
1. Eat right and drink plenty of water. Eliminate as much of the "junk food" as you can from your diet without feeling like you are torturing or depriving yourself. Make the choice to put healthy foods into your diet so that you have the strength and energy to combat that which the day throws your way.
2. Eliminate Caffeine, Drugs, Alcohol, & Nicotine as much as possible from your life. These substances drain your body of the vital nutrients your body needs to function properly. If you enjoy a glass of wine over a holiday dinner that's one thing; if you're drinking a glass of wine every day after work, that's quite another. Moderation is the key when addressing things you know aren't good for you.
3. Therapy: Talk to someone with an impartial point of view that you can bounce things off of. It helps to get worries, concerns, and stress off your chest so that you can "let it go" and move on. If you don't like the idea of therapy, at the very least talk through some of these feelings and thoughts with close, trusted friends or family members so that you aren't being eaten alive by them. Write it out in a diary if need be, but get it out!
4. Vitamin and Mineral supplements: The food we eat today does not contain the same rich vitamin and mineral content that it did even 50 years ago. It is essential that you supplement your diet with the building blocks your body needs to run at it's optimal level. You naturally feel better when your body is running at it's best.
5. Exercise: Get out there and get your heart pumping! Working out, walking, lifting weights, swimming, dancing, gardening.... anything! Just get up off your bottom and get moving. Endorphin's feel good!
6. Interact with others: I'm not talking about texting or playing online games. I'm talking about putting your technology down and having face time with real people. We are a social species and we need to interact with others in order to feel good.
7. Give what you want to get: If you want more respect, give more! If you want more compliments, give more! If you want more encouragement, give more! While those around you may not catch on right away, you will automatically start feeling better about yourself because you will be filled with the pride of knowing that you are making others feel better. Brighten someone else's day & you will be brightening your own.
8. Tell yourself what you want to believe: Stop putting yourself down! If you go around telling yourself that you're a failure, you're fat, ugly, stupid, or worthless.... guess how you're going to feel about yourself ~ you guessed it! Like Junk! Instead be your own biggest fan. Say "I can do this", "I am good enough", "I deserve to be treated with respect", or any positive phrase that you need to in order to help you achieve your goals and feel better about yourself. Once you believe it, others will naturally see it, believe it, and follow!
9. Dress it up: If you are sporting stained, ripped, grungy clothes because you just don't care... you aren't going to feel very good about yourself. Put on some clean clothes, take a shower, comb your hair... let yourself and the world know that you respect and care enough about yourself to have decent hygiene and an appearance that can be taken seriously.
10. Make up your mind to feel better: Whether it is setting goals, researching, or altering your diet. Make up your mind to take small yet attainable steps toward improving your own life. Stop waiting for some fairy to bob you over the head with her "fix it wand". You need to take control. Even by saying "I'm going to have a better day today" out-loud in the morning will start you off on a better and brighter foot than you would have otherwise.
Long Term Solutions:
By doing little things every day to improve the way you treat yourself and look at life, you will be setting the pace for the long term.
If you feel you need professional help, get it. Tell yourself you're worth it! It could be a personal trainer, therapist, or doctor who can help you with determining if you need an antidepressant.
Stop expecting the world to change for you and start changing it yourself! If you respect yourself, others will respect you more. If you are polite, others will be more polite to you. If you are giving, others will be more giving toward you... you get the idea. You need to be the first ripple in the water. You need to take the first steps toward where and who you want to be.
Research! Don't expect other people (not even doctors) to know what's best for you without question. Find out for yourself. Get the information and share it. Knowledge is power, so fill your mental arsenal. Read books, look things up online, talk to others, and get informed. Do you need relationship help? Do you need mental stability help? Do you need help figuring out what foods to eat? You need to be your biggest advocate and supporter. You can do it and you are worth it!