All of us have down days occasionally, but there are some ways to brighten your mood no matter what has happened. I’ve had so many hard things happen to me in life, like many of you, I know. I promise you can overcome anything, even if it’s just a pesky down mood. Things outside of life circumstances like the weather, a rude comment, or even just a bad day can all put a damper on our mood pretty quickly. Try some of these ways to brighten your mood next time you’re just feeling blue. Some work better than others, but you can bet I try every one, to see which one finally works. And usually, one ends up being the magic bullet!
1. Take a Walk
When I really need to deal with stress, I’ve found one of the best ways to brighten your mood is to just take a walk. I put on my sneakers, head outside, and just walk. I don’t time it, don’t worry about how fast I go, and I just deal with my day. It usually works every time. Walking induces endorphins in the brain, which spike a positive mood quickly. Even if nothing gets better, it really does help lift the sour mood. If it’s cold out, I’ll go for the indoor method on the treadmill, or use one of the other ways to brighten a mood below.
Anxiety is my arch nemesis, and yoga is my secret weapon. I know not everyone enjoys yoga, but it works for me. The breath and flow have been proven to relieve stress, depression, and even IBS related to stress. Yoga is a great way to brighten your mood too. It releases a hormone in the body that acts as a natural mood booster and calming agent known as GABA. This important amino acid not only helps brighten your mood, but can also help you sleep. I like Now Foods brand GABA Calm if you need a good recommendation. You can find this online, or in stores.
3. Call a Friend
Sometimes, our friends know how to get us out of our heads better than we do. What do I mean by this? Well, we can listen to our own emotions and let them drive us crazy! Our friends know how to give us perspective, offer support, and get us out of the insanity we often drive ourselves to from a bad mood. Call a friend, or even text them! It really does help on those days nothing else does.
4. Curl up and Watch a Comedy
When I need some serious lighthearted cheer, I curl up on the couch and watch an old favorite comedy. Usually this involves The Golden Girls, The Nanny, or something on Nick at Nite! I know, I’m corny, but it works every time. It takes me back to my childhood and makes things seem a little less serious. This is also great if you can’t sleep at night, by the way!
5. Go to the Library
I’m a book nerd, so the library is a given mood booster for me. I love looking at all the different stories, mostly nonfiction biographies. Something about reading about others successes and struggles inspires me, and I’ve actually learned a great deal about myself through these. The library also involves you using your creative and learning outlets, which releases chemicals in the brain that improve your mood. Not a fan of the library? Do anything that involves you being creative! It can work in many of the same ways.
Cooking, or just being in the kitchen, relaxes me. Every single time. It also boosts my mood. Whether I’m cooking for myself, my family, a friend, or even my little dog, I love being in the kitchen, especially when the house is quiet. Cooking is therapeutic, and even if you don’t cook at all, the creativity process and nourishing part of preparing food are natural mood boosters. Who cares if the recipe ends up failing? Enjoy the process!
7. Get outside
I actually love to eat lunch outside everyday if I can. I love being outdoors in the midday sun, because it exposes you to prime time Vitamin D absorption. Vitamin D from the sun is the best mood booster of all. Take advantage of it! When the weather is bad and you can’t go outside, that’s okay. Even just being near a window can help, or better yet, getting some fresh air. Stuffy indoor air for too long will kill your mood! Avoid it like the plague, ladies!
8. Have Some Chocolate
Chocolate in any form is a natural mood booster. It’s the richest source of magnesium on the planet, which is vital to preventing stress. I actually take magnesium to help with my mood, since it’s the quickest nutrient depleted in the body due to stress. Chocolate is also rich in stimulants and has little caffeine, despite what most people think. Raw chocolate is the healthiest form, and contains more nutrients than processed, heated chocolate. Use raw cacao powder, nibs, or raw cacao paste for the best results. They are so delicious! Just one little ounce will squash your mood almost instantly.
9. Go Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping, or shopping at all, always boosts my mood. Is that funny, or what? I know I’m a foodie, but a trip to the grocery store always makes me feel better. It’s so relaxing! Just be careful not to take your emotions out on your purchases and either blow your budget or your diet in the process! One warning about shopping when you’re stressed: be mindful of your budget and do it as an outlet, but not a venting method. Shopping as venting can result in an unhealthy shopping obsession, which I suffered from in college big time. Those shoes don’t seem so pricey when your mood is low, but I promise you’ll regret it later when the bill comes due! Use shopping mainly to relax, even if you buy very little. I even find a trip to the dollar store works in a pinch!
Do you have any ways that you use to brighten your mood? What are they? I’d love to find some tips to add to my list!