Need a quick mood boost? Never fear! There are several proven ways to improve mood and reduce irritability that are easy and relatively quick.
We’ve all had those days when life’s little stresses seem just get the better of us. Though while we can’t always control what happens to us, we can control how we react and respond. Fortunately, on those days when we’re in need of an emotional pick-me-up, there are simple tricks that improve mood and reduce the blues.
12 Ways to Improve Your Mood Right Now
Calm down quickly with these simple tricks to improve your mood:
Take a walk outside.
Just five minutes of exercise in a park, on a nature trail, or other green space has been shown to benefit mental health. Natural, green settings can reduce feelings of stress and anger, while a light or moderate physical activity such as taking a walk or going for a bike ride can help to improve mood and beat the blues.
Get in the garden.
Gardening and related activities have shown to increase positive moods. If you have a few minutes, working outside provides a way to improve the environment, be in tune with nature, and escape the daily grind – or whatever it is that has got you down.
Listen to the birds.
If you can’t head outside, know that the sounds of nature can also have an uplifting effect. When natural sounds are played in offices, it improves both the moods and cognitive abilities of workers.
If you’re feeling irritable, throw on your headphones, open a nature app and tune out to the calmness of ocean waves reaching the shoreline.
Listen to music.
If the sounds of nature aren’t doing it for you, try music instead. A study from the University of Pennsylvania Health System found that baroque classical music can help improve mood. Other types of music have had positive benefits too. Cheerful, upbeat music also helps to improve mood and make an individual happier.
Pet a dog.
Interaction with dogs can be a mood boosting therapy for both children and adults. That’s why you’ll often see therapy dogs in hospitals going from room to room to cheer up patients.
Grab a piece of fruit, or a few.
There is a clear relationship between higher fruit and vegetable consumption and a positive mood. On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they feeling calmer, happier and more energetic.
As if you needed another reason to eat your greens….
Make it an orange. Or orange essential oil.
The scent of orange has long been known to have a strong calming effect. One recent study even found that passively inhaling orange essential oil can help support the relief of PTSD symptoms.
Inhaling the scent of citrus oils such as orange and lemon may alter gene activity and blood chemistry in ways that can reduce stress levels. And improve mood.
Stretch and pose.
Practicing yoga has been shown to increase the level of a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate nerve activity. Yoga may even have a greater positive effect on a person’s mood and anxiety level than walking.
Meditate on it.
Mindfulness meditation has become an popular way for people to improve their state of mind. Even a simple 25 minute practice can alleviate feelings of stress. Calming the brain to allow for clarity, as well as positive imagery, can changes the way our brain functions to combat negative emotions.
Indulge in a bite (or two) of dark chocolate.
This may come as a surprise (or not), but people eat more chocolate as their depressive symptoms increase. Perhaps it’s because lower levels of blood sugar make us angrier and even more likely to lash out. A quick fix of chocolate can adjust those blood sugar – and tension – levels.
Do an act of kindness.
Altruism and happiness are directly linked to one another. When we do something nice for another person it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This generosity must be authentic in nature, because the universe seems to know when people are acting solely out of self-interest.
As they say (whoever “they” are), it’s impossible to be unhappy if you are smiling. Believe it or not, research seems to back that up. Smiling during brief periods of stress can help to reduce the intensity of the body’s stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy.
On those days when life’s stresses get the better of you, calm down quickly with these simple tricks that improve mood and reduce irritability.
You’ve got this.
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