On any given day, you may feel out-of-sorts, under-the weather, or plain bummed out. Feeling low is natural at times, but staying stuck in a blah mood can affect your psychological health as well as your physical health. If you want to feel better, here are 7 ways you can quick-fix your mood into a more joyful and positive place.
You don’t have to go to a nightclub or a wedding. You can dance anywhere, anytime, and definitely in the privacy of your own home! Research has shown that dancing (even if it’s doing the hokey pokey, the Macarena, or making up your own moves) can improve your mental health and boost your mood. If you break a sweat, great! If you just get your groove on by moving your body to some music, alone or with others, you’re sure to feel better inside and out.
A recent study published in the journal Art Therapy revealed that coloring (for children and adults) improved mood and reduced anxiety. Painting has also been found to boost symptoms of depression. Grab some supplies, and paper or a canvas (or even a wall!) and create a happy masterpiece.
3) Go Media-Free
According to an article in JMIR Mental Health, social media may make your low-mood lower. Step back from checking your devices for an hour or more and see how that feels. Also, if you’re a News junkie, give yourself a break from reading or hearing about the woes in the world. Replace screen time with a phone call, a visit, a walk, listening to music, painting, dancing, even cleaning the house.
4) Get Green
Recycling is great, but you can also get your mind and body into green for a quick mood boost. Take a walk in nature. In fact, studies show that you don’t even have to necessarily leave your home or office to feel the effects of greenery. You can look at views out a window, stare at a painting, or visit with a houseplant. Nature loves you.
5) Make a Happy Face
Smiling has been shown to make you feel happy. According to Psychology Today, “Your brain actually pays attention to what your body is doing, and it affects your emotions.” So even if you’re not feeling your peppiest (or don’t necessarily feel like smiling), just move your facial muscles into the position; you’ll be amazed at how it can improve your mood. Even better, think of something that makes you laugh. Easy, peasy, happier heart.
6) Think “Thank You”
It’s no secret that an attitude of gratitude can boost your mood quickly and deeply. But sometimes we get stumped on what to be thankful for if we’re really in the dumps. Great news: You can choose the simplest of things! You can be grateful for the ability to take a walk, to see a beautiful flower, or to be able to read. Each time you practice gratitude, it becomes a greater part of your everyday behavior. Thinking “thank you” can truly improve your mood.
7) Get Clean
Taking a bath or shower can revitalize you and improve your mental and physical wellbeing. You can take the time to pamper yourself, or you can take a brief cold shower. Studies have revealed that a brisk shower can jolt the brain into alleviating symptoms of depression. Water can detoxify your body and mind, and adjusting your water to different temperatures can improve your mood and your energy level.
All of the above tips are easy to try and won’t cost you a penny! Distract yourself with beauty, creativity, and joy, and you are sure to turn that frown into a smile—if not for a minute, perhaps the whole day! For many other helpful tidbits on optimum mental health, check out GetThrive’s archive of articles.