Your mood affects how you think, feel, and act, so it's essential to keep it in check because it can impact your mental and physical health; here are 11 best tips to help you improve your mood.
We all have our off days when nothing seems to be going right, and we can't seem to shake the bad mood.
Maybe we didn't get enough sleep, or we're feeling under the weather, or we're just having a bad day.
Whatever the reason, maintaining your mood is crucial for overall happiness and well-being, so if you're in a bad mood more often than you'd like — assuming you're not dealing with a clinical issue like depression, which requires professional help — here are 11 tips that will help you improve your mood and make a difference.
Here are 11 tips that will help you improve your mood:
1. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is essential for good physical and mental well-being because it helps you body heal and repair and allows your brain to rest and rejuvenate.
When you don't get enough sleep, it leads to a host of health problems, including stress, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and in decision-making, irritability, weakened immune system, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which significantly impact your mood.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining a good mood, so aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
If you're not getting enough sleep, make an effort to change your sleep habits and create a bedtime routine that can help you wind down before going to bed; try some relaxation techniques such as reading or taking a relaxing shower before bed.
2. Eat healthily.
Just like sleep, what you eat also directly impacts how you feel, both physically and mentally.
Consuming unhealthy foods leads to a sugar high — which triggers the same pleasure centers in the brain associated with drug abuse — followed by a subsequent and unpleasant crash that tends to leave us feeling irritable, moody, sluggish, tired, and low on energy.
While eating healthy foods helps keep your blood sugar stable and your mood consistent by providing your body with the essential nutrients needed to function properly and sustained energy throughout the day, allowing you to think more clearly.
To maintain a good mood, it's crucial to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein; limit your intake of processed foods, saturated fats, sugar, and excessive amounts of caffeine.
3. Exercise regularly.
Exercise is a great way to improve your mood because it releases endorphins — the body's "feel-good" chemicals — which have mood-boosting and pain-relieving effects. It also helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by releasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
For maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week; you can do this by going for a brisk walk, jog, or bike ride, even a short 10-minute walk can improve your mood and increase energy levels.
4. Get some sunlight.
Sunlight is essential for your health because it helps your body produce vitamin D, which is vital for bone health and immunity — vitamin D plays a role in calcium absorption, immune function, and cell growth.
It also has mood-boosting effects because it helps increase serotonin levels in the brain, a feel-good neurotransmitter that has also been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
In fact, a recent study conducted by Monash University revealed that exposure to natural sunlight daily has positive effects on a person's mood and sleep quality.
Get outside for 10 to 15 minutes every day to get your dose of sunlight; you can do this by going for a walk or taking a break at lunchtime to sit in the sun.
With that being said, although sunlight has many benefits for your skin, too much exposure can be harmful, so always wear sunscreen when going out in the sun.
5. Spend time in nature.
Spending time in nature is associated with a positive mood and psychological well-being because it can help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety lowers blood pressure and improves sleep.
One study found that people who walked for 90 minutes in a park had lower levels of rumination — a type of repetitive negative thinking associated with depression and anxiety — than those who walked in an urban environment.
Another study showed how 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outside from feeling depressed, stressed, or anxious to feel more calm and balanced.
Take some time to go for a walk in the park, hike in the woods, sit by the beach, or even just spend time in your backyard; you'll be surprised at how much better you feel.
6. Find a hobby or activity that makes you happy.
When you have hobbies or activities that make you happy and that you're passionate about, it's easier to maintain a good mood and overall well-being because you have something to look forward to and enjoy doing that can give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Find a hobby or activity you enjoy and make time for every day in your schedule; it can be anything from reading, painting, hiking, biking, playing sports, or listening to music.
If you're struggling to find a hobby or activity, this extensive list can help you find what you've been looking for.
7. Spend time with family and friends.
Spending time with family and friends is a great way to improve your mood because oxytocin — a feel-good hormone — is released, which reduces stress, depression, and anxiety while also improving mental and physical health and increasing feelings of happiness, love and connection.
Make an effort to spend time with family and friends by spending time together in person, cooking dinner together, going on walks or hikes, playing games, or just chatting and catching up.
If you don't live near your family or friends, connect with them online through social media.
8. Practice meditation or mindfulness.
Meditation and mindfulness are great for improving mood because they help to focus the mind, increase awareness, and promote relaxation.
If you're new to meditation or mindfulness, there are many resources available online or through apps to help get you started, such as Headspace and Calm.
There are many different types of meditation and mindfulness techniques that you can try, so find one that works best for you and that you enjoy. Some popular techniques include mindfulness meditation, Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana Meditation, and Zazen.
Start meditating for 5 to 10 minutes daily and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice.
9. Take breaks during the day.
When we're constantly on the go, it can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact you mood.
Taking breaks throughout the day can help to improve your mood, overall well-being and performance capacity by stepping away from your work and taking a few minutes to give you time to clear your head, relax and rejuvenate.
Make sure to schedule some "me-time" every day to take a nap, go for a walk outdoors, listen to music, or read a book; even just 10-15 minutes can work wonders for your mood.
10. Limit your caffeine intake.
Caffeine has a negative impact on mood by causing agitation, tremors, nervousness, and sleeplessness; these symptoms are similar to the body's natural response to high adrenalin or potentially threatening situations, which is known as the "fight-or-flight" mode.
If you're sensitive to caffeine, it's best to avoid it altogether by swapping out coffee for herbal tea or decaf coffee and energy drinks for water throughout the day and see how you feel.
If you can't live without caffeine, try limiting your intake to one cup of coffee or tea daily.
11. Avoid negative people and situations.
Negative people and situations can drag you down, which can have a negative impact on our moods, so it's important to avoid them if and as much as possible.
We all have that one friend who's always complaining or is negative about everything; while it's okay to be there for them, limit the amount of time you spend with them, as their negativity can easily rub off on you and impact your mood; here are 10 best tips to help you surround yourself with positive people.
Avoid any situations you know will make you feel stressed, anxious, or angry, such as big crowds, social events, or anything else that makes you uncomfortable.
If you can't avoid a negative person or situation, stand up to them, distance yourself from it as much as possible and focus on your positive thoughts and experiences.
Following the above tips can improve your mood and overall well-being; everyone is different, so it's important you experiment to find what works best for you!