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The past year has certainly been a roller-coaster of emotions for many of us. At every turn there has been a swathe of unease, a sense of not knowing what to expect or what may be coming next, which can understandably make many of us feel on edge. This feeling can be largely different for each person, ranging from a trickle of slight nerves to sleepless nights. It is a very individual thing, however completely normal!
For me, worrying hours on end can consume a lot of time – time we could be spending doing other things. After surfing the internet for you, I have compiled a list of useful tips which can help to boost your mood and hopefully, ease your mind from any daunting worries or any general unease. Maybe you’re not a big worrier and just looking for some tips to give you that spark of happiness. Or perhaps you’re a serial worrier, and you’re on the hunt for some mood boosting activities to incorporate into your daily life. Whatever type of person you are I am sure you can benefit from the upcoming selection mood boosting tips.
Visit a good news site
If you want a ‘quick boost/fix’ this is something short and simple, that you can easily implement regularly into your routine. Happy Headlines is a site that shares lots of positive news on a regular basis, ranging from fun and happy community stories to optimistic advancements in tech and science. You can follow them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to keep updated. Reading something positive everyday can help to make you feel more upbeat and optimistic, and you can come away from it feeling incredibly refreshed. Making this a regular habit could really have a positive impact on your mood levels, with some scientific studies showing us that positive thinking increases our serotonin levels, (which is what makes us feel happy), and can also improve your cognition and focus.
Additionally to these benefits, it is also a great insight to see what good things are happening around the world, things we may not always necessarily hear about. Many of these ‘events’ we hear about on social media, and while social media has many benefits, there are also downsides. That includes the constant bombardment of information flooding through our phones 24/7, which we all know can become easily addictive. This bombardment of news which is more often than not, negative, can very quickly and easily make us feel helpless and deflated. So even if you are an avid reader of the news, incorporating some good news stories too can help to combat those feelings and boost your mood instantly!
Yes. You may of seen this one coming! However I feel obliged to mention it, as the benefits of this activity have been globally praised, particularly over the last decade as we have shifted into a ‘cleaner’ society, which has especially accrued a larger and larger focus on our ‘self-care’ habits.
You can do this activity whenever it suits you, sprinkling it wherever your desire into your weekly routine. A typical yoga session can last anywhere between 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Although it may not be a ‘quick fix’, it is a definite mood booster if you can master your skills in this domain. Personally I have not tried this yet, but I have many friends who swear by it and have said that it has helped with their anxieties and put them more at ease.
Some other science-based benefits of meditation include:
- – Stress reduction.
- – Helping to reduce anxiety.
- – Promotes your emotional health.
- – Enhancement of self awareness.
- – A lengthened attention span.
- – Improved sleep.
You can read the whole list of benefits here.
Listen to some music
Perhaps this one is more unexpected, but there has been plenty of research into the benefits of listening to music, which support the hypothesis that it can help to make us feel happier. Well, what genres came out on top? You may be surprised – pop and classical music. Complete opposites. Research has found that when we listen to, for example – our favourite pop song – a rush of dopamine is released to the brain, consequently making us feel happier, almost like a reward to the brain. This is why we feel happy when listening to our favourite music.
So next time you’re feeling a little low, pop in your headphones and let the magic commence!
Talking to a friend
When you’re feeling low, discussing things with a friend can really help to release your emotions and act as that special shoulder to lean on. That’s what friends are for right? Your real friends will want to be there to support your through all your ups and down, all your achievements and failures. They will be there. Maybe it’s boy troubles, a stressful time at work or an argument with a family member. Releasing your emotions is often better than bottling them up – as they will only then brew and simmer before unleashing themselves in a fiery wrath in other ways. However even talking to that special friend when there is nothing wrong is still a beneficial mood booster. Spending time with our favourite people can really help us feel more upbeat and energized and we more often than not come away feeling refreshed (if they’re the right friends for you!).
Evolutionary speaking, friends have long provided us with a sense of belonging and companionship throughout the history of mankind, helping us to navigate through daily life and form strong emotional bonds. There is a study to back up this hypothesis which was conducted in 2016, showing evidence of the release of oxytocin in primate brains during social interactions. Oxytocin is said to be responsible for ‘warm’ and ‘fuzzy’ feelings and has even been linked to reduced anxiety in some studies. So if you’re looking for an instant mood booster, go ahead and make some plans with your buddies! You’ll be smiling and laughing in no time.
Write down a list of good things from this month
Take some time to reflect and write down all your personal achievements or good moments from the past month, even if they’re small things like managing to not sleep past your alarm or sticking to your exercise routine. All these little things add up and then you can start to see that often all these good things are happening without you even realising it! This can really help to improve your mood as it allows you to focus on the positives within your daily life.
Perhaps you could get creative with it, by writing them on ‘post it’ notes and sticking them around your room in places where you will see them often. This can help to affirm these positive events on a regular basis.
Have a ‘detox’ from social media
This is more of a long term mood ‘booster’ rather than an ‘instant’ one, however you can surprisingly reap many benefits from it. Social media can become extremely addictive extremely fast and sometimes, it can become all too consuming, draining both our mood and focus. On every platform we are constantly bombarded with what is going on in the world, what other people are doing, subconsciously comparing our lives to what we see, making us hungry for what in reality, isn’t actually realistic. Several studies have linked excessive social media use with more unhapiness and general life dissatisfaction, with the potential to worsen anxiety and depression. Other similar research has found that frequent social network users believe that other users are happier and more successful than they are, especially when they don’t know the person very well or at all in real life.
Dive into some good books to take your mind off all things social media.
This is why getting away from social media, or cutting down can be so important. By cutting our usage down or completely, eventually over time you could see a slow but glowing improvement in your overall mood, productivity and wellbeing. The ‘freed’ up time you could spend with family and friends (which has been linked to an improved mood), as well as helping you be more productive in both your free time and work schedule.
Other benefits can include:
- – If you delete your social media you’ll have less privacy issues to worry about.
- – Improved mood.
- – You’ll stop feeling so competitive and like you have to compete with everyone else.
- – Improved self esteem.
- – Improved sleep.
- – You can increase your productivity at work or at home.
More than even I feel like this tip is all so important, as the world becomes ever-increasingly consumed by technology and social media. Taking time away is important and can help you put things back into a more realistic perspective.
Voila! These five tips are my personal favorites. Hopefully you can utilise some of these tips in your day to day life, whether it be flicking through some good news or having your morning dose of meditation. The choice is all yours! If you have any of your own tips, you can let me know in the comments below.
About the Author:
This post is written by Saskia Ainsworth: Owner and Founder of Happy Headlines.
All great suggestions for those stressful times. Thanks!
Really good suggestions for boosting mood. I would say try to be more social rather than worrying at home alone.