… The 7 FASTEST Ways to Boost Your Mood
The majority of Americans are living with moderate or high levels of stress, according to the American Psychological Association (APA),[i] but we probably don’t need to tell you that.
All of this stress is not only unhealthy, it’s a major drain on your mood. Instead of waking up and looking forward to the experiences the new day will hold, Americans’ heads are swimming with worries about financial difficulties, how to balance work and non-work demands, job stability, relationship troubles and more. Even kids are being impacted by their parents’ arguing and complaining — nearly 47 percent of tweens and 33 percent of teens said they feel sad when their parents are stressed or worried!
The interesting thing is, most people, including you, know what to do to feel better. As the APA noted:
“Adults seem to understand the importance of healthy behaviors like managing their stress levels, eating right, getting enough sleep and exercise, but they report experiencing challenges practicing these healthy behaviors.”
What’s the number one reason people give for not taking the time to engage in behaviors that will reduce stress and make them happier in the long run? Being too busy!
Well you’re in luck if you need to improve your mood, because the tips that follow will not only do just that, they’ll do so quickly. So there’s no room for excuses, and no more impediments to reaching the happiness you’re after.
How to Improve Your Mood, Fast
1. Eat “Happy” Foods
You’ve heard of “happy pills”? Well, there are also happy foods, and even better than pills, they are all natural and good for you too. Citrus fruits and cherries, for instance, contain vitamin C to lower stress hormones and increase feelings of calmness. Broccoli contains B vitamins known for fighting stress, and leafy green vegetables contain folic acid that may reduce depressive feelings. Nuts are another “happy” choice, as they contain nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium and the amino acid arginine to keep your blood sugar steady, thereby minimizing mood swings.
2. Take Omega-3 Fats
People who have lower levels of omega-3 fats in their blood are more likely to report symptoms of mild to moderate depression, as well as have a more negative outlook.[ii] A growing body of research suggests that including these healthy fats in your diet is crucial for improving mood and relieving mood disorders, as they are a basic building block of your brain, essential for healthy brain signaling and more. You can find omega-3 fats in seafood (make sure it’s wild-caught and not from a polluted source) or take them in purified supplement form.
3. Do Yoga
All forms of exercise are great for your mood, as physical activity improves blood flow to your brain and releases “feel-good” brain chemicals known as endorphins. Yoga, however, appears to be particularly useful to improve your mood, as it increases the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain.[iii] Low levels of GABA are linked to mood and anxiety disorders, which is why some anxiety medications actually work by increasing GABA activity. Yoga does this naturally.
Or any furry new pet. A dog or cat can give you companionship, affection and laughs, which is why research shows people with pets like dogs are less likely to experience feelings of depression.[iv] This is especially true if you’re a single woman, but virtually anyone who’s feeling lonely or blue can benefit from a few doggy kisses or kitty cuddles.
5. Go Outside in the Sunshine
This is a double mood booster, because first, simply spending time outdoors in nature is linked to improved psychological well-being, including enhanced mood and reduced feelings of anger, tension and depression. Second, when you spend time in the sun with your bare skin exposed, your body produces vitamin D. People with low vitamin D levels (which is the majority of people in the United States) are more prone to being depressed, having “low mood.”[v]
The simple act of helping others is one of the most surefire ways to in turn help yourself. Those who do good for others experience what Allan Luks, author of “The Healing Power of Doing Good,” describes as a “helper’s high,” similar to the “runner’s high” many feel after exercise. He explains that doing good deeds, such as volunteering, is linked to a heightened sense of well-being along with physical benefits like relief form insomnia and pain.
Looking for a super fast way to improve your mood? If you have 4 minutes, you can enhance your frame of mind using the The NO Excuse Workout DVD. Why is it called No Excuse?
Because it takes only 4 minutes to do, which means you’ll be hard-pressed to come up with a reason not to do it. The NO Excuse Workout includes 2 DVDs each packed with 10 short, intense workouts. Every workout is exactly 4 minutes long, broken down into 8 specific sets. Each set lasts for 30 seconds — 20 seconds of intense exercise, and 10 seconds of rest. This DVD is your anywhere … anyplace … anytime trick to boost your mood, fast (not to mention your secret to uncovering the lean, sculpted body you’ve always wanted).
[ii] Study presented at the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Denver, CO, March 3, 2006
Written By: Updated: April 6,2012