Maybe you have one of those days where you feel a little down. Or you’ve had something happening to you that you’re trying to process. No matter the reason, there are a number of simple things you can do that will help you feel better instantly. Backed by science, these tips will boost your mood if you’re having one of those off days.
First things first, let’s make it clear that it is okay to feel a little down every now and then. It is part of life’s natural flow, and allowing these feelings to exist is part of the healing process. The sooner you accept them, the easier things get.
This in itself is part of meditating and a mindful lifestyle. But once you have accepted your feelings, or even just acknowledged them, it’s a great idea to look into things that lift your spirit. Here is a list to get you started.
Get out into nature
Surrounding yourself with nature does wonders for your mental health. The soothing sights and calming sounds are excellent stress reducers. It will even lower your blood pressure. Going for a walk will help your mind relax, and brings therapeutic benefits.
Laughter is shown in studies to reduce depressed and anxious feelings. Did you know that by showing your biggest smile in the mirror you’re producing endorphins? These natural feel-good chemicals promote an overall feeling of well-being. Go see a comedian in town, watch your favorite funny show or catch up with your funniest friend and your frown will literally be turned upside down.
Sleep well and enough
It can be a challenge to get enough sleep during stressful or busy periods in our lives, but it’s scientifically proven to be the key to feeling happy. When our bodies are fatigued they are prone to agitation, resulting in you being on edge throughout the day. Next to getting enough sleep, the quality of your sleep is important, too. Read our article with tips on improving your sleep here.
Eat dark chocolate
The list of scientific benefits that a piece of dark chocolate comes with is long. But it recently got even longer, when scientists discovered it literally makes you happy. The combination of the antioxidants it contains and phenylethylamine both help with boosting your mood. A little side-note: make sure you eat only half an ounce (or about 15 grams), and that it’s actually dark chocolate, so at least 45% cacao or higher.
Give someone a hug
When we touch someone, studies have shown oxytocin levels rise in our body. This chemical reaction results in lower blood pressure and reduces stress levels. Scientists even nicknamed oxytocin the cuddle hormone. Physical touch is one of the triggers, but even sitting close to someone helps.
Reflect on positive experiences
Taking some time to look back on a positive experience is an instant mood booster. A study showed the difference between reflecting on a negative experience and on a positive one. Rather than taking your reflection time to dwell on negative experiences, thinking back about a positive experience will help you feel better about yourself and boosts your motivation. As a result, a reflection session will help boost your mood. Read our tips if you’re new to self-reflection.
Last but not least, regular meditation practice helps with overall happiness in your life. It helps you calm down and cope with emotions rather than react to them, and studies have shown it reduces stress hormones. And we all know that increased stress means decreased happiness.
We all have our off days, and allowing emotions to come and go is the start of a more mindful life. But there are a few small tweaks you can make in your daily life that will help boost your mood.
Go out for a walk in nature nearby, call your funniest friend, or give someone a big hug. Give your mood a helping hand, and just know that tomorrow is a new day.
Meditation is a powerful tool to help lower your stress levels and live an overall more content life. Our app Deep Meditate is free to use and comes with a wide range of meditations, whether you’re new to the practice or advanced.