Is today one of those days? Do you need to get things done but aren’t sure how to boost your mood?
I’ve been there too. You know what I mean, that kind of day when you aren’t feeling it, when you are overwhelmed or moody, or just feeling down! Sometimes you’ll feel that way for a reason and other times, without an apparent motive.
Yet, with or without a reason, we just don’t want to feel that way! Who would? Instead, we want to be productive, to have a good day, and to smile our way through life.
I’m here to tell you: those things happen to everyone.
So, first things first, don’t be so hard on yourself. Everyone has a bad day, whether they admit it or not. Therefore, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, you should be focusing on how to feel better, because, who likes to feel bad, right?
If you are having a bad day, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Incredibly there are a lot of things you can do that can help to boost your mood.
Eager to know how? Here are 12 things you can do to boost your mood quickly and to get that day going.
12 Quick and Easy Ways to Boost Your Mood on a Bad Day
Get off the couch
I know most of us are afraid of the word exercise and honestly, I understand why. It involves getting out of your comfort zone.
However, we should look at exercising in a different way. Exercising is also a form of self-care. Everything from moving, dancing, walking can count as exercise.
Multiple studies have shown that exercise can boost your mood and reduce the risk of depression. According to the Better Health Channel “Exercise increases your level of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters”.
And if that isn’t enough of a reason, you´ll also feel more confident and sexier! Boom!
Journaling has kept its popularity, even in the 21st century.
You can find tutorials on how to prepare, decorate, and organize your journal all around the internet. The reason why it has survived until nowadays is that it doesn’t matter how silly it might seem to keep a diary, journaling is actually good for you!
Why? Because journaling allows you to see things in perspective. Moreover, you can analyze your feelings and vent them through the paper.
According to the University of Rochester, ¨Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by:
Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns
Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them
Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors¨.
Therefore, whenever you are feeling off, open your journal and write down what you are feeling, since when you are feeling that way and what’s the cause behind your feelings. Also, write how you would like to feel in that moment instead and what you can do about it.
You’ll find yourself feeling better pretty soon!
Reconnect with nature
Nothing boosts your mood as a stroll through the park or forest! Therefore, if you need a quick fix for your day, step out of your house. Visit the nearest park or beach or go somewhere where you can watch the sunset. The important thing is to breathe fresh air and to move around nature!
An article published by the Harvard Medical School (2018) states: “Research […] has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression”.
This same article declares that just 20 or 30 minutes is enough to improve your mood. So? Get out there and connect with nature.
Play with your pet
Your pet can be your best friend for many reasons. One of them is he is good for your mental health.
Marwan Sabbagh declares: “Simply petting an animal can decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol and boost release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, resulting in lowered blood pressure and heart rate and, possibly, in elevated mood”. (2020)
Therefore, on those gloomy days, take some time to play with your pet! For sure, you’ll be smiling after a few minutes.
Eat something yummy!
There is an undeniable relationship between our emotions and what we eat! As a result, from chocolate to freshly squeezed orange juice, food can always make us feel better.
Therefore, if you feel grumpy, prepare yourself a well-deserved meal. If you are up for a snack, brew some coffee, or grab some dark chocolate. While you’re on it, take a break and disconnect yourself from everything and focus on savoring your snack or meal.
If you are not sure what to eat, it has been found that fish, dark chocolate, fermented foods, bananas, berries, and coffee are natural mood lifters. (Davidson, 2020).
Need a little tip? Eat something that reminds you of your happy childhood days. I guarantee you you’ll be feeling full and happy in no time.
Learn or do something challenging
Either decluttering or taking the first lesson of a new language, starting a challenging activity not only can boost your mood but it can contribute to your long term happiness.
The Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, states that happiness is constructed when a person constantly takes challenges that aren’t too demanding or too simple.
Moreover, he declares: “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” (1990, p. 3).
So? If you need to boost your mood, you can simply start a book or a language course! If those are too simple then start a bigger project.
Get rid of the junk
If you are like me, everything I have is linked to a memory. However, sometimes, those memories can affect my mood in a negative way. They can remind me of a past relationship or an unfinished project. And suddenly, without realizing it, my day turns gloomy.
And if that isn’t enough, I get anxious and stressed when there is a mess around me!
It might be happening to you too.
The solution? Decluttering. How does it work?
An article published by the BBC reads as follows: “tidying up, […] acts as a reward, which increases the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, also known as the brain’s “pleasure chemical” in the brain.” (Griffiths, 2019).
Declutter your house and you’ll get two things done at once: you will boost your mood and you will have a clean home.
Sleep more (or take a nap)
Moodiness and tiredness often go hand in hand. For such a reason, a quick energizing nap could improve your humor.
An article published by the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School signals that sleep deprivation can cause irritation and stress. In addition, it states that adequate sleep will result in an improved mood and well-being.
Therefore, if you are grumpy because you didn’t sleep enough, take a nap and you’ll wake up happier than the sleeping beauty herself.
Listen to music
“More and more studies are scientifically confirming what many of us have already guessed – music puts us in a better mood”. (UPMC, Western Psychiatric Hospital, 2017)
The same way a sad song can make you cry, a happy song can boost your mood. Put on some upbeat music! It could be instrumental or it could have some lyrics.
Dance to it or listen to it while you do some chores. Without noticing, you’ll be happily tapping your feet to the rhythm.
Smell something nice
Yes, aromatherapy is a thing. Don’t underestimate the power of your nose!
From lavender to freshly brewed coffee, every person enjoys different smells. Regardless, we all have in common one thing: our favorite smell puts us in a good mood.
Lisa Evans (2012) lists the following smells as mood-boosters: lemon, lavender, jasmine, rosemary, cinnamon, and peppermint.
Now, stop to smell the flowers and feel better overall!
Break into laughs
Take that frown off your face if you want to boost your mood. Instead, start to laugh.
Laughing has multiple health benefits. A few of them? Improving your mood, lessening depression and anxiety, soothing tension, and relieving stress. (Mayo Clinic, 2019)
If you need a little help, watch a comedy series on Netflix or look up funny videos on YouTube.
Life is too short to be frowning and to be stuck in our moodiness.
Bring in the backup
I know! When you are in a bad mood, the least you want is to invite a friend over.
Regardless, when it comes to boosting your mood and making you laugh, your friend or your family might do the work!
If you are feeling grumpy, call that goofy friend or visit your hysterically funny grandmother. Not only will you be feeling better, but you’ll be in good company too.
How do you boost your mood?
These are just 12 quick and simple ways to boost your mood. Why? Because a bad day can happen to anyone, but we can always turn it around.
Now tell me, how do you boost your mood on the days that life sucks?
Cleveland Clinic. (2020). Why having a pet can boost your mood and keep your brain healthy. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-having-a-pet-of-any-kind-may-boost-your-mood-and-keep-your-brain-healthy/#:~:text=Physiology%20helps%20explain%20why%20animals,the%20neurotransmitter%20serotonin%2C%20resulting%20in
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York, NY: Harper and Row.
Davidson, K. (2020). 9 healthy foods that lift your mood. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mood-food
Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. (2008). Sleep and Mood. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood
Evans, L. (2018). 6 scents that can transform your mood and productivity. Entrepreneur. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224575
Griffiths, S. (2019). Can decluttering your house really make you happier?. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190515-can-decluttering-your-house-really-spark-joy
Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). Sour mood getting you down?: Get back to nature. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/sour-mood-getting-you-down-get-back-to-nature
University of Rochester. (n.d.). Journaling for mental health. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
UPMC, Western Psychiatric Hospital. (2017). Feeling Down?: Surprising ways music can pick you up. https://share.upmc.com/2017/02/music-and-health-connection/#:~:text=Some%20studies%20have%20found%20that,Reduce%20stress%2Fease%20anxiety
Victoria State Government.(2018). Exercise and mood. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/exercise-and-mood#:~:text=The%20positive%20link%20between%20exercise%20and%20mood,-We%20don’t&text=Exercise%20reduces%20immune%20system%20chemicals,sleep%20patterns%20back%20to%20normal.