Having a bad day? Feeling the blues? Stress and frustration are a part of our daily lives. Not only can it affect our mood but also our behavior, actions, and interactions. This is why it is crucial that you learn some quick ways to boost your mood and feel happier instantly.
Shit happens. Sometimes we ignore it and go on with our day, other times it can really hit a nerve and make us feel immensely frustrated. We know we should let go of these negative emotions, but it just seems to get stuck with us and pull our mood down throughout the entire day. Whether you spilled your coffee, burned your food, stepped on dog poop or got into another argument with your toxic coworker, small things have the potential to ruin your entire day. But there are ways to turn your day around and lift your mood back up no matter what comes in your way.
While there are some things we can’t do anything about, we can always control and change how we feel about those things. Once we can control our mood and emotions, we can focus on finding a way out and be more productive and successful. Regardless, you can do certain things to boost your mood when you’re feeling low.
6 Simple ways to boost your mood when feeling low
Want some mood boosters? When you are stuck in a bad mood, it can be really hard to figure out what you can do to make things better. So it is important to have a strategy that helps you create a better & calmer headspace. If you are feeling down right now, then here are a few ways to boost your mood naturally and instantly –
1. Just pause and breathe
When you feel burdened by negative emotions, ground yourself by focusing on your breath. Become aware of intrusive, unwanted thoughts and pause for a moment. Bring your attention to your breath and focus on the moment between inhaling and exhaling. Being aware of this space will enable you to be mindful and live in the present moment. This is the purest moment you can experience as nothing exists here, not even breath. Simply exist in this moment until you exhale naturally.
Breathing deeply and being aware of your breath can promote mindfulness which can help to boost your mood. Researchers have found that deep breathing can improve mood and reduce levels of stress. Studies show that deep breathing can help us reduce stress, negative emotions and improve attention. It can also improve psychological flexibility during mutual interactions, enabling you to respond better to others, instead of reacting out of stress. So whenever you’re feeling down, bring your focus to your breath, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing. A few calming, deep breaths can re-center your mind and make you feel a lot better. This is one of the most effective ways to boost your mood.
2. Eat some healthy foods
Want to lift your mood instantly? Grab a healthy meal, sit down and enjoy your food. In fact, eating a healthy snack, like fruits or vegetables, can help your mind & body feel a lot better. This has to be one of the tastiest ways to boost your mood. However, make sure that you steer clear of unhealthy, junk foods if you are trying to overcome a bad mood. While all that fat, sugar and salt from junk foods can give you a momentary high, it will eventually crash and make you feel worse. Eating unhealthy foods can increase your stress levels and make you feel fatigued and down.
However, when you step away from the “unhappy meal” and choose healthy foods, you give a boost to your mood. According to a 2020 study, eating healthy foods can help to improve our mental health as different mental health conditions, including mood disorders, are linked to heightened inflammation. “Poor nutrition may be a causal factor in the experience of low mood, and improving diet may help to protect not only the physical health but also the mental health of the population,” adds the study.
Further studies show that diet and nutrition play significant roles in the prevention of mood disorders like depression. Here are some foods that boost your mood almost instantly –
- Dark chocolate
- Fatty fish
- Food high in B6 vitamins like poultry, leafy greens, beef
- Beans & lentils
- Grapes & berries
- Nuts & seeds
- Fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha & sauerkraut
These are some of the most common natural mood boosters. So go ahead and add these delicious healthy foods in your dinner tonight and see how it makes you feel. Thank me later!
3. Plug in & listen to music
Looking for more ways to boost your mood? Then don’t underestimate the power of a good playlist. Music can help to elevate your mood by increasing the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, in your brain. This rise in dopamine levels can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and boost your mood and emotions as music is directly processed by the amygdala in our brain. Studies show that music listening improves our mood and emotions, reduces agitation and enhances social connections. Researchers have further observed that musical interventions are an “effective, inexpensive and non-invasive” approach for “improving mood, depression, quality of life, functional recovery, and neuromotor performances.”
So plug in your headphones (or AirPods), put on your favorite playlist and listen to your favorite songs to boost your mood. Let the music soothe your thoughts, calm your mind and transform negative emotions into positive ones. Hum, sing, dance and smile to your favorite songs and see how your day and mood changes in a matter of minutes. No matter what crap you may be going through today, allow music to make your journey a little easier and smoother. Turn up the volume and see how all the obstacles appear easier for you to tackle.
No matter what you are doing, whether it’s taking care of your children, preparing a report at work, or studying at home, listening to good music, especially instrumental tunes like LoFi music, can help you be more productive, focused and happier. Let the upbeat and cheerful melody infuse vibrating energy within you and make you feel more optimistic and enthusiastic about life.
4. Get some sun
Do you tend to stay cooped up indoors throughout the day? Staying or working inside, mostly in artificial light, can severely affect our mood, make us feel anxious and lead to unhappiness. So it’s a great idea to head outside and catch some sun as exposure to sunlight, particularly in the morning, can help to improve your mood. Getting some natural daylight can also bring your natural body clock or circadian rhythm in sync, promote sleep, improve metabolism and boost your overall mental well-being. In fact, studies have found that decreased exposure to sunlight is associated with “increased probability of cognitive impairment.” Researchers have also observed that natural elements and sunlight exposure, especially in workspaces, can positively influence mental health and job attitudes in employees. Sunlight can help to improve “depressed mood, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment.” This is one of the ways to boost your mood that is free, easily accessible and surely effective.
Exposure to sunlight helps to release the feel-good hormone serotonin which is related to improved mood, calmness and increased concentration. Serotonin is so powerful, it is widely prescribed in the treatment of depression in the form of antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Moreover, exposure to sunlight also helps to naturally produce Vitamin D, which is inversely related with clinical depression. It means lower levels of vitamin D can cause a depressive mood. Being exposed to sunlight also shuts down the release of melatonin and helps to balance our circadian rhythm, which boosts our sleep quality. And as they say, better sleep equals better mood.
5. Also, step outside
Getting out of the house is also effective when it comes to the best ways to boost your mood. It is very important that you get moving while you are out in the sun. According to a 2021 study, exposure to sunlight results in a more positive mood. But “People who have high physical activity levels tend to have longer durations of sunlight exposure, which in turn helps to alleviate depressive symptoms.” While you can still reap the benefits of sunlight by standing near a window in your office or home, going for a short walk outside, like your local park or practicing Shinrin-Yoku (forest-bathing), can do wonders for your mood and emotions. Scientists have found that walking in nature can greatly help to improve our psychological state. Nature walks can also reduce depression and anxiety and “effectively improve mental health”.
So if you are feeling low, go for a brisk or relaxed walk in nature for just 10 minutes to give your mood a lift and get rid of that gloomy and depressed feeling. Being physically active in nature and in sunlight, can not only improve your blood circulation, but also eradicate sluggishness, lower stress levels and pain by boosting the release of hormones and endorphins. Moreover, simply being in the sun for around 15 minutes can increase the production of serotonin in your brain leading to a better mood and making you feel more alert and energized.
So if you want to stop feeling annoyed and frustrated, step into the sun (unless you’re a vampire).
6. Treat yourself
What is your go-to thing that makes you instantly happier? Go and do that RIGHT NOW. For me, it’s hitting the gym and eating ice-cream… in that order. Guilt-free pleasure. So do the thing that makes you feel better. Reward yourself for having a shitty day. Show yourself some love and take care of yourself. If you won’t, who will? Indulge in your guilty pleasures and forget about all that’s bothering you. We can deal with that later. For now, just focus on yourself and your mental and emotional well-being. Self- love and self-care plays a crucial role when it comes to boosting your mood. While it can be a real challenge for some of us to appreciate and love ourselves, that effort is worth it. And one of the simplest ways to love yourself is doing what you love.
Fancy eating some pizza?
Or watching a horror movie?
Want to get all dressed up and party with friends?
Or just be in a quiet place and read a good book?
No matter what your heart desires, treat yourself. Go out on a date with yourself and give yourself all the attention in the world. As long as it makes you happy, indulge yourself. And see how quickly it turns the frown upside down. Studies show that people with low self-esteem and a tendency to criticize themselves tend to experience more negative moods than people with higher self-esteem. Researchers have also observed that personal self-esteem is “an important predictor of subjective well-being” and is closely associated with “greater life satisfaction, positive affect, meaning in life, happiness, and subjective vitality.”
So if you feel down and low, give yourself some love and do something nice for yourself. Self-care is crucial for our mental health as being kind, empathetic and compassionate with yourself can help you transform negative emotions into positive ones. Are there any better ways to boost your mood than to pamper yourself? I don’t think so.
But wait! There are many more things you can do to improve your mood.
How to boost your mood in minutes
Want to know about more small things that can boost your mood? If you are still feeling blue, here are quick and easy ways to improve your mood and energy instantly –
7. Practice journaling and write down your thoughts & feelings as it will help you gain mental clarity, peace of mind and a positive mood.
8. Get a power nap as it is associated with enhanced mood and energy, and lower stress, anxiety, and tension.
9. Play with your pets or stray animals as it can help you lower stress levels and boost the release of dopamine and serotonin.
10. Sit down, calm your mind, and meditate as it helps your mind to be more mindful, be more compassionate, focus better and reduce stress.
11. Practice gratitude and be thankful for all the good things in our life. It will help you be more optimistic and less depressed.
12. Watch a funny video or movie to laugh out loud as laughter releases endorphins in the brain that make you feel happier and less stressed, anxious and depressed.
13. Get creative and make some art as creativity helps you channel your difficult emotions and boosts your self-esteem as you create something beautiful.
14. Put on your best dress and look hot & sexy even if you plan to stay home as it will immediately boost your mood and your confidence.
15. Have some sexy time as physical intimacy with loved ones and orgasm lower your stress and make you happier.
16. Talk to a trusted friend and vent about your problems. Share all that is bothering you and spend some time with them.
17. Organize your living or working space and get rid of all the clutter. Remove anything that you don’t need any longer. This can help you gain mental clarity, focus better and be more productive.
Want to know about more ways to boost your mood? Read on.
18. Reflect on positive and happy memories by looking at old photos and reminiscing about the best moment from your life, like your last trip to the amusement park, the best pizza you ever had, or your first date ever.
19. Do something menial and meaningless for a few moments and be completely involved in it, like washing your hands, rearranging your workspace or doing laundry. This will help you focus on the present moment.
21. Visualize what the best version of yourself is like. Imagining how calm, content, confident and accomplished our ideal self is can make us feel good about ourselves.
22. Help someone in need. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or do something nice for a neighbor or donate some money to a charity. Helping others can instantly boost your mood.
23. Try doing something new that you have never tried before, like exploring a new part of your city, getting a makeover, eating at a new restaurant or taking a different route to work. The excitement and thrill of doing something new will make you feel excited and happy.
24. Get warm and get under a soft blanket for a few moments as it can help you feel physically relaxed and safe.
25. Strike a power pose and sit or stand up straight by relaxing your shoulders. This will boost your confidence, reduce stress and make you feel better about yourself instantly.
These simple ways to boost your mood will surely help you to get rid of bad moods and make you feel better and happier. However, if you are still in a bad mood and feel depressed after trying these tips, then consulting a therapist or a mental health professional may be helpful. There may be some underlying psychological condition affecting your thoughts and emotions which need to be addressed.
Always remember that thoughts and emotions are fleeting and are not real. So never let your mood affect your actions and behaviors and ruin a perfectly good day.