Part of the human experience is encountering a variety of emotions and managing mood changes. We all have moments of happiness, sadness, annoyance, frustration and relaxation and sometimes our negative moods can be difficult to snap out of. It is important for us to get to know our mood triggers and gain awareness about what makes us feel the way we do. With this increased knowledge and insight, we can increase pleasurable times, avoid experiences that make us unhappy and take better care of ourselves.
Below are 10 mood boosters or what I like to call “make-your-day-brighter” tips to counteract stress and negativity!
1. Take a mental vacation. Give yourself a break or a time-out. Imagine a relaxing place, happy moment or positive experience. Allow thoughts to come and go without action or judgement.
2. Take a walk, exercise or get some fresh air. Exercise and sunlight trigger chemical changes in the brain that improve our mood and decrease feelings of sadness. As you spend time outside, focus on the beauty of nature and let it restore your health.
3. Indulge in a healthy snack. Eat something that gives your body energy or something that you enjoy. Try snacking on almonds, trail mix or fresh fruit if you are able to. Tea can also be soothing.
4. Lend a helping hand. Helping others increases emotional well-being and allows us to feel connected to others. Hold the door for someone, cook with your children, volunteer at an organization that you are passionate about, etc.
5. Write about or make a list of your negative emotions or what is bothering you. Visualize your worries, fears, problems or difficulties leaving your body and flowing on to the paper. Rip the paper or throw it away if it feels right.
6. Listen to music that resonates with you and lifts your spirits. Music is a powerful mood-changer. Listen to lyrics that inspire you or encourage you.
7. Take a break and breathe. Relax your muscles, focus on your breathing and visualize calmness. Breathing exercises help to alleviate tension and stress.
8. Ask for support. Call someone who will listen and support you or let your journal or pet offer you comfort. Make plans with someone special to you.
9. Do some art. Whether it’s simply doodling, drawing, coloring or sketching, art allows opportunities for self-expression and creativity. Let your mood inspire your art and say no to judgment as you explore your creative side.
10. Maintain an attitude of optimism and hope. Remind yourself that everyone encounters bad moods from time to time (after all it’s part of being human) and that your bad mood will pass. Exercise your gratitude muscle. Take matters into your own hands and try the above tips or your own mood boosters.
Sending brightness your way,
Rachel Dack, L.G.P.C
Rachel Dack is a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (L.G.P.C.) and psychotherapist in the state of Maryland. She provides psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, adults and families. She believes in the importance of providing holistic care for those with mental health and/or medical illnesses through the integration of building a healthy support system, personal wellness practices and psychotherapy. Please connect with her by email: Rachel@RachelDack.com.