You know those days when you’re feeling a bit meh? Maybe it’s stress, maybe you’re just tired, or perhaps the blues have paid you a visit. Whatever it is, there are some super simple tricks to give your mood a quick makeover. In this handy guide, I’m diving into 16 speedy techniques that can turn that frown upside down pronto. So, the next time you’re wondering how to improve your mood, remember these mood-boosting hacks to make your day a whole lot brighter!
How to quickly improve your mood
Improving your mood quickly can be a valuable skill for navigating the ups and downs of daily life. Here are some effective tips to help boost your mood quickly:
1. Practice Deep Breathing
Deep, slow breaths can instantly calm your nervous system and reduce stress. Try inhaling deeply through your nose for a count of four, holding for four, and then exhaling slowly through your mouth for a count of six.
2. Move Your Body
Physical activity is a natural mood enhancer due to the release of endorphins, which are often referred to as “feel-good” hormones. You don’t need an intense workout; even a short walk, a few minutes of stretching, or some light exercises can have a significant impact on your mood. Moving your body increases blood flow, boosts energy levels, and can help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.
3. Listen to Your Favorite Music
Music has a profound ability to influence our emotions. Uplifting and cheerful music can trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and happiness. When you listen to your favorite upbeat songs or calming melodies, your mood can quickly elevate. Music can also serve as a distraction from negative thoughts or stressful situations, allowing you to focus on something positive and enjoyable.
4. Connect with Nature
Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature can have an immediate positive impact on your mood and overall well-being. Nature provides a serene and calming environment that can help reduce stress and improve mental clarity. You can take a leisurely walk in a nearby park, sit in your garden, or simply step outside to breathe in the fresh air. The sights and sounds of nature, such as birdsong or rustling leaves, can provide a sense of tranquility and rejuvenation.
5. Practice Gratitude
Take a moment to reflect on the things you’re grateful for. This can shift your focus from what’s bothering you to the positive aspects of your life.
6. Engage in Mindfulness or Meditation
Mindfulness exercises or short meditation sessions can help you stay in the present moment and reduce anxiety and stress. Even a few minutes of deep breathing and mindfulness can work wonders.
Laughter is often described as the best medicine for a reason. When you laugh, your brain releases a cocktail of chemicals, including endorphins and dopamine, which are known to improve mood and reduce stress. To harness the mood-boosting power of laughter, consider:
Watch a Funny Video: Look for funny videos or comedy shows that never fail to make you laugh. The act of laughing, even in response to something on screen, can trigger the same positive effects. This is why I added funny videos to this post!
Call a Funny Friend: Connect with a friend who has a great sense of humor. Engaging in a lighthearted conversation or reminiscing about funny shared experiences can have you both laughing in no time.
Read a Comic Strip: Reading a funny comic strip or joke book can be a quick and easy way to make you laugh. Keep some light reading material on hand for those moments when you need a mood boost.
8. Engage in a Creative Activity
Expressing yourself through creative activities can be very therapeutic and can significantly improve your mood. Here are a few easy ideas:
Drawing and Painting: These activities allow you to visually represent your thoughts and emotions. The act of creating art can be meditative, helping you focus your mind and reduce stress.
Writing: Whether it’s journaling, poetry, or storytelling, writing can be a cathartic way to process your feelings and thoughts. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and self-expression.
Other Creative Pursuits: Consider activities like crafting, sculpting, or playing a musical instrument. Doing things like this can help you tap into your creativity and provide a welcome distraction from stressors.
We are inherently social creatures, and connecting with others can have a significant impact on your mood. You could:
Chat with a Friend: Even a brief conversation with a friend or loved one can provide emotional support and a sense of belonging. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust can be incredibly uplifting.
Join a Group Activity: Participating in group activities or clubs that align with your interests can help you meet new people and foster connections. The camaraderie and shared experiences can boost your mood and overall well-being.
10. Treat Yourself
Taking time to indulge in small pleasures can instantly lift your spirits. These treats serve as reminders to prioritize self-care. Here are a few simple ideas:
Enjoy a Treat: Whether it’s a piece of your favorite chocolate, a scoop of ice cream, or a freshly baked cookie, savoring a special treat can provide a moment of happiness and indulgence.
Take A Relaxing Bath: A warm bath with soothing scents like lavender or chamomile can be incredibly relaxing. It’s a moment to unwind, destress, and pamper yourself.
Sip on Tea: A hot cup of herbal tea, especially varieties known for their calming properties, can create a sense of comfort and relaxation.
A clutter-free environment can contribute to a more peaceful and organized state of mind. Spend a few minutes decluttering your workspace or any cluttered areas in your home. An organized environment can help clear your mind, reduce stress, and increase productivity.
12. Practice Positive Self-Talk
Instead of beating yourself up with negative thoughts, be your own cheerleader.
Challenge Negative Thoughts: When those pesky negative thoughts pop into your head, like “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good enough,” challenge them. Ask yourself, “Is this thought really true, or is it just my inner critic acting up?” Usually, it’s the latter.
Replace with Positive Affirmations: Once you’ve called out those negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones. Say things like, “I am capable,” “I can handle this,” or “I’ve got this!” These positive affirmations can shift your mindset and give you a boost of confidence.
13. Set Achievable Goals
Setting goals, no matter how small they are, can be a game-changer for your mood. It’s like giving yourself a roadmap to success:
Boost Confidence: When you set a goal, work towards it, and eventually achieve it, it’s like a confidence booster shot. You’re telling yourself, “Look, I set my mind to something, and I did it!”
Start Small: Goals don’t have to be huge. It could be as simple as finishing a book, organizing your closet, or trying a new recipe. The key is to break them down into manageable steps, so you can celebrate those little victories along the way.
14. Use Aromatherapy
Now, let’s talk about how certain scents can turn your mood around. It’s like a natural mood-lifting hack:
Calming or Uplifting Scents: Think of scents like lavender, citrus, or peppermint as your mood superheroes. Lavender can help you chill out and relax, while citrus scents can give you a zesty boost, and peppermint can refresh your mind.
Essential Oils, Candles, Wax Melts or Incense: There are different ways to bring these scents into your life. You can use essential oils in a diffuser, light scented candles, melt wax melts, or even burn some incense. It’s all about creating a soothing atmosphere that suits your vibe.
15. Help Others
Helping others is like a mood booster that keeps on giving. You:
Feel Empathy and Fulfillment: When you do something nice for someone else, it taps into your empathy and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You’re not just helping them; you’re helping yourself by increasing your sense of fulfillment.
Perform Random Acts of Kindness: These can be simple acts, like holding the door for someone, complimenting a stranger, or even buying a coffee for the person behind you in line. The best part is, it doesn’t have to be a big production—it’s the thought and gesture that count. Plus, it’s contagious; it can inspire others to spread kindness too!
16. Limit Screen Time
Excessive screen time, especially on social media, can contribute to negative emotions. Take a break from your screens and engage in offline activities.
17. Get out of Your Sloppy Clothes
When you change out of your lounge wear/ yoga pants / gym shorts, hop in the shower, and slip into some comfy yet nice-looking clothes, it can work wonders for your mood. It’s like flipping a switch from that sleepy, relaxed state you’re in when you’re lounging in PJs to feeling more awake and refreshed. The shower not only gets you clean but also wakes up your senses, making you feel more alert and alive. And when you choose comfy clothes that also look good, it gives your confidence a little boost, like you’re ready to tackle the day. This simple routine basically tells your brain, “Time to shift gears from chill mode to get stuff done mode,” and it often leads to a better overall mood and attitude.
18. Let Natural Light In
Natural light is not only essential for your physical health but also for your mood. Sunlight helps regulate your body’s internal clock, promoting better sleep and overall well-being. It’s also known to enhance the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being. To reap the benefits, open your curtains or blinds during the day, spend time outside, or create a well-lit environment indoors.
19. Scroll Through Happy Memories
Reflecting on positive memories can be a powerful mood-enhancing strategy. When you revisit happy moments from your past, your brain releases chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin, which are associated with pleasure and social bonding. This simple act can bring a smile to your face and remind you of the joy you’ve experienced in your life.
These tips are not meant to replace professional help if you’re dealing with persistent feelings of sadness or depression. However, incorporating these mood-boosting strategies into your daily routine can help improve your mood quickly and maintain a positive outlook on life.
From one friend to another
I am generally not a moody person. Through all the years of trying to improve myself, I’ve gotten fairly good at mood regulation. However, today I am feeling particularly good, which is what inspired me to write this post about how to improve your mood.
Instead of tidying up quickly this morning after the kids left, I took an extra hour to make my house look nicer. I cleared all the counters, lit some candles, warmed up some wax melts, grabbed some (artificial) flowers (from the closet), and asked Alexa to play some relaxing music. Then I took a shower, washed my hair, and put on a cute dress. That’s it! I hate to disappoint you, but that was all I did to take me from neutral to blissful.
As I basked in this unexpectedly elevated mood, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for my life, my home, my family, my friends, and my blessings. I did a bit of self-reflecting, and it dawned on me that, (as discussed in a previous post), our environments really do impact us, whether we realize it or not. Now, I’m not suggesting that my house is generally untidy, but with children around, despite my best efforts to pick up throughout the day, there are often socks lying around, a toy here or there, or a stray book on the coffee table. Add to that, I’m often in gym shorts after a morning workout with my hair in a messy bun. Then, because I’m eager to work, I often don’t get into the shower until the kids get home.
My point in sharing all this is that even seemingly small changes can have a big impact on your mood. If you are trying to improve your mood, consider giving some of the above tips a try. Practicing gratitude, taking a shower, doing a bit of decluttering, or lighting some fragrant candles may seem insignificant, but it really does help elevate your mood, even if you weren’t expecting it to.
So, the next time you’re feeling a bit down or stressed, remember that a little self-care and attention to your environment can work wonders for your mood and overall well-being. It’s all about finding those small moments of joy and using them to brighten your day, one step at a time.