What Does It Really Take To Improve Our Mood And Energy Levels?
People often talk about reducing their stress, increasing their energy levels and boosting their mood. Yet, in spite of frequent discussions about these topics, very few people really know how, exactly, to elevate their mood and motivation. These tips and tricks can help you feel happier and more balanced as you navigate life’s winding path.
Eat Vitality Vitamins
Your body works much like karma. If you send positive vibes into the universe, karma gives good things back to you. Like karma, your body needs you to give it the right nutrition. If you don’t, it can’t send positive things back to you. Be sure to get plenty of magnesium, as this nutrient helps block mood dampening hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Seafood, beans, and nuts are all excellent magnesium-filled choices. Drop sugar in favor of whole grains and be sure you don’t eliminate carbohydrates, as they help your body produce the mood-boosting chemical serotonin. Other foods that boost mood and vibrancy include:
- Brown rice
- Leafy greens
- Dark chocolate
It’s hard to find the motivation to exercise when you’re feeling drained, but doing so is an excellent way to feel happier and more energized. A study published by Personality and Social Psychology found that a 10-minute walk can boost your mood for two hours. Exercise boosts positive brain chemicals like neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids, all of which provide a natural high. Exercising every day “maximize(s) the happiness effect.” Try to squeeze in a workout every day, even if you can only find a few free minutes. If you’re new to regular workouts, start slow with a walk or a relaxing swim. Doing too much too quickly my tire you and make your exercise program more difficult to maintain.
Find a Hobby
It turns out that all work and no play really can make Jack a dull boy. Doing things that make you happy or that you find enjoyable trigger the part of the brain where happiness lives. Your hobby can be anything you enjoy, so become a self-taught seamster or take up painting. Some hobbies, like dancing, gardening, and biking have been clinically proven to boost mood and count as exercise. In some instances, a hobby can be combined with volunteering, which has been shown to improve both mental and physical health. One of this author’s friends greatly improved both her overall outlook and zest for life by volunteering to sew pajamas for children in hospitals.
Do a Cleanse
According to endocrinologist Eva Cwynar, M.D., fatigue is often caused when toxins escape your intestines and find their way into your bloodstream. These toxins zap your strength, making you feel sluggish and bloated. Fortunately, your body will naturally cleanse itself if you give it a break from strength-sapping chemicals. Cwynar recommends a month free of aspirin, alcohol and diet soda. Cut anything that contains aspartame as well. She also suggests drinking eight ounces of water every day. Her patients report feeling much more energized and upbeat after taking this advice.
Psychology Today defines mindfulness as “a state of active, open attention on the present.” Often taught through meditation, mindfulness allows you to focus on the present moment or task uninterrupted by stray thoughts or worries. While mindfulness can’t eliminate the stress in your life, it can help you manage it so that you feel more optimistic and have more drive to do the things you enjoy. You may not, for example, enjoy a peaceful walk if you are worried about a project at work. If, however, you can be mindful and place yourself completely in the moment, you can enjoy your walk and other happy times without letting stress creep in. Science has proven that mindfulness reduces anxiety, irritability and depression.
Consider Color Therapy
The energy you surround yourself with affects both your mood and your motivation levels. Red is often very motivational and provides a bit of pep to those viewing it, according to the University of Rochester. Yellow promotes happiness and joy. Blue represents calm while green invokes feelings of renewal and balance, making both excellent colors to include in your meditation space. Place a red flowering plant on your desk to help keep you motivated or wear green on a day that has the potential to be stressful. Remember, however, that colors invoke both general and personal responses. Your reaction to a specific color may vary from that of the general population. Pay attention to how you feel about certain colors so you can personalize your spaces.
Although it sometimes feels otherwise, there are many things you can do to help control your mood and boost your energy levels. If nothing you try seems to be working, consult your primary care physician to ensure that thyroid issues or other physical problems aren’t hindering you. Fixing medical issues can make a tremendous difference to your wellbeing. Once you know your healthy, focus on taking ongoing care of your body and mind. Remember to take time for yourself, make time for fun and spend time with the people who inspire you.
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