Sometimes, without rhyme or reason, you feel emotionally compromised. You might have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, gotten some bad news at work or just spent too much time watching the news. There are plenty of reasons you may not be feeling your best. And if you let it, a bad mood can darken your whole week and keep you from enjoying life.
So how do you bring a little more light to a dark and stormy mood?
If you’re looking for a way to remedy the blues, you’ve come to the right place. These five healthy, mood-enhancing strategies will show you how to effectively improve your mood.
#1 Build a Mood-Boosting RoutineA bad or blue mood can sneak up on you out of nowhere. One way to fight off those spontaneous mood shifts is by structuring your day around natural mood-boosting activities. Building a good mood-boosting daily routine can encourage feelings of balance, health and positivity throughout your day.
- Get enough sleep. When you haven’t had enough sleep, you may feel cranky, tired, stressed or sad. In fact, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, individuals who consistently sleep between seven and nine hours a night report better moods than those who sleep between four and five hours a night. So try to sleep at least seven hours a night for maximum mood-boosting benefits. If you struggle falling asleep, try these tips from the Sleep Foundation to help you drift off easily:
- Stick to a sleep schedule.
- Avoid electronic devices an hour before bed.
- Keep your room cool (between 60° and 67° F).
- Create a relaxing pre-bedtime routine.
- Find some sunshine. Spend time in the sun every day to help balance your mood. Scientists believe that exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s release of serotonin. Serotonin causes feelings of happiness, and low serotonin levels may contribute to a blue mood.
- Eat well. Healthy foods are fuel for your brain, but some foods can negatively impact mood. A 2017 study showed that excessive sugar intake had negative effects on study participants’ moods. Instead of going for a sugary treat to lift your spirits, create a healthy habit of eating nutritious foods to encourage a balanced mood throughout the day. Psychology Todayrecommends a Mediterranean diet for everyday mood health. That includes:
- lots of fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- nuts and legumes
- moderate to low alcohol intake
- moderate to low intake of dairy and milk products
- limited sugar and salt intake
Mood-boosting tip: While too much of any kind of food may lead to health problems, one food in particular has unique mood-boosting benefits: dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains serotonin andcompounds that stimulate endorphins — the same chemical that your brain releases when you exercise or laugh.
So yes, chocolate makes you feel better for a reason. But for the most mood-boosting benefits, researchers recommend eating a small square of chocolate with at least 70% cacao.
#2 Use Mind-Body Hacks to Boost Your MoodYour mood isn’t just in your mind. Mood can affect your body, too. Scientists have shown that how we treat our bodies affects our mind, and vice versa. If you want to learn how to boost your mood through your physical actions, try these tips to feel better from head to toe:
- Smile. The physical gesture of smiling can actually trick the brain into feeling better. Multiple studies show that your brain’s connection to the act of smiling actually improves your mood.
- Get physical. A quick run or aerobics class can instantly boost your give you a mood boost, thanks to endorphins. When you exercise or participate in a physical activity, your brain releases endorphins, triggering positive feelings to flood the body.
Breathe. Deep-breathing exercises can help you relax and improve your put you in a better mood. A study review conducted by the University of California at Berkeley shows the power of deep breathing on your mental wellness: “The results of this study support a link between types of breathing (rapid, intentional and attentional) and activation in brain structures involved in thinking, feeling and behavior. This raises the possibility that particular breathing strategies may be used as a tool to help people manage their thoughts, moods, and experiences.”
The next time you start feeling a low mood coming on, follow these basic steps to get the most out of your breath:
- Breathe in deeply through your nose, expanding your belly and your lungs, to the count of five.
- Hold that breath for another count of five.
- Slowly empty out your breath through your mouth, counting to five again.
- Repeat until you feel relaxed.
Mood-boosting tip: If deep-breathing doesn’t work for you, channel your inner pop star and belt out a song. Singing requires the same breath control as deep-breathing exercises, and releases uplifting brain chemicals such as endorphins and oxytocin. Whether you’re in the shower, driving to work or hanging out at home, singing can go a long way toward boosting your mood.
#3 Find Joy
- Keep a gratitude journal. Making space for gratitude can elevate your mood. Two studies published in the Journal of Research in Personalitylinked feelings of support and positivity to gratitude activities. Try keeping a daily gratitude journal, or make a list of things you’re grateful for.
- Watch a cat or dog video. Watching animal videos can serve as a kind of digital pet therapy. A study conducted at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, showed that people who watched cat videos felt significant increases in energy and positivity.
- Listen to music. Music and emotion go hand-in-hand, so why not use one to help the other? According to two studies published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, listening to an upbeat playlist or song can make you feel happier.
Mood-boosting tip: If your upbeat playlists aren’t soothing your mood, try listening to some sad songs. It seems counterintuitive, but scientific studies conducted across the world come to the same conclusion: Listening to sad songs when you’re feeling blue can offer comfort and even stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain.
#4 Eat Mood-Boosting Snacks
When you’re not feeling your best, you may seek comfort in food. Thanks to certain vitamins and minerals, certain foods can offer powerful mood-enhancing benefits for your mind and body. So the next time you’re feeling down, reach for foods packed with these ingredients:
- omega-3 fatty acids – These powerful fatty acids do wonders for your brain andyour mood. A 2016 study review published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Healthshowed that individuals who had higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to experience poor moods. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include:
- wild salmon
- flax and chia seeds
- probiotics – Probiotics can help support gut health andsend mood-lifting signals to the brain. Try one of these mood-boosting probiotic foods:
- pickled vegetables
- Vitamin B folate – Scientists have observed a meaningful connection between Vitamin B folate levels and overall mood and happiness. Add these ingredients to your grocery list for your next mood-boosting recipe:
- turnip Greens
- caffeine – Researchers have discovered that caffeine triggers a release of dopamine — sometimes called the “feel good” chemical — in your brain. In moderation, caffeine can be a mood enhancer. Try these caffeinated drinks to lift your spirits:
- black tea
Mood-boosting tip: Caffeine affects everyone differently. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you may experience different effects than someone who swears by herbal tea. Be mindful of how your body reacts and adjust your dosage accordingly.
#5 A Little Mood Help from CBD
If you’re having a rough week and things just don’t seem to be going your way, it can be especially hard to keep the good vibrations going. Maybe you didn’t hear back after a job interview. Maybe your good friend moved away and you’re feeling that distance deeply. Or maybe a blue mood has just taken hold of you for no reason at all.
For the moments when you need a convenient and quick lift, CBD may be able to help.
The relaxing effects of CBD may help maximize the effects of mood-boosting activities. In fact, Zebra CBD’s Mood & Calm Tablets are formulated with premium hemp extract and botanical mood enhancers like lemon balm and St. John’s wort. For a little mental lift when you’re down or for ongoing mood-boosting benefits, CBD can be the secret ingredient that amplifies other mood-enhancing strategies.
Zebra CBD: Trusted Experts For Boosting Your Health
At Zebra CBD, we believe that mood is an important part of your mental and physical well-being. By taking care of that mind-body connection, you can start a journey to a fuller, healthier life. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing you with the highest quality CBD to promote wellness and vitality.
See how you can get the most out of your health with Zebra CBD today!
Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Sleep and Mood.
Psychology Today. What is the Best Diet for Mood
US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study.
Healthline. What are the Benefits of Sunlight
VeryWellMind. 7 Ways to Boost Your Mood with Food.
National Library of Medicine. The Mind-Body Connection: Not Just a Theory Anymore.
Science Daily. Psychologists find smiling really can make people happier.
Chicago Tribune. The Health Benefits of Singing a Tune. https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/advertising/todayshealthywoman/ct-ss-thw-health-benefits-of-singing-a-tune-20180314dto-story.html
Everyday Health. Stress Hack: How Maintaining a Gratitude Journal For 1 Month Made Me Happier.
Forbes. Dark Chocolate May Boost Brain Function, Immunity, and Mood.
The Daily Meal. 20 Reasons You Should Eat Dark Chocolate Every Day.
WebMD. Exercise and Depression.
Science Alert. Watching Cat Videos Lowers Stress and Makes You Happy, Study Suggests.
Healthline. How Does Music Affect Your Mood?
The Journal of Positive Psychology. Trying to be happier really can work: Two experimental studies.
Washington Post. 10 Nutrients that can lift your spirits.
Healthline. Dopamine’s Effects on the Body.
Sleep Foundation. Healthy Sleep Tips.