You pull in your driveway after a long day’s work. You wish that you could go inside and relax, but you know that just inside the door awaits a hungry family, a long night of bickering over homework and chores, followed by resetting the house for the following day. In the late hours of the evening, you might find a single hour to try and relax. Every day is a repeat of the evenings before, and it seems like you never have time for yourself. You’re finding it challenging to stay motivated, leading to late-night or midday searches for ways to boost your mood and energy level. Thankfully, you stumbled upon this blog, dedicated to teaching you how to improve your mood and deal with your stress.
Stress is exhausting, and it has both psychological and physiological effects. Heightened cortisol levels, a stress hormone that ignites the fight-or-flight response, are often triggered by emotionally stressful situations. That hormone can seep into your bloodstream and system, altering everything from mood to digestion. Because chronic stress can result in health risks, it is crucial to know the symptoms and know when to seek medical intervention. If you find that you experience any of the following on a routine basis, you might want to talk with your primary care physician about treatment options:
Learning how to boost your mood is about discovering how to destress. People often overcomplicate the relaxation process, believing it is about becoming “zen” or some type of mystic. The truth is much less mysterious. You can boost your mood through a series of quick exercises or sustained practices. The key is understanding what you need at the moment and committing to some relaxation practice.
As strange as it might sound, chewing gum and work can lead to lower cortisol and stress levels. A recent study found that chewing gum also improves alertness and performance. Even chewing gum in a short duration can lead to some benefits, so the next time you feel overwhelmed, grab a stick of gum.
Not that anyone needs an excuse to eat chocolate, but it turns out that the sweet treat can boost mood. The Center for Human Pharmacology found that elements of chocolate boost mood and even alter brain patterns. Tryptophan helps the brain make serotonin, a chemical that triggers happiness. Phenylethylalanine is a natural antidepressant, and theobromine can produce a high like cannabis but much less effective.
Some people are familiar with color therapy, the idea that different colors elicit varying emotional responses. The color green seems to have a calming effect on people. Many studies show that green has a relaxing effect, which is why nature and garden therapy seem so useful with some patients dealing with high levels of stress.
Stop and smell the flowers:
Several reports suggest that specific scents have a positive effect on mood and even performance. For example:
These compounds extracted from plants are commonly used as a form of aromatherapy. Not only are these oils known to help decrease stress and anxiety when their scent is inhaled, but they are a quick and easy way to boost your mood. These body butters are all infused with essential oils like citrus, mint, and camelia.
Catch some sun:
Decreased vitamin D levels can lead to depression in adults, meaning that heading outside for a minute or two can really improve mood. By standing in the sunshine and inhaling some fresh air, you can help your body produce more vitamin D and relieve a bit of stress.
It is no secret that exercise is good for the body. Like jumping jacks or skipping rope, any aerobic activity can promote blood circulation, oxygen levels, and elevated heartbeat. Not to mention that exercise also releases endorphins into your system, promoting happiness.
Do a breathing exercise:
According to a Harvard study, practicing deep breathing exercises for five to 10 minutes every day can reduce stress levels. Shallow breathing does not engage the lower part of the lungs and can lead to rapid breathing, leading to anxiety and panic. Deep breathing encourages the use of the entire lung, slowing your breath and promoting calm and control.
Play dress up:
Appearance can play a significant role in mood. Taking five minutes to pick out a nice outfit can bolster confidence and self-attractiveness. Additionally, wearing specific colors, like red, is proven to boost heart rate and respiration, making you feel more alert and energized. Take time getting ready in the morning because the way you look might just matter to you.
Pamper your skin:
Did you know that stress can contribute to breakouts, dryness, and excess sebum production? Your appearance affects your confidence, so pamper your skin with body washes followed by a moisturizer to keep your skin supple and smooth. Give your mood an extra boost with body butters that are infused with essential oils.
Listen to happy tunes:
Music is crucial to a happy life. Several studies point to the mood-boosting effects of happy tunes, suggesting that some songs can stave off depression. In fact, some research points to music’s ability to improve blood flow and lower stress hormone levels. When you combine music with dancing or some activity, the benefits are twofold as exercise produces endorphins.
Do your nails:
Self-care is a significant aspect of staving off or dealing with depression and stress. Something as small as doing your nails can boost your mood, making you more confident in your appearance and making you happier as you go about your day. Hand care is part of general good hygiene practices, all of which contribute to how you feel about yourself.
If you are looking for an excuse to cuddle up under your favorite blanket or hug something soft, look no further: science has come to the rescue. Touch is an essential sense for humans as it is the first sense to develop. People feel safe and comfortable when they can hold onto or huddle under something. These feelings of comfort result in less stress and more relaxation.
Get a pet:
Companionship can significantly decrease stress levels, and it doesn’t matter if that companionship is from humans or pets. While person-to-person socialization is essential, owning a pet can reduce the production of stress hormones and lower blood pressure. The beauty is that the benefits occur regardless of the type of pet.
While many people doubt the advantages of meditation, a recent Yale study found that the practice prevents mind-wandering. Other studies show that routine practice can alter the structure of the brain, boosting the areas responsible for memory, learning, and emotion regulation.
Use a weighted blanket:
Your brain and body depend on sleep for the routine maintenance and regulation of your systems. Unfortunately, many people do not get adequate sleep. A weighted blanket is a tool for people who suffer from anxiety or other sleep conditions. It relies on the sense of touch and helps anxious people fall asleep quicker and in a more relaxed state.
While short-term exercise goals can boost your mood, long-term commitment to daily fitness has prolonged physical and mental health effects. Routine exercise can boost your confidence, maintain a healthy heart rate, sustain blood oxygen levels, and keep your brain alert. Additionally, your body produces endorphins during workouts that can lead to feeling happy and relaxed.
Declutter your home:
Clutter can have many adverse effects on mood, including depression and anxiety. Decluttering your home will relieve stress and keep your mind and body engaged in productive activity. As you make your way through your house, organizing as you go, you will probably feel more confident in your home’s appearance and feel more in control of your environment.
Finding the energy and motivation to make it through the day can sometimes feel overwhelming, but take solace knowing that many people feel the same. The solution to your problem is to find mood-boosting routines that give you energy and make you excited to progress through your day. Depending on your specific needs, you might not need to alter your pattern; adding a simple one-minute or five-minute fix might be enough to relieve the momentary pressure you’re feeling. Remember that your appearance and hygiene also play a significant role in your self-confidence level. Take the time to pamper yourself with Jergens and believe that you are worth it, always.