5 Ways To Boost Your Mood
Under normal circumstances more and more people have been suffering from anxiety in this fast paced world, juggling work, kids, pets, family life, trying to exercise. It was all getting faster and kept adding to a lot of people’s stress and worry. Then COVID-19 comes along and while the pace of the world has grounded to a halt there is now something else to worry about.
“Will I have job at the end of this?”
“Are my family going to safe?”
“When will it be over?”
At the time of writing this, many governments have started announcing plans to re-open economies, as safely as possible and avoiding a second wave. The light is getting brighter at the end of the tunnel but we are not there yet and it’s more important than ever before that we look after our mental health so when life starts to resemble some kind of normality we are going to have the best outlook and ready to seize the day and the opportunities that life will throw at us.
This is a live video we filmed on our facebook page and reveal five tips to help boost your mood and look after your mental health
5 Ways To Boost Your Mood
While there is no set definition on what mental well being is it does encompass things like the sense of feeling good about yourself, being able to cope with the ups and downs and the challenges of life, being able to function well individually and in relationships and really just feeling like you are in control of your own life.
What I like to do is help people understand how the body and mind works from a practical point of view so they can have all the tools they need to be at their best.
We are going to look at how certain chemicals in the brain boost your mood and the five best ways to keep those chemicals flowing. One of the main chemicals is seratonin and it is basically a neurotransmitter in the body or a chemical messenger. It is a known mood regulator. it also promotes smooth digestion and helps to regulate appetite.
When people are low in seratonin they can become low in their mood, become anxious, depressed and so on. The more seratonin we release into the body more it will lift us up and be able to better cope with what’s going on around us
When you exercise the body triggers the release of tryptophan into the body. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which means you have to get it through food. When tryptophan enters the bloodstream it makes its way up to the brain where it is turned into seratonin so the trytophan that body takes in is actually converted in your mood boosting seratonin and that is why exercise is directly related to you feeling better after you have done it.
Also when you exercise the body releases endorphins and endorphins are just another chemical messenger in the body that helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Did you know that laughter or even the anticipation of laughter is the second best way to get endorphins rushing through the body, after exercise.
One hour of brisk walking per day or just 15 minutes of higher intensity exercise can reduce symptoms of major depression by upto 27% according to a Harvard study but also by maintaining an exercise routine prevents you falling into relapse.
Exercise also helps you to release another chemical into the body called dopamine by away of achieving goals. When you achieve something the body release this feel good hormone to let you know that you enjoy reaching your goals and helps you feel positive about doing it. It’s that since of accomplishment. And exercise is one of the best ways to achieve mini goals to keep reinforcing your ability of accompishment, which releases that dopamine and keeps you motivated to persistenly hit targets. Even by achieving things like exercising three times this week or drink a glass of water every day or getting up early every day all make you feel that you are capable of achieving more.
Like I said above tryptophan is an essential amino acid which gets converted to seratonin in the brain but it needs to be brought in through food. The best sources of tryptophan are turkey and salmon, so if you try to include more of these in your food plan it will keep you in supply for that mood regulating seratonin
3) Bright light
Research suggests that seratonin levels are lower in the winter time when days are shorter and darker than the summer and autumn which feeds into the condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) which a lot of people suffer from. This is a mental health issue by way of people becoming more depressed in winter months than summer months and the research suggests that it’s because our seratonin levels dip due to the lack of bright light coming in. So try to aim for 10 to 15minutes daily outdoors getting in that sunlight. Further research may suggest that our skin can synthesize seratonin from the rays of sun as well.
A 2004 study showed that a 20minute massage twice weekly from a partner not only helps to reduce the levels of cortisol in the body which is the hormone released in times of stress but it also raises the levels of seratonin and dopamine and the study also showed that after 16weeks of massage the particants felt less anxious and less depressed and had signifcant increases in their seratonin levels.
5) Mood induction
Research shows that by thinking positively it can increase your seratonin levels. So by focusing on past accomplishments and realising you are capable of achievement it helps to boost these levels but also focusing on what you are grateful for helps you to see what is going well in your life and again focusing on the postives. Every morning you should write down 3 different things you are grateful for and why and really put an emotion behind it like you feel happy or excited or loved etc and this will really sky rocket your mood
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