Regularly practicing gratitude can have a threefold effect. The first is that it increases happiness, and the second is that it reduces anxiety and stress. Thirdly, it can improve your physical health. All these effects have a positive impact on mood. Ways to practice gratitude include listing things you're grateful for, expressing gratitude toward others and noticing things you can be grateful for that you might not have noticed before.
Mindful meditation is a practice that encourages you to focus your thoughts on the happenings of the moment. This powerful mood booster works in the sense that it temporarily distracts you from possible stressors and provides room for solutions or workarounds. If you're new to mindful meditation, try an app or video guiding tutorial to get into a good mindfulness routine. You can also practice mindfulness by dedicating some time to turning your full attention to something, such as observing the flight of a bird, how its wings move and the way it dips and rises with the thermals.
Physical activity is known for its mood-boosting effects. Studies show that even short, 15-minute bursts of running per day can reduce the odds of becoming depressed. The study also reveals that any type of movement works, so if you're simply dancing to your favorite music or doing moderate housework, these could keep depression at bay.
Part of the joy of living in an assisted living environment is the opportunity for a variety of social interactions. According to studies, varied social encounters are critical to boosting your well-being. While your regular interactions with your spouse and immediate family are important, the familiarity might not have an effect on your mood. Researchers recommend talking to shop assistants, new neighbors or a good friend for a mood boost.
Nature is known for its mood-boosting qualities and helps us live happier, healthier lives. The higher levels of oxygen affect our serotonin levels positively. High levels of serotonin can improve your mood, appetite and social interactions. Combine your nature excursion with a walk to add physical activity to the mix.
Practicing a hobby or taking time to enjoy an interest can instantly improve your mood. This is because hobbies and interests are enjoyable, which releases the feel-good chemical dopamine. According to experts, practicing a hobby for only 10 minutes a day can improve your mood and overall well-being.
Studies show that those who listen to generally upbeat music feel a lift in their mood and general happiness in just a few weeks. Another study shows that participants who struggle with anxiety find that music therapy is more beneficial than other types of therapies.
When you learn a new skill, dopamine is released thanks to the novel stimuli, otherwise known as novelty. The brain releases dopamine when it senses new material. This release of dopamine also happens to speed up the learning process.
Laughter is a known stress reliever with both short- and long-term benefits. Over the short term, it can activate and cool down your stress response, which encourages relaxation and reduces some of the stress symptoms. Laughter can help you work through stressful situations, improve your self-esteem and help you reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
An emotional support system can be found in a number of places. It can consist of friends and family, members of a support group, a therapist, colleagues and even members of a sports team. This network of people can provide you with the support you need when your mood is running low.
Kindness and compassion aren't only beneficial to the recipient. Studies show that acts of kindness improve your mood and feeling of contentment. The act of putting others' needs above your own can be rewarding and can reduce your stress. However, it's important to know that these can be small acts, such as helping someone cross the road. Keep the acts of kindness and compassion within your means to ensure you reap the emotional benefits and don't feel drained.
Rest and relaxation are both important for well-being. Rest allows your body to repair cells and gives you the energy to perform the tasks of the day. Without proper rest, you may feel groggy and find it difficult to concentrate, which can affect your mood. Relaxation is just as important. Making time for enjoyment can have a positive effect on managing stress and reducing anxiety.