Feeling a little off-balance today? Snapping at everything from the kids to parked cars? When your moods are heightened, life can feel off. Try these gentle, medication-free ways to improve your mood almost instantly and achieve Moodtopia.
1. Commit a random act of kindness.
According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, random acts of kindness are good for your well-being. Random acts can increase your energy level and produce oxytocin. About half the participants in one study reported feeling stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also said they were calmer with increased feelings of self-worth. You don’t even have to do the random act of kindness to see the benefits—even simply witnessing them increases optimism.
2. Learn to laugh even when nothing is funny!
A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, and can improve blood flow.
3. Find and create spaces that make you feel good.
Energy—we don’t understand it, but everyone feels it. Places and people emit their own vibes. Consider what would make your home more pleasant and conducive to good moods and positive energy. Some low-cost suggestions include opening windows more often (yes, even in the winter!), fixing what’s broken, adding a houseplant or two, and organizing a cluttered room.
4. Rejuvenate your mood with color.
Color adjectives have been used to describe emotions in dozens of ways: “I feel blue” or “He was red with rage.” Instead of throwing on another black shirt today, put on yellow—it suggests warmth, sunshine, cheer, and optimism—or purple, which is associated with royalty, luxury, sophistication, and authority.
5. Learn to breathe.
We might do it all day every day, but it’s important to breathe properly. Most of us don’t take deep soothing breaths from our diaphragm; rather, we take short, shallow breaths that only use the upper part of our lungs. Inhale slowly through your nose, then exhale through your mouth, making a loud whooshing sound. Think of these deep inhalations as “cleansing breaths,” allowing the oxygen to go to the deepest part of your lungs and fill your entire body. To begin, do this for just two minutes, twice a day. When you get really gutsy, try it for three minutes or more.
Taken together, this advice can help turn moodiness and a sense of feeling overwhelmed into cheer and calmness. And with an attitude of fun and adventure, you—and everyone around you—will flourish.
Adapted from Moodtopia: Tame Your Moods, De-Stress, and Find Balance Using Herbal Remedies, Aromatherapy, and More by Sara-Chana Silverstein. Copyright © 2018. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.