Everyone goes through difficult times, and sometimes it can be difficult to emerge from these low moments. If you think you may be experiencing clinical depression, you can practice natural ways to boost your mood, you should also speak to your doctor and a licensed therapist. But if you’re simply going through a hard period, these eight tactics can help you feel happier and more engaged.
8 Natural Ways to Boost Your Mood
1. Be Kind to Yourself
Feeling down is natural. Life presents challenges, and sometimes we don’t feel up to meeting them. Watch your inner monologue, and try to speak to yourself like you would speak to a friend who was feeling the same way.
2. Practice Reframing
It can be difficult to see the positive side of situations when you’re already feeling sad, mad or frustrated. But practice looking for the benefits of a scenario. Rain will make the grass greener. If your favorite restaurant closes, it’s a chance to try new places. It may feel foreign at first, but this positive reframing can help you feel more optimistic and improve your overall mental health over time.
3. Get Outside
The human body needs sunshine. Sunlight triggers your retina and prompts the release of serotonin — a mood-boosting hormone — in the brain. That’s why, especially in the winter when daylight hours are shorter, it’s important to take an excursion outside. Even a short walk can help you feel happier.
4. Smile — Even if You Don’t Feel Like It.
Most of the time, we feel happy first and then smile. But the act of smiling can trigger your brain to release serotonin and dopamine. In essence, smiling can convince your brain that you’re happy, and it then helps you create actual feelings of happiness.
5. Eat Your Mood Boosts
Certain foods, including tomatoes, plums, pineapples, kiwis and bananas, are naturally high in serotonin. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for healthy brain function, so add seafood, nuts and seeds, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, and canola oil to your diet.
6. Express Yourself Creatively
Creativity — in any form you enjoy — can help diminish anxiety and stress levels and encourage a sense of playfulness. And don’t worry — you don’t need a strong aptitude for any artistic venture to reap the benefits.
7. Break a Sweat
If you’re feeling down, it can be hard to motivate yourself to work out, but exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Regular fitness can boost your self-esteem and reduce depression and anxiety. Working out can help you lower stress levels and sleep better.
8. Reach Out to a Friend
People were meant to live in groups. Social connectedness makes people more resilient and can increase overall satisfaction. You could reach out to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Or you could join a club or set up a regular lunch with several pals.
At Peace Village, we strive to provide an enriching senior living lifestyle that encompasses many natural ways to boost your mood and nurture your mental health. The beautiful campus is a wonderful place to explore while you soak up the sunshine. Interesting neighbors live close by. There are fun activities and fascinating events to enjoy with friends — or meet new acquaintances. If you’d like to find out more about our community, reach out to us. We would love to hear from you.