Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Mood Makeover: 8 Tips for a Happier You

If given a choice, most people would prefer to stay happy and positive and avoid ever feeling sad and upset. Unfortunately, nobody has the luxury of choosing one or the other. The realities of life mean there will be times when we are feeling our worst.

With that said, a chronically negative disposition and constant sense of foreboding are causes for concern. While it’s impossible to lock happiness into place, the inability to experience enjoyment and always feeling fed up with life require immediate attention.

There are no magic means of improving mood. Certain drugs may trick us into feeling better, but the change never lasts for long. The only long-lasting solution involves taking steps to mitigate negative feelings and addressing the causes of our unhappiness.

While there’s no replacing the expert advice of licensed healthcare providers, there are several things we can do to get the ball rolling on efforts to improve mood. With this in mind, let’s take a look at eight tips for becoming a happier you:

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness may sound like the latest mental health buzzword being thrown around, but there’s real value in finding ways to maintain positivity in the face of adversity. That’s where mindfulness techniques come into play. It starts with paying attention to your emotions and the factors behind them. From there, you assess the cause and effect without passing judgment. To practice mindfulness, set aside a few minutes each day to focus on your breathing, body sensations, and surroundings. You can also use mindfulness apps or guided meditations to help you get started.

Eat a healthy diet

While science has yet to find a direct connection between what we eat and how we feel, there’s evidence that suggests a link between food and mood. In fact, we’re willing to bet you can detect a connection simply by paying attention to how you feel in the hours following your meals. A healthy diet will likely result in an improved emotional state while eating a diet consisting of processed foods with high levels of fat, salt, and sugar will lead to the opposite. Consider using a journal to monitor the foods you eat and the moods you feel in an effort to detect a pattern and act accordingly.

Take magnesium supplements

Many people are resistant to taking mood-altering prescription medication. We respect that choice as much as we do the decision to give medicine a try. However, a third option exists for those interested in trying magnesium supplements to improve their mood. Unlike prescription drugs, supplements consist of ingredients that could be classified as food more than medicine. Another difference is the risk of adverse reactions to supplements is practically zero, while the same cannot be said for pharmaceuticals. All the while, supplements like magnesium are shown to have positive impacts on health and wellness, including mood boosts.

Get more exercise

Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to improve your mood. That’s because exercise releases endorphins, which act as natural mood boosters. You don’t have to be a fitness guru to enjoy the benefits of exercise. Consider joining an exercise class or getting a gym membership. Even a simple walk around the block can help you feel more energized and positive.

Reconnect with friends and family

Connecting with friends and family can help you feel more supported and less isolated. Spend time with friends and family members, or consider joining a group or club that shares your interests. Volunteering is another great way to connect with others while also doing something positive for your community.

Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a powerfully effective tool for improving your mood. Start by focusing on the things you’re grateful for as a way to feel more positive and optimistic. You may also want to take a few minutes each day to write down three things you’re thankful for. They don’t have to be big things – even small moments of joy can make a big difference.

Get enough sleep

Sleep deficits leave you feeling irritable, anxious, and stressed. As a result, getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining a positive mood. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night and establish a regular sleep routine to help your body get into a healthy sleep pattern.

Get creative

Engaging in creative pursuits can help you feel more relaxed and positive. Whether painting, writing, cooking, or playing music, find something that inspires you and makes you happy. Creative activities can also help you express your emotions and work through difficult feelings in a healthy way.

Everyone has times when they’re feeling sad and unhappy. But if you’re feeling that way more times than not, it’s time to do something about it. Speak to a therapist and give the above-mentioned suggestions a try. You may discover the secret to feeling better is making a few changes and starting good habits.