Fickle as the fates they say, but our moods are more fickle. The pendulum of our emotions swings with little or no urging. Imagine a day with a heart warming hug from a loved one, a nasty comment from a pedestrian simply for barging into him/her mistakenly, praise from your boss for a novel idea, bombing your next presentation, stepping into a dog poop on your way to the coffee shop, redesigning your shirt with that latte you just bought, being on the same team with an intolerable co-worker, missing a deadline, completing the to-do list, jammed copy machines….and it’s not yet 2PM. No wonder our days end up being a roller coaster.
So how can you stay upbeat when life deals you some real sucker punches? What you need is to flood your brain with a heavy dose of dopamine. We give you some guaranteed methods to boost your mood and well-being below. They are all backed up by solid scientific research:
THE CURVE OF YOUR LIPS: It might sound cheesy but just smile. Even for no tangible reason. Or smile at how moody you are. Want to take it a step further? Laugh. A giggle or a booming laugh, any kind would do. Need help reshaping the curve of your lips? Find funny quotes online (I love word puns!). Or watch a skit (comic video) or compilation of pranks.
EAT: It is a proven fact that eating a certain food, or the scent associated with some of them can lift your mood. We are what we eat and sometimes we are what we smell. Chocolate, carbs, fruits and vegetables, fish, tea can lift one’s moods. The scent of coconut and flowers can also lift one’s mood.
ACHIEVE SOMETHING: Small achievements can change our outlook and give a morale boost and mood lift as well. A small achievement such as a repetitive task that can distract you but that does not require your full attention. Complete 10 reps of jumping jacks (or any exercise you prefer), rearrange the furniture, de-clutter your desk, folds your clothes- they all help.
GO BEYOND YOURSELF: What we do for others comes around to bite us on the backside. So, step out and help someone with a task. Give a valuable suggestion to someone in a tight corner. Call your loved one (he/she is close by, get a kiss – it’s a natural high), or that friend or relative and say something nice to them. Volunteer for a Saturday morning cause. Or feeling like the whole world is against, then cuddle with your pet or something fluffy.
BRING BACK THE HAPPY MEMORIES: Our brains relive our memories when we remember them. Need a dopamine boost, then recall happy memories. Pictures of your favorite vacation or of silly times with your friends or a video of your cheeky 5-year-old or a happy upbeat song can do the trick. Or play your favorite video and skip to your favorite scenes. And most importantly be grateful for those memories. Better still take a moment and write down at least 5 things going on well for you in your life/ day right now.
QUIET: “Quiet” helps us connect with our spirit. Go somewhere quiet – either in your head (meditate) or physically- and calm down. Tap into your spiritual side, pray, praise, whatever works for you. Or take a walk. Can’t do any of those right now? You can focus on something neutral like the clouds or passing cars.
However, there are three things to pay attention to:
- Don’t do drugs. They only provide a temporary high. And the lows after are worse than any low you can sink into by yourself (I don’t need to say much, you all should know this). Such shortcuts are longer at the end of the day.
- Don’t repress your feelings. Acknowledge your blues but do not empower them
If the blues persist, it is a sign of wisdom and strength to seek professional help.
After meditating on these guaranteed methods to boost your mood and well-being, I wish you all the best.
Have a lovely day!