With all the brouhaha over Brexit and the seemingly unstoppable stabathon in London, it will come as a no surprise that there are increasing number of people who suffer from some form of mental health issues such as low mood.
Your mood has a major effect on how well you’re able to function on any given day. Maintaining and nurturing your mental health will allow you to feel happier and more content on a regular basis.
Work on improving your mood and you’ll find that life doesn’t seem as challenging for you. The great news is that there are ways for how you can quickly improve your state of mind and feel more at ease in the moment.
Have a go at these tips and see if you feel more confident – knowing that you can turn your mood around for the better.
Spend time outdoors
Although we’re not yet out EU, we’re now out of the depths of winter. The spring has now arrived to warm us. And one simple way to improve your mood is to spend more time outdoors enjoying the nice weather. You can go for a run or take your dog for a walk.
According to researchers from the University of East Anglia, living close to nature and spending time outdoors has significant and wide-ranging health benefits. Aside from improving our mental health, exposure to green space reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress and high blood pressure.
Eat more fruits and veggies
According to a study published on Frontiers in Psychology, higher intakes of fruits and vegetables have been associated with better mental health. But cooking may reduce the availability of important micronutrients. This study investigated the differential associations between intake of raw fruits and vegetables, compared to processed (cooked or canned) fruits and vegetables, and mental health in young adults.
Overall, the 10 foods in the study that were most strongly associated with positive mental-health outcomes were carrots, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens (such as spinach), grapefruit, lettuce, citrus fruits, fresh berries, cucumber, and kiwifruit.
Another way to instantly improve your mood is to engage in meditation or any type of yoga. Both of these activities are a great way to get in touch with your emotions and calm your mind of any racing thoughts. You can take a class with an instructor or participate in either of these options right from the comfort of your own home using an app or from watching online videos. Take note of how much more relaxed and calm you feel after a meditation or yoga session and that you’re simply in a better mood overall.
Make sure you get enough sleep
A lot of what you are feeling could be down to lack of good sleep. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood. Researchers found that people who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When they get back to normal sleep routine, they soon reported a dramatic improvement in mood.
It makes sense to link depression and poor sleep. After all, worrying thoughts are a symptom of depression and overthinking can play havoc with sleep. It is a vicious circle – worrying leads to poor sleep and poor sleep leads to tiredness and feelings of stress.
The act of practising gratitude has been known to increase happiness and make you feel more fulfilled in general. Instantly improve your mood by being thankful for all the blessings you do have in your life. This way your mind will be less focused on what you think is missing or what you don’t have and more on what positives are occurring for you.
It’s a great way to start and end your day or exercise to do when you’re feeling low or down. You’ll start to notice that maybe your situation isn’t as bad as you once thought and that there’s a lot to look forward to for you in the future. You may get even more out of the act of practising gratitude if you journal and write down exactly how you’re feeling often.
These are just a few ways for how you can instantly improve your mood and help lift your spirits. Be sure to take note of and enjoy all the benefits that come from putting these ideas into action in your life. If you’re consistent about making positive choices and adjustments, then you’ll likely find that you tend to be in a better mood most days.
Practitioners and researchers in the fields of psychology, mental health and well-being will talk more on on ways of improving our mental health and well-being during the 2nd International Conference on Psychology, Counselling and Education (ICPCE 2019) to be held at Universiti Sabah Malaysia on 30th October–2nd November 2019.
ICPCE 2019 is jointly organised by Psychreg, the International Society of Psychology, Counselling and Education (ISPCE), GetPsyched and Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Registration is now open.