5 Ways to Boost Your Mood
Deadlines at work, family commitments and staring down a long winter can make anyone feel stressed. Relax! Here are five simple ways to boost your mood.
- Eat salmon. Salmon is known to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which increases serotonin production. This reduces stress hormones. It’s a great source of protein and as a side benefit it has an antioxidant called astaxanthin that increases your skin elasticity and hydration, making you look younger. That should make you happy!
- Spend time with your pet. Research shows that petting a dog reduces the stress hormone cortisol. The interaction between people and pets also increases natural oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone. Walking your dog to the park helps get you out in nature (also a mood booster) and potentially socialize with other dog lovers. Woof!
- Reduce caffeine. While small amounts of caffeine can raise energy levels, too much coffee and/or soda can increase your cortisol levels. Want another reason to limit your caffeine? A 2014 study shows that caffeine accelerates the aging of your skin. According to the Cleveland Clinic, healthy adults should limit their coffee intake to 400 mg per day (that’s four 8-ounce cups or 10 cans of soda).
- Exercise. Numerous studies show the benefits of exercise from helping control weight to increasing blood flow to your brain, giving you more mental clarity. Exercise helps you sleep better (also a stress reliever) and it releases endorphins that make you feel great. (Ever hear of a ‘runner’s high?’) Studies show that people who exercise consistently tend to feel better about their bodies, which helps reduce mental anxiety. Choose workouts that are fun, increasing your chances to stick with it, whether it’s Tae Kwon Do, dancing, lifting weights, running, walking or riding.
- Laugh. Laughter is one of the best things you can do to feel better, and it doesn't require medicine or money. It’s been shown to boost your immune system, relieve pain, improve relationships, and burn calories. So bust out those SNL YouTube clips, go to a comedy club, or watch your favorite funny movie. You’ll be in better spirits in no time.
Sometimes little changes can lead to big improvements in your mood and attitude.