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15 Natural Mood Lifters

Quick and Easy Ways to Lift Your Spirit

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Here are a few more natural mood lifters you can try.
  1. Eat often and eat light. When you eat at regular intervals throughout the day you will prevent dips in your blood sugar that can negatively affect your mood. Plan your meals and snacks to prevent yourself from getting overly hungry, aiming for three to six eating episodes (total meals plus snacks) each day.
     
  2. Limit refined carbohydrates such as soda, candy, cookies, and white flour, which are concentrated sources of sugar. These foods may give you an immediate rush of energy, but they will cause you to crash and fatigue soon after.
     
  3. Include a small amount of lean protein at every meal and snack. Protein will leave you feeling alert and productive for hours.
     
  4. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fats. These foods have been shown to lift moods and can possibly alleviate depression. Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish like salmon or sardines, canola and olive oils, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts.
     
  5. Ramp up your B-12 and folate (folic acid). Scientists believe these nutrients help the body produce a neurotransmitter called serotonin—a known mood stabilizer. Shellfish, fortified cereal, oatmeal, wheat germ, and vegetables are some of the many foods rich in these nutrients.
     
  6. Get your daily dose of exercise. Whether it’s a formal session at the gym, a walk with the dog, engaging in a sport or just playing with your kids, getting up and moving will boost your mood and energy level.
     
  7. Stick to a regular sleep schedule—even on the weekends. Although most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, you might need slightly more or less to function optimally. The important thing is that you consistently get the sleep you need.
     
  8. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Take a break from your home or office to get some air and sunshine. Even stepping out into cold weather will wake you up and refresh your mind.
     
  9. Listen to music you love. When your mood is spiraling downhill and the little voice in your head is anything but positive, turn on your favorite tunes and sing along. Soon, sweet music will fill your mind instead of negative thoughts.
     
  10. Indulge your senses. Sights, smells, sounds, tastes and tactile sensations can quickly change your mood. Light a scented candle that evokes memories of the holidays, bake cookies to remind you of happy times at your grandmother’s, buy your favorite flowers and revel in the smell (and sight) of them, or soak in a scented bubble bath while listening to soothing music.
     
  11. Do something that brings you joy. Whether it’s going to a movie, reading a novel or having lunch with your best friend, take a well-deserved break from work or stressful situations and do something you love. The change in mood will lead to better concentration and efficiency once you return to the task at hand.
     
  12. Play or cuddle up with your furry friend. Just petting your dog or cat has been shown to lower blood pressure and evoke a sense of calmness, happiness and well-being. If you don’t own a pet, visit a pet store or volunteer at an animal shelter to get your furry fix.
     
  13. Volunteer. There is nothing like the act of giving to those in need to make you feel appreciative of the life you lead. Walk dogs at an animal shelter, feed the homeless at a food shelter, teach English at a literacy program, or assist in programs for special needs children. Do your research and you will surely find a group that can use your talents and skills. If time is an issue for you, contribute through donations and you could evoke the same feelings of happiness.
     
  14. Fake it till you make it. Researchers have found that the simple act of smiling seems to activate happiness centers in the brain. Keep smiling and in time, your mood will match your facial expression.
     
  15. Create a list of natural mood enhancers that will work for you. Feeling angry? Write in your journal. Stressed? Try a yoga class. If you're exhausted, take a 20-minute nap. And if you’re feeling down, rent a funny movie. Remember, you have a choice and the ability to change your mood. With some trial and error, you will figure out the best strategies that work for you. Continued ›
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen Goldman has bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education. An AFAA-certified personal trainer and certified wellness coach, she is also the founder EnerG Coaching, LLC. Through one-on-one and group sessions, Ellen helps individuals make positive lifestyle changes, lose weight, manage stress and attain work-life balance. Visit her at www.EnerGcoaching.com.

Member Comments

  • Nice article and I fully agree with the ideas, however, like others, when I get down, the motivation to get up and do those things is what is causing the problem. It's not clinical depression, but just lifestyle issues, and overcoming them can seem overwhelming and exhausting. Once I get going I'm ok, but sometimes I need to address a deeper issue to get out of my funk... - 11/9/2014 9:42:51 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    Good Common Sense, but if someone really struggles, talk to a doctor about depression, please. - 10/12/2014 1:56:59 PM
  • I look for all types of articles to help with my low mood swings since being diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 and gaining 60lbs. I have stopped my walking program due to serious health problems and as you can see with the enormous weight gain, its been like a domino effect on me and now my family. I loved being social, going outside and being active and now I am home everyday and not getting out but, watching my diet and going to dr. appts. I know I MUST CHANGE, its not always my choice to stay home, I just sometime's can't get myself out the door. I am a work in progress. Thank you for this article.
    - 10/12/2014 10:42:01 AM
  • These are great suggestions for improving moods temporarily. I found more permanent relief from depressing moods through the Solutions method of learning some basic skills to rewire the brain developed by Laurel Mellon, author of The Pathway. Highly recommend her Solutions training! - 10/12/2014 8:46:12 AM
  • Great article. I agree with them all and do them myself. - 9/30/2014 9:49:52 AM
  • Great write!!! 14&15 get my vote!! Thanks for this great article and don't go out without your smile : ) - 8/30/2014 11:12:24 AM
  • I read the article, and have seen similar suggestions in other books etc. They all sound good, but sometimes it's difficult to initiate when you're feeling sad about an event in your life such as the death of a close loved relative or a diagnosis of a disease that mkay cause you to have a shortened life span or undergo tests, and treatments that have uncomfortable side effects.
    What ifs can be a protective mechanism against the curves that life throws us. e.g. What if I became sick and need help with daily routines, or other situations? You handle the what ifs by taking steps to solve the problems before they occur.
    Rather than mask the symptoms of sadness i would rather uncover its causes, and find ways to deal with them.


    Elizaneth - 8/5/2014 9:17:18 AM
  • Thanks for sharing. - 12/20/2013 6:20:16 AM
  • JAENIM
    Thank you so much!^^

    This really helped get me stay happy throughout the day! - 12/9/2013 12:38:33 PM
  • MUNCHBENJ
    Enjoyed article - 11/15/2013 6:14:58 AM
  • Staying positive has always helped me. These points are very essential to all of us. Thank you for sharing. - 10/21/2013 11:16:54 AM
  • Great article! - 10/4/2013 12:26:29 PM
  • This is a terrific article and what I needed today.

    Thank you SP!
    Susan - 8/27/2013 11:10:28 AM
  • I love these ideas! Sometimes, a smile in the right direction really can change the day!

    But as someone with bipolar disorder, I will say that doing positive things can make me feel better. But I can always tell when I am having one of my downswings and not just a blue mood because faking it doesn't make me feel better, it makes me feel tired, and thus more bad moody. - 8/27/2013 9:02:07 AM
  • Just read this for not the first time. Got another idea to take away. I love these articles! thank you. - 8/27/2013 6:42:24 AM

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