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Mood-boosting activities

Mood-boosting activities

List of Partners vendors. Any type of activties good Mood-boosting Mood-boosting activities a sure fire way to set my mind right and make me smile, which is why movie watching is one of my favorite mood boosting activities. Brooke Helton.

Mood-boosting activities -

Research suggests music can help promote relaxation while also reducing feelings of depression and distress. So if you don't feel like doing anything, a quick jam session could be just what you need to lift your spirits. Borelli suggests choosing tunes that you have a personal connection to — like the soundtrack from one of your favorite movies, or your favorite songs from high school.

If you want to add in some movement, you could even get up and dance to the beat. Research suggests that people who have close ties with friends and family tend to have higher happiness levels overall.

So, if you feel overwhelmed or alone, reaching out to a close friend or family member could help you gain a new perspective. While a quick phone call or Facetime chat could do the trick, Borelli suggests taking a few moments to write a letter you can send in the mail later. You could tell your friend stories about your day, or incorporate gratitude by telling them how happy you are to have them in your life.

Telling your friend how much they mean to you through a handwritten note might even help you feel closer. Studies have found that interacting with a pet can reduce feelings of loneliness and help boost your mood.

So if it's been a while since you last gave your furry friend some love, make it a point to hang out with them for a few minutes. Try playing a few rounds of fetch with your dog, or cuddling up for a snuggle session with your cat.

Spending time together may increase levels of oxytocin — the "love hormone" — and help you feel better. Plus, you can strengthen your bond with your pet and maybe make their day better, too.

If you need a quick way to clear your head, Terada recommends taking a few minutes to practice breathing exercises, like box breathing.

Box breathing only takes around 16 seconds to complete. All you need to do is :. Performing a psychological sigh can also help you feel calmer, since sighing may help your body relax. To try it, quickly inhale twice through your nose, then take a long exhale through your mouth.

Repeat up to three times. Laughter can decrease cortisol and other stress hormones in your blood — while also releasing feel-good chemicals in your brain, like serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. If you're feeling tense, dull, or just plain blah, try doing something that makes you laugh — like watching cute pet videos on Tiktok, catching up on memes, or streaming a few minutes of your favorite sitcom.

You might find that a quick laughter boost helps you feel more ready to tackle the rest of your day. Having an off day is natural, every now and then. But if you've reached a point where your mood has a destructive impact on your health, well-being, career, and relationships, then it may be time to reach out to a professional, Tai says.

An ongoing low mood could point to a mental health condition, like depression, or a medical condition, like an infection or chronic illness. Signs it's time to reach out for help include:. Many people think self-care is complicated, but it can be as simple as taking care of your body, nourishing yourself, or putting your needs first, Terada says.

If you need a quick way to boost your mood, you can start with small self-care rituals like going outside, making yourself a soothing drink, or spending time with loved ones or pets. Everyone has days when they don't want to do anything.

But if yours are more frequent, and you can't shake bad moods on your own, it might be time to reach out to a doctor or therapist.

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A 5-Minute Exercise That Will Boost Your Mood. Try these guaranteed mood boosters, created by game designer Jane McGonigal, PhD, Author of the forthcoming book Superbetter. By Jane McGonigal. On left: Positive emotions, On right: Negative emotions Look over the emotional states above and on a separate piece of paper write down any you've felt in the past 24 hours.

If you felt some really strongly—or for an extended period of time, not just a fleeting moment—feel free to add one, two, three, four or even five check marks. Then tally the number of words and checks for positive emotions your PE total and negative emotions your NE total.

Divide your PE by your NE to calculate your positive emotion ratio. Your PE ratio is a good gauge of how resilient you are in times of stress, according to research conducted by Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The higher your proportion of positive to negative, the better able you are to rebound from setbacks, and the more likely you are to achieve your goals. Boost Your Score To increase your positivity number, you need what I call power-ups.

In video games, they are the bonuses you collect to make you stronger like the power pellets in Pac-Man that help you devour the ghosts. Real-life power-ups are anything that creates a quick moment of pleasure, strength, courage or connection: a song that makes you feel powerful, a food that gives you energy, a five-minute activity that brings you peace.

Try to collect and activate at least three power-ups every day. As you implement the right strategies, your ratio—and resilience—will rise. For more power-ups, visit SuperBetter. If your score is higher than Way to go! With a number this high, you're likely to be adept at mental power-ups, which may be more difficult for those who are less resilient.

Use these when you hit trouble spots: Press reset: Having a bad morning? Close your eyes for one minute.

Having one actibities those days where you'd rather melt Mood-boosting activities Mood-boosging couch with a bag of cheese puffs than answer the stack of Gut health solutions in Boosted immune system inbox? Don't worry — it's totally normal to feel Boosted immune system activitifs time to time. Most people go through periods where they just don't feel like doing anything at all. In fact, that's one reason why so many struggle with procrastinationsays Dr. Faisal Taiboard-certified psychiatrist practicing at Psychplus. On days like these, a quick act of self-care might be just what you need to feel better. Self-carein a nutshell, describes the act of looking after your body and mind.

Mood-boosting activities -

The researchers studied brain scans of volunteers who recorded an emotional experience for 20 minutes a day for 4 sessions. They then compared the brain scans with volunteers who wrote down a neutral experience for the same amount of time. The brain scans of the first group showed neural activity in a part of the brain responsible for dampening strong emotional feelings, s uggesting that the act of recording their experience calmed them.

This same neural activity was absent in the volunteers who recorded a neutral experience. Case in point: A study gave 46 volunteers an envelope with money in it wherein half were instructed to spend the money on themselves and the other half put the money towards a charitable donation or gift for someone they knew.

The volunteers recorded their happiness level before receiving the envelope and after spending the money by the end of that same day. Sure enough, the researchers discovered that those who spent their money on others had a higher level of happiness than those who spent the money on themselves.

It might sound counterintuitive, but one of the main ways you can care for yourself is to care for others. In a recent review of 40 studies done over the last 20 years, researchers found that one activity was far more important than the rest for boosting psychological health: volunteering.

This activity, the researchers reported, had been found in many volunteers to be linked with a reduced risk of depression, a higher amount of overall satisfaction, and even a reduced risk of death from of a physical illness as a consequence of mental distress.

Spending time with friends may promote greater happiness than spending time with family, at least according to a recent study. For the study, researchers used an app called the Mappiness app to determine how much happier people were when they were with their friends, parents, and children.

It might come as no surprise that smiling can make you feel happier. If you fake it, you might even make yourself more unhappy, according to a study. The study examined a group of city bus drivers over a period of two weeks.

They found that employees who put on a fake smile for the job were in a worse mood by the end of the day compared to when their shift began. But drivers who genuinely smiles as a result of positive thoughts actually had a better mood by the end of the day.

So when you smile, make sure to smile like you mean it! The reason this is so bad for your happiness is because the negative emotions associated with grudges eventually give way to resentment and thoughts of revenge. In turn, this leaves little room in your emotional repertoire for anything else, like happiness, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The researchers of the latest study found that couples who had more sex because they were asked to for the study reported that the sex was not enjoyable and did not make them happier.

Therefore, sex will only lead to happiness when the couple is having it for a meaningful reason, the researchers conclude. People who have the positive attitude of optimists paired with the rational outlook of realists tend to be more successful and happy, according to psychologist Sophia Chou.

That's because so-called "realistic optimists" have the perfect blend of personality types to succeed. Unlike idealists, they are willing to face challenging situations with a clear view of reality, but will use creativity and a positive outlook to try to work their way out of the problem.

Breathing in the smell of dirt may lift your spirits, according to a study that found that a bacteria commonly found in soil produces effects similar to antidepressant drugs. The harmless bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, stimulated the release of serotonin in the brain after it was injected into mice.

Low levels of serotonin is what causes depression in people. In a human test, cancer patients reported increases in their quality of life when they were treated with the bacteria. Eating lunch at your desk can be a real downer, report scientists from the University of Sussex who measured the happiness of employees after they ate lunch in different locations.

The results showed that workers were happiest about their work when they ate lunch on the beach and least happy about work when they ate at their desk. Getting outside in the sun was key to staving off misery — people who ate in parks had a more positive attitude about their jobs than those who chowed down at a restaurant or at home.

Exercise is proven to increase feel-good chemicals in the brain, reduce stress hormones, and relieve depression and anxiety according to Happify, a website and app that offers psychology-based games to increase your happiness. And you can achieve these positive changes in just a few short minutes.

Researchers at the University of Vermont found that even just 20 minutes of exercise can give you those mood-boosting benefits for up to 12 hours afterward!

Moreover, people who are active are happier and more satisfied with their lives. The duration and location of your workout also affects how happy you feel afterward.

So, check out how to achieve your maximum happiness sweet spot. Working hard to improve a skill or ability, such as learning how to drive or solving a math problem, may increase stress in the short-term, but makes people feel happy and more content with their lives in the long run, a study reported.

And what's striking is that you don't have to reach your goal to see the benefits to your happiness and well-being," co-author Ryan Howell said in a statement. When it comes to happiness, older people seem to know something that the rest of us don't because a number of studies have found that older people tend to be some of the happiest people around.

Swimming, if possible, can be especially beneficial given that it supports the body and reduces the risk of injury or discomfort in the joints. But if physical mobility is a challenge, even a straightforward change in posture can make a difference. These include bouncing from foot to foot and star-jumping for joy — but even simply reaching up your arms or swaying from side to side can give you a boost.

McGonigal teaches joy moves as part of group exercise classes that have included wheelchair users, and people in their 80s and above. By harnessing the power of the mind — or the placebo effect.

Research has shown that your attitudes towards or expectations of exercise can influence the outcome, good or bad. The other trick Raglin suggests is tapering your workouts, so that you finish feeling strong and upbeat — not knackered.

Over time, the brain comes to associate exercise with that burst of happy-making chemicals, making it want to do it over and over again.

Once a regular routine is in place, research suggests that there is more to gain from exercise by increasing the frequency — say, by going from twice a week to four times a week, says Basso.

She says it can take about six weeks of regular exercise for your brain to anticipate the feelgood factor. Some feelings of decreased stress, increased happiness and relaxation may persist for as long as 24 hours. But the longitudinal question, of how long the mood-boost from movement lasts without maintenance, has not been explored by researchers.

This is also demonstrated by the fact that people who have exercised when they are young tend to be more physically active when they are older, Basso adds.

Studies of competitive athletes have shown that they may not benefit from the mood boost of exercise. But these adverse effects are restricted to serious athletes. For the rest of us, any movement can only be beneficial. Tai chi? There is something so relaxing about bounding through the air, landing on your butt, and getting back up to do it all over again.

Rent a pontoon boat and bring your friends. Hook up the tube and go for a ride. Learning a new hobby, especially one that requires the creative portion of your brain can be quite relaxing. Take a guided art and wine class with a friend, or stay in your pajamas and paint along to a virtual one.

Like painting, crafting something with your hands brings a sense of accomplishment. Plus, power tools are fun! Perhaps your nemesis is something spiritual. If you are a spiritual person, take some time to meditate on it. Talk with your pastor, priest, or spiritual advisor, and get some advice.

While many of the activities on this list are short-term fixes for occasional down moments, talking to a counselor regularly can be an effective tool for helping manage more persistent symptoms of depression and stress. Free writing is a technique that allows your mind to run totally wild.

Just sit down with a notepad, and begin writing in a free flow. Just write. Taking some time to spruce up the place can occupy your mind and help reduce stress.

Plus, the scent of lemon and orange citrus cleaning products has been shown to help reduce anxiety. Like lapping waves, dancing flames are just mesmerizing, and they seem to have a calming effect on most of us.

Light a fire in your hearth or outdoor firepit and snuggle up with a blanket and a good book, or invite friends over for a bonfire! Take flowers to an elderly citizen in your local geriatric home.

Send a care package to a friend who has been ill. Take a less wealthy friend out to lunch and foot the bill, or rake the leaves for your disabled neighbor. There is a myriad of ways to lend a helping hand. Pick one. Whether you have a list on paper or in your mind, choose one goal that you can accomplish today, and put your mind to achieving it.

Pretty obvious one here. Sex reduces stress by releasing buckets of mood-altering hormones. If your mind is consumed with worry for some reason, try distracting yourself with something mundane.

Fold the laundry. Do a puzzle. Clean out a cabinet, or move the furniture. Making your brain focus on something spatial can be a healthy distraction. Pull out the old photo albums and show your kids your puffy prom dress. Reminisce with your spouse over your wedding day, or text your bestie pics of that epic trip to the cape.

Just moving the furniture around a bit and splashing a fun color on the wall can liven up your home and your mood! Speaking of changing your surroundings, sometimes a stay in an incredible luxury suite, especially one with a hot tub and a view is worth every penny!

Doing something that scares you a bit produces adrenaline at the moment, but there is a serene calm and sense of accomplishment once it is all over. Let out your inner child and relish in some fond memories by hitting up the vintage games at the arcade.

Watching Pac-Man nom nom on those little dots is so dang rewarding. There is no shame in a good cry. Have one every now and then.

You might find you feel an immense sense of release afterward. Get out some aggression with a contact sport.

Use the boxing bag at the gym, join a sparring club, or start a martial arts class. Go outside and scream. Do it loud, at the absolute top of your lungs. Do it until you feel better. It can help keep your own thoughts from raging, too.

Every Mood-boosting activities of us Mood-boostint experienced Mood-boosting activities of stress, frustration, Mooc-boosting immense sadness throughout our lives. Mood-boozting an argument with Moo-dboosting significant other to lost sleep thanks to loud upstairs neighbors, Stress management techniques for emotional well-being getting cut achivities in traffic, a bad mood is a Inflammation reduction for digestive issues natural human experience. While it is indeed normal to feel sad or discouraged at some point, there are times when that bad mood could be harder to shake than others. During times when that stressful state of mind begins to take over thoughts, emotions, and behavior, the best we can do is recognize having the power to change it! Throughout this article, we will explore the top 9 mood-boosting activities to help improve our mental health and give a sense of happiness and fulfillment in life. Feeling anxious? In fact, federal actlvities analyzed by the Kaiser Mood-boosting activities Foundation showed that activlties Enter: self-care. And does it really help in the grand scheme of things? Shaakira Haywood Stewart, PhD, CEO of Dr. Shaakira Haywood Stewart Psychology, P. Haywood Stewart.

Boosted immune system RIGHTS RESERVED. OWN: Mood-boosting activities WINFREY NETWORK. A 5-Minute Exercise That Will Boost Your Cognitive function development techniques. Try these guaranteed mood boosters, created by game designer Jane McGonigal, PhD, Author Mooe-boosting the Mood-booting book Superbetter.

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Boost Activitids Score To increase your positivity number, you need activitiez I Boosted immune system Mood-boostint.

In video games, they are the bonuses you collect to make you stronger like the power pellets in Pac-Man that help you devour the ghosts. Real-life power-ups are anything that creates a quick moment of pleasure, strength, courage or connection: a song that makes you feel powerful, a food that gives you energy, a five-minute activity that brings you peace.

Try to collect and activate at least three power-ups every day. As you implement the right strategies, your ratio—and resilience—will rise. For more power-ups, visit SuperBetter. If your score is higher than Way to go! With a number this high, you're likely to be adept at mental power-ups, which may be more difficult for those who are less resilient.

Use these when you hit trouble spots: Press reset: Having a bad morning? Close your eyes for one minute. When you open them, imagine your day is starting over. Look to the future: For a quick jolt of optimism, think of something you're looking forward to in the next 24 hours and a month from now.

If your score is between 1 and Try physical power-ups. Research has found that you can have success with boosts that make you feel better physically.

A couple of joy-inducing ideas: Get some sun: Go outside and stand in the sunlight, even if you have only five minutes to spare. Give yourself a hug: Show your body a little self-love by telling it what a great job it's doing—just the way it is.

If your score is lower than Get started with social power-ups that bring you closer to others. Positive social connections have been shown to improve a person's PE ratio and are useful for those with low scores.

Two ways to upgrade your relationships: Cheer someone on: Think of a friend who is struggling right now, and send her a few words of encouragement. It'll boost your mood, too.

Create a friends and family playlist: Ask each person in your inner circle to choose one inspiring song you should download. From the August issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. NEXT STORY.

More Inspiration. If This Llama Doesn't Make You Smile The Secret Reason Why Some People Are Never Happy. The Minute Game That Will Change the Way You Think. Bill Hader Loves True Crime Shows, Just Like You. Storm Reid Shares the Best Advice Oprah Gave Her While Filming A Wrinkle in Time.

Our Oprah's Favorite Things Giveaway Winners React to Receiving Their Gifts.

: Mood-boosting activities

We Care About Your Privacy Overcome burnout, your burdens, and that endless to-do list. Start by talking with kindness, understanding and warmth, just like you would a good friend. Home Angle down icon An icon in the shape of an angle pointing down. Stay Active Indoor and Outdoor Staying active is crucial for maintaining good mental health during winter months when we tend to be less active. Spending more time in natural environments could even help lower your risk of mental health symptoms, which can have more long-term effects on mood. One step at a time: how to improve mental health through fitness.
What kind of psychological benefits are we talking about?

Winter can be an excellent time to slow down and practice mindfulness and meditation. These practices can help reduce stress levels, improve focus, and boost overall well-being.

Or you could join a local yoga group, which will also help you get out of the house and meet new people as well. Regular meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety while promoting feelings of calmness and well-being — all of which contribute to increased dopamine levels.

Music has been proven to have a direct effect on our mood by triggering the release of dopamine. So put on your favourite tunes and let the music lift your spirits! Spending time with loved ones or engaging in social activities also stimulates the production of dopamine.

What you eat can significantly impact your dopamine levels. Foods high in protein like eggs, dairy products, meat, and soy products are excellent sources of tyrosine.

Certain fruits and vegetables such as bananas, avocados, apples, watermelon, green leafy vegetables, and beetroot are also known to increase dopamine levels. This is not only delicious but also contains phenylethylamine which triggers the release of dopamine. Staying active is crucial for maintaining good mental health during winter months when we tend to be less active.

You can join a local gym, practice yoga at home, or even dance around your living room. The key is to find an activity that you enjoy and stick with it. If are lucky enough to get snow, engaging in winter sports like skiing, snowboarding or ice-skating not only gets your heart pumping but also provides an opportunity for you to enjoy the beauty of nature during winter.

These activities can be exhilarating experiences that trigger a surge of dopamine. Even a simple activity like walking can help. Bundle up and take a brisk walk around your neighbourhood or local park. The fresh air and change of scenery can do wonders for your mood.

Socialising might feel a bit challenging during winter, especially when the weather is bad. However, staying connected with friends and family is essential for our mental health.

Arranging virtual meet-ups, phone calls, or even a soggy walk can lift spirits — you could even plan a walk to the local pub for a Sunday roast. Winter is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby or learn something new.

Helping others can significantly improve your mood and overall well-being. Consider volunteering at a local charity or community centre.

Creating a cosy atmosphere at home can make winter much more enjoyable. Light some candles, put on some soft music, and wrap yourself in a warm blanket. Planning future adventures can give you something to look forward to and help beat the winter blues.

You could even book yourself into a photoshoot at a local studio — banish winter blues with a fun experience either on your own, or with family. If you want to be super quick and say goodbye to in style , then why not take advantage of our offer for a professional photoshoot.

Last but not least — take care of yourself! The SEO Works - Digital Marketing Agency. December Want to Beat the Winter Blues? Try to collect and activate at least three power-ups every day. As you implement the right strategies, your ratio—and resilience—will rise. For more power-ups, visit SuperBetter.

If your score is higher than Way to go! With a number this high, you're likely to be adept at mental power-ups, which may be more difficult for those who are less resilient. Use these when you hit trouble spots: Press reset: Having a bad morning?

Close your eyes for one minute. When you open them, imagine your day is starting over. Look to the future: For a quick jolt of optimism, think of something you're looking forward to in the next 24 hours and a month from now.

If your score is between 1 and Try physical power-ups. Research has found that you can have success with boosts that make you feel better physically. A couple of joy-inducing ideas: Get some sun: Go outside and stand in the sunlight, even if you have only five minutes to spare.

Give yourself a hug: Show your body a little self-love by telling it what a great job it's doing—just the way it is. If your score is lower than Get started with social power-ups that bring you closer to others.

Positive social connections have been shown to improve a person's PE ratio and are useful for those with low scores. Two ways to upgrade your relationships: Cheer someone on: Think of a friend who is struggling right now, and send her a few words of encouragement.

It'll boost your mood, too. Create a friends and family playlist: Ask each person in your inner circle to choose one inspiring song you should download.

From the August issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.

#25. Write down 3 things you're grateful for. Back Get Help. Commit to one week or month off from social media when you really need a break. Get outside. Uebelacker LA, Broughton MK. Way to go!
Mood-Boosting Games

The people we choose to surround ourselves with can either help or hinder our mood. According to Mental Health America , the main difference between happy people and less-happy people was good relationships. This is why surrounding ourselves with kind, supportive, and trusting friends and family can help to relieve stress and increase happiness.

We recommend reaching out to a friend to chat over the phone or making plans to grab a coffee together. Reading a book offers an excellent escape from our stressful realities and is an effective cure for a bad mood.

In fact, reading is shown to boost mental well-being, strengthen the brain, improve empathy, prevent cognitive decline, and alleviate symptoms of stress and depression. Rather than spending hours on your phone, we suggest taking 20 minutes of this time to immerse yourself in a good book — your brain will thank you for it!

Did you know that food that we eat can directly affect how we feel during the day? The connection between diet and our mental well-being lies within our gut-brain axis. This bacteria works to increase neurotransmitter production to help boost our mood and even reduce our risk of depression.

A great way to turn your bad mood around is by taking the time to practice gratitude. Psychologist and gratitude expert Dr. Robert Emmons explains that keeping a gratitude journal and making daily reflections on moments we are thankful for can significantly improve our well-being and overall life satisfaction.

As a form of therapy, music has the unique ability to tap into the emotional side of our brain and change our mood in a very short amount of time.

However, the study also mentions that the most important factor is having the intention to become happier when listening to music. So, make sure to listen with the goal to feel better and you will!

Similar to when we hug a loved one, cuddling our pet releases feel-good hormones which play a role in reducing stress and anxiety while promoting feelings of calmness. Research has found that dog owners have higher levels of mood-enhancing hormones i. oxytocin and lower levels of stress hormones i.

cortisol based on the time spent interacting. Trying any of these 9 mood-boosting activities could help improve mental health and get us back to feeling our best.

Whether we have an hour or a short minute break, these activities can be accomplished anytime and nearly anywhere. In search of a professional approach to improving the mood? Consider taking our mental health quiz to get matched with a therapist that is best suited for your specific needs.

Get started. Home For Business About us Therapists Blog Contact FAQ. Get started Log in. In fact, self-care is essential for our physical and emotional well-being. In fact, people suffering from mild depression are often encouraged to take supplements to help brighten their day.

Yoga is a great way to increase your flexibility, while burning some calories, which is fantastic in itself… but the benefits for your mind are just as great. Using counted breathing and repetitive words or phrases, the point of meditation is to relax and alleviate your mood by letting go of stressors and negative thoughts.

Add music to the experience to help heighten your senses. Walking and jogging are two of the most accessible exercises there are.

They require no equipment or gym membership and, with the proper attire, can be done outdoors year-round.

Coupled with a healthy, balanced diet, exercise can help you lose weight… which can also make you feel better about yourself — and life in general. Breathing exercises are quick and easy ways to quiet those negative voices in your head and get your back on track for a better day ahead.

Breathing is the only system of the body which is both automatic and a system we can change to shift the way we feel. Did I just suggest you make yourself a cocktail or pour a glass of wine?

But before you judge me, hear me out. Alcohol is a sedative and a depressant that affects the central nervous system. While too much can make people hyper, sloppy or use poor judgment… one or two drinks depending on your weight can put you in a relaxed state of mind and improve mood.

I like to hit things… I always have. Not people, just things. I first started kickboxing right before the pandemic hit, to get out my aggression over what was happening in the world.

But dancing is good for your heart and mind, as it gets the blood pumping and releases more of those endorphins. In fact, a study was conducted on people with anxiety disorders, inviting them to participate in one of four activities: a modern-dance class, an exercise class, a music class or a math class.

Only the dance class significantly reduced anxiety. Journaling is a great way to unlock your innermost feelings — whether it be anger, jealousy, frustration, anxiety , happiness, sadness, gratitude or something else.

There is no wrong way to journal and nobody else has to read it except for you. So free write whatever moves you and then spend some time reading over it now and again to put your life in perspective and allow your spirits to soar. Any type of feel good movie is a sure fire way to set my mind right and make me smile, which is why movie watching is one of my favorite mood boosting activities.

Baby goats. So do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes watching videos of cuties like these. Giving back to those less fortunate, or helping a person or animal in need, are excellent ways to be a part of your community and feel good in the process.

I love to sing. Am I good at it? I smile, I laugh, I shout… and with each of these things, I can feel my mood gauge rise up. There is nothing wrong with shared intimacy between two people in a loving and committed relationship… and that closeness is a great way to shut your minds off to the world around you and get the heart beating faster with every gentle touch.

There is something so relaxing about digging your hands into the earth and feeling the soil run through your fingers… knowing you are about creating something beautiful or edible to nurture so that it grows.

Just thinking about the beautiful flowers or tasty veggies gives you something to look forward to, which is sure to plant some positivity in your mind. You can even make it a multi-day hike and camp out somewhere peaceful… all of which equates to one happy camper!

The activity title says it all… spa days are meant to be a relaxing escape from whatever ails you. Laughter is the best medicine. Grab your partner or some friends and find a comedian that will leave you in stitches while crying tears of joy.

Photos of my husband and I dating how young we felt! Those get me every time! So this mood boosting activity kills two birds with one stone. Dark chocolate is known for improving mood… and so are bananas. This type of chocolate is high in health-promoting flavonoids — which have been shown to increase blood flow to your brain, reduce inflammation, and boost brain health, all of which may support mood regulation.

Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Combining the two just seems like a logical and yummy idea! There are just some meals that make our tummies and our minds happy. And what better than to have someone else cook it for you?

This way you can just relax and take it all in. Cooking for friends combines two great feel good activities — spending quality time with people you care for and being creative in the kitchen. Cooking is relaxing… and the gratification of serving a delicious meal to others is sure to boost your confidence and mood!

There are so many awesome games these days, it makes me wonder why television is still the most popular pastime for many. Board games, trivia, charades, card games… the list goes on.

Hosting or attending a game night even a virtual one is a great way to blow off steam, share some laughs and get a little competitive … which always gets the juices flowing and the mood rising.

Most parents often play the role of lead mentor for their children… but not all kids are lucky to have that. Some kids rely on mentorship programs to help them cope with day to day things. There is nothing quite life influencing a young person to boost your mood.

Texting is fine. Email is fine. I get it… we live in a fast-paced world and these tools are so much more convenient and time-efficient than actually picking up the phone to call someone.

But , there is also nothing quite like hearing the voice of an old friend on the other end of the line — especially if it comes at a time when you need it.

7 Mood Boosters That Don’t Cost a Thing

Ever heard someone say, 'If you're angry at someone, write them a letter and don't send it'? While that might seem like a waste of time, science reveals recording your feelings is great for clarifying your thoughts, solving problems more efficiently, relieving stress, and more.

A team of psychologists recently hit on a neurological reason behind why this simple act might help us overcome some emotional distress. The researchers studied brain scans of volunteers who recorded an emotional experience for 20 minutes a day for 4 sessions. They then compared the brain scans with volunteers who wrote down a neutral experience for the same amount of time.

The brain scans of the first group showed neural activity in a part of the brain responsible for dampening strong emotional feelings, s uggesting that the act of recording their experience calmed them.

This same neural activity was absent in the volunteers who recorded a neutral experience. Case in point: A study gave 46 volunteers an envelope with money in it wherein half were instructed to spend the money on themselves and the other half put the money towards a charitable donation or gift for someone they knew.

The volunteers recorded their happiness level before receiving the envelope and after spending the money by the end of that same day. Sure enough, the researchers discovered that those who spent their money on others had a higher level of happiness than those who spent the money on themselves.

It might sound counterintuitive, but one of the main ways you can care for yourself is to care for others. In a recent review of 40 studies done over the last 20 years, researchers found that one activity was far more important than the rest for boosting psychological health: volunteering.

This activity, the researchers reported, had been found in many volunteers to be linked with a reduced risk of depression, a higher amount of overall satisfaction, and even a reduced risk of death from of a physical illness as a consequence of mental distress.

Spending time with friends may promote greater happiness than spending time with family, at least according to a recent study. For the study, researchers used an app called the Mappiness app to determine how much happier people were when they were with their friends, parents, and children.

It might come as no surprise that smiling can make you feel happier. If you fake it, you might even make yourself more unhappy, according to a study. The study examined a group of city bus drivers over a period of two weeks.

They found that employees who put on a fake smile for the job were in a worse mood by the end of the day compared to when their shift began. But drivers who genuinely smiles as a result of positive thoughts actually had a better mood by the end of the day.

So when you smile, make sure to smile like you mean it! The reason this is so bad for your happiness is because the negative emotions associated with grudges eventually give way to resentment and thoughts of revenge. In turn, this leaves little room in your emotional repertoire for anything else, like happiness, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The researchers of the latest study found that couples who had more sex because they were asked to for the study reported that the sex was not enjoyable and did not make them happier. Therefore, sex will only lead to happiness when the couple is having it for a meaningful reason, the researchers conclude.

People who have the positive attitude of optimists paired with the rational outlook of realists tend to be more successful and happy, according to psychologist Sophia Chou.

That's because so-called "realistic optimists" have the perfect blend of personality types to succeed. Unlike idealists, they are willing to face challenging situations with a clear view of reality, but will use creativity and a positive outlook to try to work their way out of the problem.

Breathing in the smell of dirt may lift your spirits, according to a study that found that a bacteria commonly found in soil produces effects similar to antidepressant drugs.

The harmless bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, stimulated the release of serotonin in the brain after it was injected into mice. Low levels of serotonin is what causes depression in people.

In a human test, cancer patients reported increases in their quality of life when they were treated with the bacteria. Eating lunch at your desk can be a real downer, report scientists from the University of Sussex who measured the happiness of employees after they ate lunch in different locations.

The results showed that workers were happiest about their work when they ate lunch on the beach and least happy about work when they ate at their desk. Getting outside in the sun was key to staving off misery — people who ate in parks had a more positive attitude about their jobs than those who chowed down at a restaurant or at home.

Exercise is proven to increase feel-good chemicals in the brain, reduce stress hormones, and relieve depression and anxiety according to Happify, a website and app that offers psychology-based games to increase your happiness. And you can achieve these positive changes in just a few short minutes.

Researchers at the University of Vermont found that even just 20 minutes of exercise can give you those mood-boosting benefits for up to 12 hours afterward!

Moreover, people who are active are happier and more satisfied with their lives. The duration and location of your workout also affects how happy you feel afterward. So, check out how to achieve your maximum happiness sweet spot.

Working hard to improve a skill or ability, such as learning how to drive or solving a math problem, may increase stress in the short-term, but makes people feel happy and more content with their lives in the long run, a study reported.

And what's striking is that you don't have to reach your goal to see the benefits to your happiness and well-being," co-author Ryan Howell said in a statement.

When it comes to happiness, older people seem to know something that the rest of us don't because a number of studies have found that older people tend to be some of the happiest people around.

Why this is, however, is still a mystery to scientists because they have yet to find what exactly is causing this happiness. Chances are, it's a number of things: One study in suggested the reason is because older people are more experienced, and therefore, better at dealing with negative emotions like anger and anxiety.

But another, more recent study, reported that the cause is that older people are more trusting , which comes with a number of healthy psychological benefits that lead to happiness.

Whatever the reason, if you're not happy right now, you can rest assured that your chances of happiness in the future are good. Read next. Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.

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It symobilizes a website link url. Copy Link. According to Mental Health America , the main difference between happy people and less-happy people was good relationships. This is why surrounding ourselves with kind, supportive, and trusting friends and family can help to relieve stress and increase happiness.

We recommend reaching out to a friend to chat over the phone or making plans to grab a coffee together. Reading a book offers an excellent escape from our stressful realities and is an effective cure for a bad mood. In fact, reading is shown to boost mental well-being, strengthen the brain, improve empathy, prevent cognitive decline, and alleviate symptoms of stress and depression.

Rather than spending hours on your phone, we suggest taking 20 minutes of this time to immerse yourself in a good book — your brain will thank you for it! Did you know that food that we eat can directly affect how we feel during the day?

The connection between diet and our mental well-being lies within our gut-brain axis. This bacteria works to increase neurotransmitter production to help boost our mood and even reduce our risk of depression.

A great way to turn your bad mood around is by taking the time to practice gratitude. Psychologist and gratitude expert Dr. Robert Emmons explains that keeping a gratitude journal and making daily reflections on moments we are thankful for can significantly improve our well-being and overall life satisfaction.

As a form of therapy, music has the unique ability to tap into the emotional side of our brain and change our mood in a very short amount of time. However, the study also mentions that the most important factor is having the intention to become happier when listening to music.

So, make sure to listen with the goal to feel better and you will! Similar to when we hug a loved one, cuddling our pet releases feel-good hormones which play a role in reducing stress and anxiety while promoting feelings of calmness.

Research has found that dog owners have higher levels of mood-enhancing hormones i. oxytocin and lower levels of stress hormones i. cortisol based on the time spent interacting.

Trying any of these 9 mood-boosting activities could help improve mental health and get us back to feeling our best. Whether we have an hour or a short minute break, these activities can be accomplished anytime and nearly anywhere.

In search of a professional approach to improving the mood? Consider taking our mental health quiz to get matched with a therapist that is best suited for your specific needs. Get started. Home For Business About us Therapists Blog Contact FAQ. Get started Log in. Home Blog.

Mood-boosting activities

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