Have you ever just realized that your mood is feeling off but don’t know why? Our emotional state is made up of so many components and sometimes we can find ourselves feeling negative without knowing where it’s coming from or how to solve it. Our outlook can impact our whole day and if you’re not feeling your best it can affect everything from your physical wellbeing to your productivity to your personal relationships. In an ideal world, we’d always feel our best but the truth is that our energy levels and emotions are always in a state of flux. Sometimes, all it takes to give your mood a boost is a simple change, whether it’s introducing a new scent or your favorite color or getting your body moving.
Easy Ways To Boost Your Mood
Our feelings are complicated things, and it’s not always easy to change the deeper thought patterns or situations that impact our mindsets. Sometimes big stressors or complicated situations can weigh heavily on us, and there is no obvious “fix.” However, there are definitely small things that can impact our outlook for the better or the worse. You might not even realize how parts of your environment have been effecting you until you look for them; here are a few small ways you can give yourself a mood boost if you’re feeling stagnant or low.
1. Play Some Music
Music tends to speak to us in a different language and can provide a shift almost instantly. It’s hard not to feel a boost in your mood when your favorite music is playing or an upbeat song is pumping up your energy. Music can have such a strong effect on your environment and with the right songs you can turn your whole day around. If you don’t already have one, try creating a playlist of all your favorite feel-good music so you can reach for it anytime you want to change the vibe while you’re working, running errands, or just taking a break.
2. Get Moving
If you’re feeling downbeat or stagnant, a simple solution is just to stand up and move around. Especially as many of us work from home, it’s easy to get into a slump where you’re sitting in the same place for large chunks of the day and it can have a very negative impact on your mood. Simply getting up and jogging in place, doing some jumping jacks or doing a full-body shake can help wake your body up and change your energy. Even better, get outside for a quick walk; in addition to the endorphins you’ll produce from moving, your body will also benefit from the fresh air, sunshine, and change of scenery.
3. Make Sure You’re Fed, Hydrated and Comfortable
Sometimes our physical bodies have needs that we can forget to check in with. Have you ever realized that you’ve been hungry or thirsty or even just needed a trip to the restroom and you’ve been subconsciously putting it off? Our bodies can’t do their jobs unless we take care of them. If you ever feel a sudden downward shift in your mood, make sure all your physical needs are being met. A quick break from screens, a snack, or a drink of water can work like magic to boost your mood.
4. Reach Out To A Friend
Sometimes we can get into a negative mindset due to being isolated; without anyone to bounce our thoughts off of or lend perspective, even small obstacles can start to feel overwhelming. As humans, we need connection and community to function and feeling cut off from other people can have a big effect on our ability to live a happy and healthy life. Especially as many of us spend more time alone due to the pandemic, it’s vital to maintain ties with the people who know us best, even if they’re far away from us right now. If you’re feeling not quite yourself, make some time to call or Skype a loved one. It’s always important to remind yourself of the people in your life who love and care about you and it can always be helpful to have access to someone else’s perspective.
5. Light A Candle Or Spray Your Favorite Scent
Much like music, scents can have a powerful effect to boost our mood and our spaces. They have a strong connection to our memories and can remind us of times where we felt incredibly safe or at peace. Certain essential oils can also have all kinds of benefits from improved focus to calmed nerves to increased energy in addition to simple comfort. Lighting a candle or breaking out the essential oils can be a great way to break out of a funk and completely transform your space to be more comforting or stimulating.
6. Make A Quick Gratitude List
Gratitude is always a great solution if you’ve been feeling frustrated or sad. We have a tendency to discount the things that are good in our lives, especially when something bad is on our minds; making a list of things you’re thankful for is an easy way to bring those good things back to the center of your perspective. Remembering to be thankful for things like loved ones, achievements, or even access to a comfy bed or your favorite foods can help bring a negative outlook back into balance. Whenever you’re feeling down, try getting out some paper or a journal and jotting down five or ten things you’re thankful for today and keep it somewhere where you can look at it again whenever you need a reminder of the blessings you have.
7. Change Your Space
If you ever feel like you’re in a rut, look for little ways you can change your surroundings. If I start feeling stuck, I try to move around and reposition my furniture to invite new energy and get rid of stagnation. Sometimes a little change can be invigorating and help you feel more in control of your environment. Making little changes in the things you see every day, whether it’s changing out your art, adding a burst of color or clearing out cluttered shelves or closets, can make your space feel brand new and boost your spirits in a whole new way.
Watch Out for Negative Mood Shifts
Changing your mood from negative to positive can be easy at times, but be cautious because the inverse is also possible. Have you ever experienced a minor setback and had it ruin your entire mood? It can be really easy for us to lose perspective. Science says that we have a tendency towards negativity bias— negative experiences can be much more impactful on our moods and stay longer in our memories than positive ones. That’s why it’s so important to protect ourselves from negative emotional blowback. Here are a few emotional traps we can fall into and how to avoid them:
- Getting Discouraged By A Setback. Sometimes if you aren’t able to accomplish something you wanted to or a plan goes wrong in an unexpected way, it can cast a shadow over your whole day. When this happens, try to think of the big picture— will you still be thinking about this setback in five years? Try listing five good things that happened this week. Seeking out context will help to keep this negative event from getting overblown in your mind.
- Feeling Bored Or Stagnant. Boredom isn’t always a big event, but after a while it can start to have a really negative effect. We can start to feel directionless or forget our own passions or creativity. We can even start to believe that, because we’re bored, that life must be boring. This line of thinking can trick us into blinding ourselves to the interesting, stimulating and enjoyable parts of life. One way to keep boredom from seeping in is just to make a list of things you like to do: things like hobbies, projects, things on your to-read list or new nearby places you’d like to see. Keep this list in a prominent place so you can reference it whenever you feel bored or under-stimulated and see how it helps to boost your mood back up again.
- Getting Caught In A Comparison Trap. A lot of the time, we have a tendency to look around at others to judge how we are doing. It’s in our nature to learn from others about how to move forward through life, but comparison can quickly become a poison that can ruin our ability to see the value in our own paths. If seeing a friend or colleague’s recent success or milestone on social media makes you feel bad about your own accomplishments, take a step back. Try to remember that you have no idea what that person’s life looks like and that we only post our best moments online. It’s not fair to compare your entire life to someone else’s highlight reel. Try to quickly make a list of five things you love about your life that you would have envied in someone else five years ago and see if your urge to compare starts to fade a bit.
Sometimes having a positive outlook can feel easier said than done. We can be so much more susceptible to changes in energy than we are prepared for; sometimes the smallest things can impact our perspective without us even being conscious of it. The good news is that these details can also work to help us; if we take care, we can do small things every day to protect and cultivate positivity, helping us to boost our mood and brighten our energy when we need it.