You can improve your mood naturally, especially when you live in Raleigh NC. One of my favorite ways is to take a break and get back to Nature. I love taking a walk in one of the parks in Raleigh. My favorite is Neuse River Trail. I like to go early in the morning after my workout to wind down and take in all the beauty of nature. Studies show that getting outdoors can lift your spirits, plus the sun boosts levels of serotonin. If there’s an opportunity, I like to walk barefoot for a short time in the grassy areas to get the benefits of grounding.
Get moving to lift your spirits.
Exercise is the greatest mood changer available. When you exercise, you not only burn off the hormones created by stress that can cause a bad mood, you also boost the happy hormones that give you a feeling of peacefulness and contentment. Exercise also stimulates circulation taking important nutrients and oxygen to every cell in your body. You feel good when you’re done and have a sense of accomplishment, too.
Play a bit.
Playing, whether with the kids, spouse or a pet brings out the child in you. You’ll be creating bonds with both human and furry friends when you do it and that can be spirit lifting. If you have a dog or cat, studies show that even if you just pet the animal for 15 minutes, hormones like serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin are released, while cortisol, the stress hormone that causes visceral fat—that fat around your belly—is lowered. You’ll make your pet happy, you’ll be happy and you’ll whittle down your waistline in the process.
Eat happy foods.
What you eat does affect your health. Studies show that an imbalance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 actually promotes aggression. While the balance should be 4 to 1, the average American diet has as 25 to 1 balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3. Fatty fish and flaxseed can add extra Omega-3 to your diet. Foods like avocado and grapes also boost your spirits, just as raw nuts, shitake mushrooms, sesame seeds and strawberries. Get organic strawberries for the healthiest punch, since they’re number one on the dirty dozen list. (The dirty dozen list identifies fruits and vegetables that contain the highest pesticides in non-organic foods.)
- Act as though you’re happy. Laugh, smile and get into the act. Smiling activates centers in the brain for happiness.
- Change your mind. Whatever put you in a bad mood shouldn’t have control over you. You can decide whether to hold onto it or not. If it’s a person, you’re turning over your personal control by allowing them to put you in a bad mood.
- Get adequate sleep. When you maintain a regular sleep/wake schedule, you’ll be ready to take on anything without it putting you in a tizzy.
- Eat a square of dark chocolate. That doesn’t mean eat the whole bar or box of chocolate, one will do. It contains tryptophan that boosts the production of serotonin, a happy hormone.