Everyone experiences an off day every now and then, whether because we’re in a bad mood or we’re feeling low in energy or someone made us angry or simply we had a bit of bad news.
It’s easy to get stuck in this bad mood all day and let it affects us but there are a few simple things we can do to lift our mood in a flash.
Here's few of my favourites:
Essential oils can produce a powerful effect on the body when their aromas are inhaled stimulating brain regions that influence emotions helping to calm the mind and lift the mood.
Try lemon essential oil that is able to enhance positive mood by increasing the levels of norepinephrine (a brain chemical involved in mood regulation) or lavender essential oil which is known to help reducing stress and ease insomnia. Rosemary essential oil is a great option too especially during long office or school hours as it’s very energising and able to increase alertness and improve cognitive performance.
To use them, simply shake a couple drops onto a linen and then inhale the uplifting aroma or apply a few drops on your wrists, temples or behind the ears massaging to aid absorption.
You can decide to go for a full workout at the gym or do some yoga at home; have a walk in the park or walk the dog. Even mild exercise can lift your low mood and energy levels.
Exercise boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain and has been shown to be an effective antidepressant. And you'll enhance its benefits even more by taking it outside. Take a break from your home or office to breath some fresh air and get some sunshine.
And if you’re stuck in an office all day, get up to get some tea and water more often or simply stretch your arms overhead, raise and lower your shoulders a couple of times; stretch your legs as you lean your torso against a wall. It can help ease the tight muscles that come with stress.
Whether you’re able to take a power nap of 10 to 15 minutes or simply lay down and close your eyes breathing deeply, short rest moments will distress your mind and body helping to increase low mood and make you feel more relaxed.
And remember to stick to a regular sleep schedule, even on the weekends, 7 of 9 hours per night so that your body will adjust to that cycle and you will less likely wake up in a grumpy mood or feel low in energy by the early afternoon.
Reach out to a friend or family member. Call or text, make plans for the evening or the weekend. Free your mind by venting out what’s wrong with that day and how low you feel and fill it up with the thoughts of when you’ll see that person, what you’ll do and all the laughs you'll experience! Flick through old photos and anticipate all the good times that are coming. You’ll feel so much better really soon!
Snack on mood boosting foods and yes chocolate is among them. Just a square can boost serotonin levels without resulting in a sugar crash or low blood sugar. Look for dark chocolate with more than 85 percent cocoa or raw chocolate as cacao is high in phenylalanine (the love chemical) which promotes a feeling of happiness, similar to the experience of being in love.
Include tryptophan rich foods like bananas that boost serotonin and dopamine production, feel good hormones in the body; complex carbohydrates which stimulate the production of serotonin as well; avocados as its healthy fats help raise dopamine and increase endorphins and snack on almonds or brazil nuts. They can both increase dopamine and serotonin levels and brazil nuts contain slenium, a powerful antioxidant that has been proven to boost mood.
And don’t forget to sip on green tea. It contains l-theanine, an amino acid shown to improve mood while reducing stress and anxiety.