6 Ways to Improve Your Mood and Reduce Stress
Bad days are going to happen. Perhaps you got a speeding ticket on your way to work or spilled coffee on your white shirt. You may have been in a funk for no reason at all for the past few days and can’t seem to snap out of it. Life can be hard sometimes. You may not be able to avoid your terrible commute or get your mean co-worker fired, but there are simple ways to improve your mood and brighten your day.
You may be thinking you don’t have time, but these ideas don’t have to take too long. Some can be done in five or ten minutes and others take a little longer, but all of these techniques can make your whole day better.
So, give yourself this gift of time and try one of these ways to improve your mood, reduce stress and increase your energy. It may give you the extra spark you need to face the rest of the day’s challenges.
Play your favorite music
Create playlists specifically for improving your mood. Find happy, upbeat, dance style music and blast it in your car or at home. “Uptown Funk,” by Bruno Mars is a great one to get started with playing. Studies have shown that listening to music can lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
Essential oils may help calm your mind and lift your mood. Lavender, lemon and rosemary are known to reduce stress and lift moods. You can add a few drops to your linens and inhale or use a diffuser. You can also add a few drops to your bath or massage oil.
Studies have shown that exercise releases endorphins and makes you and your body feel good. Getting outdoors and walking for 20-30 minutes is enough to get the heart pumping and those feel-good endorphins released in your body.
This doesn’t have to take long or be done every day. There are several websites and apps where you can find free meditations to help you get started. Just taking the time to quiet the mind, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing can bring you back to center.
Writing is therapeutic and this is a simple way to journal. Just write three things each day that you are grateful for, no matter how minor these may be. You could be grateful for your cup of coffee this morning, the beautiful sunrise or the kiss from your partner when you woke up. By practicing gratitude, you realize all the good in your life even when you may not be in the best mood. It is a helpful reminder that despite life’s challenges there are good things in your life.
Get dressed and look your best
If you are a woman, put makeup on and do your hair. You may have to force yourself to do this but it really does make a difference in your mood and how you feel about yourself. Look in the mirror when you are done and tell yourself, “I look beautiful.” Smile to yourself and be proud of how you look.
So, as you can see, these things are not hard to do. Just start with one thing to improve your mood and reduce stress. Do notice how you feel after you do it? If so great, try to use that feeling to motivate you to use these techniques more often. Each time you do one of these tasks, it will increase your motivation to do more and in no time, you will feel better.
Which one will you try first? I would love to hear your comments on how you plan to use these exercises and which your favorites are.
If this blog post resonates with you and you feel like you'd be interested in exploring the possibility of counseling, contact Jessica today!