We all know someone who seems to be happy all the time. It can be easy to get a little jealous of these types of people. How do they do it? What are their secrets? Could that be me?
There are certainly many factors that contribute to a person’s mood. This is not to say that it is “your fault” if you are feeling bad.
It is perfectly normal that there are times when you don’t feel peppy – just as there are circumstances, both internal and external, beyond your control which can impact how you feel.
This doesn’t mean that you should just give up. Research has determined several different activities that can help elevate anyone’s mood.
1. Exercise Regularly
We aren’t saying that you need to go to a big fancy gym 5 times a week, but we are saying that everyone can benefit from getting a little fit. Participating in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day can have a positive impact on your mood. Beyond that, being physically active is better for your health all around!
2. Enjoy Nature
You just might want to spend those 30 minutes outdoors. Getting in a little bit of fresh air and sunlight every day has been shown to have positive effects on mood. It is a great way to relax and can do wonders for your psychological well-being.
3. Eat Healthy
In addition to moderate exercise, and a balanced diet is a great way to keep up your mood. This is another activity that will also have direct benefits for your physical health. While it can be tempting to indulge in snacks or the latest dieting trend – it is important to stick to a healthy diet. This doesn’t mean that you can’t treat yourself every once in a while, but if 80% of your meals are takeout pizza, it may be time to make a few changes.
4. Act Positive
If all else fails – there is more truth to the “fake it ‘till you make it” philosophy. While it may seem a little hard to believe, acting happy is enough to put people in a better mood. In fact, when participants were asked to pretend to be happy like the people they saw in videos, they donated more money to charity than the control patients.
5. Be Social
As you can imagine, surrounding yourself with a bunch of nice and happy people is a great way to keep the mood up. Making regular plans with your friends and family is a great way to stay happy (so long as you are in the right crowd). Although it is better to be alone with people than with people who put you down. Even though it’s unrealistic to have plans every day, sending a good friend a message and participating in regular activities keeps someone happy. The same benefits can be found when individuals turn to the internet for social support of likeminded users.
6. Sleep Enough
Yes, you have heard it before, and we’ll say it again. GO TO BED! Following a regular (and adequate) sleep schedule can really improve your mood in addition to overall health. A lot of people even forgo electronic use past a certain time so that they can stay tired and fall asleep at a reasonable hour.
Meditating can help give you the little bit of relaxation you need during the day. This is a fantastic way to be able to take a little breather during the day and focus on what really matters. When you take a break during your busy day (and you should!), take it as a time to empty out your mind and give yourself some relief from the stress of the day.
8. Limit Social Media
Meditating during a break is a great alternative to other activities which can be detrimental to your wellbeing. While some people can have a healthy relationship with social media, it is important that you limit yourself from screen time as it can make it difficult to resist the urge of comparing yourself to others. Remember, people are showing their best selves on social media and it is important that you don’t make these snippets of life a standard to hold yourself to. It is also critical that you try not to get swept up in all the negative news being spread online or get lured into online fights.
While these activities are no substitute for professional treatments, they are a great way to put your mental state in the best position it can be in.
I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious foods, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material [and] surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.Jim Carrey