Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Improve Your Mood

-- Improve Your Mood -- 

*Written by Heather Shepherd -  a freelance writer who lives in Southern Oregon with her partner Clinton and her silly little dog, Ginger.

Everyone falls into a funk now and then. But it doesn't mean you have to stay that way! Do these 8 things right now to get back on track.

1) Breathe Deeply

In through the nose, out through the mouth - we've all heard the mantra before. But deep breathing techniques actually can make you feel better. Here's one to try: Place your hand on your stomach and close your eyes. Breathe in deeply for 3-5 seconds, concentrating on getting your abdomen to rise before your chest does. Then exhale completely, emptying the air from every nook and cranny in your lungs. Repeat.

2) Strike a Power Pose

Studies show that the way you hold yourself can influence your mood and confidence levels. Take note of how you're sitting or standing right now. Are you slouched over or crossing your arms? These postures might actually have a negative effect on your mood. Instead, straighten your spine, open your chest and hold your arms out wide for 2 minutes. You'll be amazed how good this "power pose" can make you feel!

3) Sweat It Out

We all know exercise is great for losing weight and staying healthy, but did you know that exercise can improve your mood too? Any type of exercise that gets your heart pumping will raise your dopamine - the "feel good" hormone that has a direct impact on your current mood. Even better, getting regular workouts can actually prevent you from sinking into depression. How's that for motivation?

4) Do Something Silly

Dance in circles. Make a funny face. Tell someone a corny joke. It doesn't matter what you do as long as it makes you smile. Force yourself to be happy and happiness will inevitably follow.

5) Flip Through Old Photos

Break out the photo album and have fun reminiscing about past adventures and good times. This trick works even better with a friend that will listen to your stories about each picture.

6) Focus on the Positive

Remind yourself that everyone has good days and bad days. No matter how bad you feel, there is someone who has been in your shoes and made it to the other side. Be patient with yourself, and remember that things will always get better.

7) Get Your Sleep On

The National Sleep Foundation says adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Any less than that, and problems with mood and cognition start to set in. Make it a point to get to bed earlier and take melatonin supplements if you can't fall asleep easily.

8) Help Someone Out

Winston Churchill once said "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Without a doubt, helping others can put your own problems into perspective and help boost your mood. So help out a friend, donate to your favourite charity, or give to someone in need. You'll be glad you did.

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