These 5 Scientifically-Proven Practices Will Instantly Boost Your Mood
So, you want to know how to boost your mood – but you want scientifically supported results?
We’ve got you covered.
No matter your self-care routine, no one feels great all the time. It’s a simple fact of human nature: In life, there are highs and lows. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit back and let the lows take over when they inevitably roll in.
And these funks can feel especially disheartening when you’ve been working hard at self-care and connecting spiritually with the world around you. It might even feel like you’re not making as much progress as you thought – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, spiritual growth is a process that cannot take place without some pain. After all, enlightenment requires us to work through all of those past traumas, pain, and upsets that we may have been carrying around for years.
When these funky lows appear, it can also feel like you’ve lost yourself a little bit – like you’re just not quite feeling as you as you tend to be.
If you’ve been feeling a little less-than-yourself lately, then this article is for you. We’ve researched for you and hand-selected five scientifically proven methods to boost your mood in a matter of minutes!
5 Scientifically-Proven Practices to Boost Your Mood Instantly
1. Connect With Mother Nature
We love our fast-paced, technologically-inclined world: Who doesn’t love the funny and flattering new filters each app comes up with each week?
Yet, when we’re feeling disconnected and down-in-the-dumps, it’s all too easy to reach for the phone and get lost in our compact, hand-held world. But you probably won’t be too surprised to learn that spending time outdoors is a lot better for your mental health – especially when you’re feeling blue.
One study performed in 2015 compared the brain activity of two groups of people: One group who walked 30 minutes outdoors and another who walked for the same amount of time inside.
Those who meandered outside had less activity in their prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain associated with overactivity during depression and stress. Meaning? They weren’t as stressed as those who stayed indoors.
2. Relax Those Shoulders
I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed out, my shoulders head for the sky. One indicator that you’re feeling stressed is that your shoulders are flexed and tense, closer to your ears than their natural resting height, and that’s because stress can naturally build up in certain areas of the body.
So, the next time you feel your blood pressure start to rise, take note of your shoulders: How do they feel? Where are they currently resting?
Take a deep breath in, and as you’re exhaling, allow your shoulder to simply sink down, letting any stress melt away.
Read this next: Combat Neck & Shoulder Pain with These 7 Yoga Poses
3. Belt it Out & Shake it Off
Have you ever noticed how much better a song can make you feel when you’re feeling down? That’s because music helps us in many ways! Firstly, music raises our vibrations, literally lifting our energy up.
Music also encourages you to move your body through dancing, which on its own has many benefits, including improving the condition of your heart and lungs, building muscle, improving overall health, and even boosting your confidence!
Further, the lyrics of a particular song can offer comfort and support when we’re feeling sad or alone. You could even find a playlist of great mood-boosting songs on your favorite music streaming service.
Make sure you save it for the next time you’re feeling down!
Read next: How to Use Lo-Fi Music for Better Concentration
4. Watch a Comedy
You’ve probably heard this phrase before: “Laughter is the best medicine.” If that sounds cliché to you, try to remember that clichés usually stem from truth.
In fact, laughter releases dopamine, that happy chemical in our brain that can leave us feeling addicted to nearly anything from chocolate to shopping. If it’s that easy to get a hit of feel-good dopamine, why not try an addiction to comedy instead?
The next time you’re in a funk, try to jolt yourself out with something that you know will make you laugh. From your favorite stand-up comedy album on Spotify to the silliest slapstick movie you can think of, laughter is proven to boost your mood.
5. Snuggle Your Furry Friends
Our pets do so much for us already, but did you know they can actually help us feel better when we’re feeling blue? A study performed by Washington State University showed that petting a dog or cat for only 20 minutes can reduce the amount of cortisol – the stress hormone – circulating throughout the body.
If you have a pet and you find yourself in a low mood, try taking the time to cuddle with them and pet them for at least 20 minutes. You’ll both leave your cuddle puddle feeling happier and more connected.
And if you don’t have a pet of your own, this is a fabulous reason to volunteer at your local animal shelter. You can do something great for your community while lowering stress and meeting plenty of friendly new furry faces.
Boost Your Mood, Boost Your Energy!
You don’t have to feel good all the time, and you shouldn’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. But just because you feel bad doesn’t mean you have to linger in that feeling. These five techniques have been shown by science to be able to boost your mood and help you feel lighter and less stressed.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling disconnected or downright blue, try one or all of these five tricks to boost your mood and leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, a bit more joyful.
Related article: 5 Apps to Boost Your Positivity