How To Boost Your Mood (Almost) Instantly On A Bad Day
Mood is a term I use in many instances nowadays. For me, it can refer to informing my doctor of my current emotional state. I find that I also scream the term at my phone while scrolling through the wild world of Twitter and come across a funny or uncomfortably-relatable tweet. Often, however, ‘mood’ becomes relevant to me whenever I’m obsessing over completing an order for my business or trying to read the fine print of my many study books at night.
What Is A Mood?
According to I. Amando-Bocarra, ‘mood’ refers to “a group of persisting feelings associated with evaluative and cognitive states which influence all the future evaluations, feelings and actions”. Simply put, a ‘mood’ is the emotional response to something. Think of your mood as the weather of your brain. Unfortunately, for many of us, our brain’s weather is filled with gloomy, grey thunderstorms. This may dampen and distort everything we may try to focus on, whether it is work or simple chores.
But have no fear! Through asking questions and doing my own little research on the wonderful virtual library called the Internet, I have compiled seven ways to turn our minds from a damp, wind-whipped mess, to a balmy, sunny day.
7 Ways To Boost Your Mood
- Music: Have you ever put on some soca, or some dancehall music, and just felt… better? Well, very real, not alternative, facts in the form of studies by Yuna L. Furguson et al have shown that listening to upbeat music can boost your mood. Conversely, a study by T. Eurola et al showed that listening to sad music can help people cope with stressful or difficult situations. Whatever mood it is, whether it is frustration, anger, or sheer sadness, music can help you to deal with it.
- Water: Hydration? Major key. A study by Pross et al concluded that water intake can affect mood. Those with a higher water intake were calmer, more receptive, and had more positive emotions. Those who had a lower water intake seemed more easily upset, and more irritable. Although one may figure that there is more to the crankiness, drinking enough water can just make things a little… sunnier.
- Affirmations: I used to see this all over my Twitter feed and say “…okay, fake deep.”. However, my dear friends, when the Heavens give you the keys, you unlock the door. Simple affirmations such as “I am magnificent”, or to quote Kendrick Lamar’s song: “We gon’ be alright!” can be an oomph to a mood reflecting hopelessness and being lost. Sources of affirmation can be your Daily Bread, the Bible, your favorite book, or just looking at yourself. Even if it means shouting “I am the best!” in your cubicle at 3 pm, affirm, sis (or bro).
- Taking a Walk: A breath of fresh air never hurt anyone. Being in a stuffy space for too long, breathing the same stale air can make you feel like a wasteman (Drake’s voice). Ask leave of your supervisor or teacher, unplug, and go outside. Use that time to reflect and meditate on your blessings, or your trials. You could also just appreciate the fresh air around you.
- Conversation: Many can attest to speaking to a friend when not feeling the best of moods as a balm for a sore soul. Whether it’s with a close friend, a family member, your doctor, a mentor, or even an elaborate talk with yourself, the conversation gives a similar feeling to a first former put down their parachute (read: bag) after their first day of school. It can help you get some worries out. Conversation with another can also help you gain a different perspective on the situation which may have caused you to feel under the weather. Either way, conversation, like Grandma’s chicken soup, is good for the soul.
- Social Media: You’ve been warned that “Twitter is ruining your life.”. Social media, however, can be a means of instantly boost your mood. Whether it provides an outlet, or space for conversation, or bellyaching jokes, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can positively affect your mood. WhatsApp and Snapchat can be sources of silly but insightful information that can make you either feel a little more aware or feel a little happier. (As I type this, I can hear my mother giggling at the many chain messages people send on WhatsApp. Ahh. The magic of social media.)
- Food!: Cue the intro to “Love Drought” by Beyoncé: “You are… the love of my life.” Food is honestly one of the only things that boost my mood through the roof. From chocolate, which contains endorphins, which are ‘happy hormones’, to comfort foods like a Popcorn Chicken combo with Honey Mustard and Pepsi mixed with Ting, food is just… as one popular Twitter user would say…” a it”. Food aids blood flow, making your brain process more clearly. It also facilitates conversation, a breath of fresh air, and a general feeling of contentment. Be careful to eat in moderation, however, as stress eating is never a good solution to a low mood.
As I close this while drinking lots of water and listening to “Happy” by Pharrell, I would just like to give a word of advice. If you constantly feel down, and any of the above options don’t work, it would be best to seek the advice of a doctor or close friend. It is important to keep your mental health in check.
Love and Light,
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