When you're in a low mood, you usually experience bouts of sadness or frustration that tend to pass after a few days or weeks. You might be tempted to ignore it outright and doggedly power through when this happens. However, doing so can be exhausting. Instead, you can nurture your emotional health and effectively boost your mood.
As our article Take Back Your Happiness notes, your positive emotional well-being is what allows you to enjoy the various aspects of your life, including your relationships and your career. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day, taking action toward what disseminates your lowness and brings you joy is definitely worth doing.
Here are five small things you can do every day to boost your mood.
Improve how you work
Work is often a great source of stress, especially if your job requires you to sit down for long periods. This can cause shoulder aches, neck injuries, and general discomfort that can contribute to souring your mood. However, you don’t have to resign yourself to that discomfort. Consider investing in ergonomics, which is the practice of deliberately designing your workplace to maximize comfort and bodily safety. The guides on Pain Free Working show that there are various accessories you can use to help improve your work. For example, monitor mounts and desk converters make sure that your laptop is at eye level, reducing neck strain, whereas ergonomic chairs aim to support your spine. By practicing ergonomics, you can stay comfy and be in a better mood while you work.
Request for a flexible work schedule
If you're struggling with mental or physical health, the rigidity of your work schedule might be what's causing your low mood. Managing the symptoms of your sickness requires flexibility that working from the office might not be able to give you. With that in mind, it might be helpful to request a more flexible schedule, such as a hybrid work-set up. The online magazine Inc. observes that 59% of workers report hybrid work arrangements to increase their wellbeing as it allows them more freedom and self-determination in their scheduling. Consider trying this out for potential mental and emotional health benefits.
Spend time with nature
It’s been a long-held truism that going outside can give you more peace of mind. Not only does Healthline confirm this connection—it also puts forward that spending time in nature is more important to well-being than previously thought. It can promote the development of human relationships, spur positive changes in mood, and cultivate the contented feeling that your expectations and needs are being met. Make sure you carve out space in your day to breathe fresh air and spend some time with the trees.
Eat mood-boosting foods
Food supplies us with the nourishment and energy that we need to survive—but did you know you can also eat to increase your happiness? According to Mayo Clinic’s article on mood-boosting foods, eating foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan can boost the production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. You can find tryptophan in protein-rich foods like chicken breasts or lean pork steaks. Taking in the vitamin folate or folic acid from foods like spinach, lentils, and black beans can also stave off serotonin depletion. When you go grocery shopping, spend a few extra minutes to find the foods that give your brain a helping hand in making you happy.
Everyone has those days when they feel like they can’t even manage an upward turn of the lips. If you want to boost your mood, however, one good strategy is smiling anyway. Dr. Jack Kunkel's insights on alternative medicine.
Written by: Nat McGhee