3 simple (and free!) actions to boost your mood
Have you ever been stuck in a grouchy funk, unsure of how to break free from it’s crabby grip? Take heart that emotions are transient — moods of all colours and flavours will come and go, and come and go again. But if an icky mindset hangs around for longer than you’d like, try the following three mood-boosters. They’re super-easy to do and won’t cost you a cent!
1. Lift your heart, lift your spirits
Simply lifting your heart and stretching the entire front surface of the body wakes up the nervous system, refreshing the senses and elevating emotions. When we reach skyward, the muscles between the ribs get a welcome stretch, granting the lungs a little more space to expand with breath. This extra wiggle-room enables fresh prana (life-force) to infuse body, mind and spirit with energy and positivity.
Oftentimes posture reflects our state of mind, and vice-versa. Raising the arms can unravel slouchy posture and literally straighten out a bad mood.
To prepare for (mood) lift off:
- Stand comfortably, with the feet hip-width apart.
- Raise and stretch both arms up and overhead, keeping the arms shoulder-distance apart.
- Bend the head, arms and upper torso backwards, as comfortable.
- Coordinate your breathing with the movement by inhaling as you raise the arms, and exhaling back to your starting position.
- Do 2-3 rounds, and repeat throughout the day as needed.
2. For positive, seek negative
Have you ever noticed how good life feels after a walk by the beach, an ocean swim or a picnic by a waterfall? Sure, it could be the company you’re in or the inspirational view, but science is also responsible for boosting your mood, particularly out in nature.
The atmosphere we breathe is full of electrically charged particles called ions. Some ions carry a positive charge, others negative. Perhaps a little deceptively, the negative ions are the ones that have an affirmative effect on mood and the positive ions can have us feeling all grumpy, dull and stagnant.
Due to their chemical make-up, negative ions are especially abundant around fresh, flowing water sources such rivers, oceans and waterfalls. High concentrations of negative ions are essential for high energy and a feel-good vibe.
Indoor environments like air-conditioned offices remove negative ions from the atmosphere and flood it with positive ions. (Perhaps this explains the office “blahs”…)
Ready to chase the ions?
Spend some time by moving water. Take a walk on the beach, hike to a waterfall or dance in the next rain shower! If you can’t get out, you will also get a healthy dose of negative ions from your shower at Home.
The simple act of drawing the corners of the mouth up into a smile can actually alter your stress response! Studies indicate that smiling — even when we’re not feeling particularly happy — can slow the heart rate and decrease perceived levels of stress. Smiling sends an “ahhhhhhhh” message to the brain that everything is OK and that it’s safe to relax. Plus, smiles are infectious!
So turn that frown upside down, friend! Try smiling at yourself in the mirror, smile at strangers, smile when you don’t really feel like it … and see what happens!
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