Have you ever had one of those days when everything goes wrong. It may start innocently enough, maybe by spilling coffee on your work clothes or getting a call from an angry client. From that point on it builds until you’re ready to scream. One way to enhance your mood and shift the whole day to a better track is to change your mind. That’s right. So you spilled your coffee, that doesn’t mean you have to stew about it forever. If your boss or a client puts a bummer into your mood with complaints, focus on fixing the problem or getting to the root of things, rather than how unfair they’re treating you. It’s all about state of mind. Looking for the positive in every situation helps.
Blow off steam at the gym.
Exercise is a true stress buster. It burns off the hormones of stress and messages the brain to create hormones that make you feel good, like endorphins. When you workout, focus on how much better you’re feeling with each pull-up or set. By the end of the workout you’ll find you may even have a smile on your face. If you can’t make it to the gym, go out for a quick ten minute brisk walk. In fact, for those horrible days, skip lunch with co-workers and walk or walk to the restaurant and meet them there. No time for a walk? Run up and down the stairs at work a few times to clear your brain.
Get adequate sleep.
If you’re not sleeping at night, you probably won’t have the emotional stamina to make it through a tough day without letting the stress get to you. People with insomnia often show signs of depression. Switch rooms, cut out coffee after three in the afternoon (but a cup or two in the morning helps your mood) or create a schedule for going to bed and getting up in the morning. On the other end of the spectrum, one study actually showed that staying up all night and starting from scratch could boost your mood for up to a month. Scientists believe it was from resetting the inner clock.
What you eat does make a huge difference in your overall mood. One study showed that boosting your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids also boosted your mood and reduced the likelihood of depression. Foods that contain omega-3 are fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, walnuts, black beans, kidney beans and flaxseed. A healthy balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is 4 parts omega-6 to one part omega-3. The average American eats a ratio of approximately 25 to 1, rather than 4 to 1. One prison study showed that changing the ratio to 4 to 1 by changing the prisoner’s diet reduced the violence and fights in the prison.
- Fake it until you can make it. Smile and laugh. You don’t have to be with someone to do it either. Try it. Smile big and laugh out loud. You feel better don’t you.
- Break up the monotony and do something different. Instead of making a face and turning down ideas to do something different, take a shot and try it. Who knows, maybe just breaking out of your rut will change your mood.
- Cut out sugar from your diet. High sugar intake gives you a roller coaster of highs and lows that just get worse as you succumb to them. Cut out sugary treats and replace them with healthier snacks.
- Make sure you have adequate B vitamins in your diet. While all vitamins are important, B vitamins, folate in particular, tend to improve your mood if you initially have a shortage. Another supplement, chromium picolinate was also found to stave off depression.