Feeling a bit down? We have 10 quick fixes to lift your spirits.
Food & Drink
Chocolate, Ice Cream and cake are definitely popular cheer me up foods in our office that we turn to in times of stress, Perhaps the old saying “a little of what you fancy does you good” could be true after all? Did you know eating something healthy can also make you feel pleased with yourself and boost your mood.
Acts of Kindness
Doing something to make someone else feel good has exactly the same effect on you. Whether you treat a friend to a coffee, buy them flowers, write a letter, help someone out or volunteer. It doesn’t matter whether the gesture is large or small, the action of thinking about doing something nice, planning it and watching the persons reaction, all bring pleasure. Even the smallest gesture will make you feel good about yourself as well as making the world a happier place.
Listening to a favourite song is a definite mood lifter, even more so if you dance and sing along. Music can make the brain produce euphoric reward responses and can also prevent us from thinking about our troubles for a while Focusing on the melody or lyrics can stop us over-thinking events, particularly if we are stewing over something.
Phone, email, text or visit someone. If you don’t have anyone to connect with investigate how you could grow your friendship circle. Look online, join a group or club, ask a neighbour round for a coffee or get in touch with one of the growing number of friendship clubs. Your library or council will have details if you can’t look online.
It’s probably the last thing you feel like doing if you are down, but a little exercise releases endorphins that relax us and make us feel good. Dance, walk, or go to an exercise class. Five minutes of light exercise is enough to alter your mood. Ten minutes a day and you’re being healthy too, so you have another reason to be pleased with yourself.
It does sound unlikely but our brains are happy if we have completed tasks. Active tasks like housework also provide the benefits of exercise too. Putting things off can prey on our minds as well so, the more we work through our tasks and chores, the less we have to worry about.
Researchers have noted that even a fake smile can make us happier even if we feel a little odd doing it. One theory is that it improves blood flow to the brain.
Having a routine or a planned event or two, helps us cope if we feel like we have nothing to look forward to. Make an effort to plan a trip, meet a friend, shop or to join a new group. If budget allows, planning holidays or meet-ups with friends is helpful but dont let a lack of funds hold you back, as activities can be as simple as meeting a friend or cooking your favourite meal.
Learning is satisfying and raises self-esteem. There are thousands of free online courses you could take from an hour to a year long. Evening Classes are fantastic as you’ll meet similar minded people and have a new interest. If you don’t know where to start, search online or visit your local library.
Go for a walk, do a bit of gardening, go shopping. Sometimes just a change of scene can help if life is getting us down.