Nobody likes to feel down and depressed. Unfortunately, too many of us wake up all the time feeling low. If you struggle to pick yourself up on difficult days, there may be simple self-help tricks you can use to boost your mood. Try these natural pick-me-ups to help you feel like your normal, happy self again.
- Inhale aromatherapy oils. You’d be amazed by what a difference a natural, healing scent can make to your mind. There are particular aromatherapy oils that have an impact on your mental health. Lemon, rosemary, jasmine, and lavender are all great places to start. Look for a mood-boosting scent combo from a natural health retailer like Living Vitality Australia and start sniffing a happy scent when you feel low.
- Get some sun. Even if you don’t suffer from seasonal affective disorder, a lack of sunlight can have an impact on the way you feel. Sunlight can be particularly effective for people who suffer from clinical depression. Take the time to sit outside in a sunny spot for at least a few minutes. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax. If sun is hard to come by, look into light therapy.
- Make a gratitude list. It’s easy to fall into negative thinking when you’re not feeling so cheerful. Try to shift your thinking into a more positive direction by making a gratitude list. Write down at least ten things that you’re happy to have in your life, even if it’s only basic things to begin with. You should find that your mind catches up and begins to see the lighter side of life.
- Go for a run. Or a swim, or a walk, or do any kind of aerobic activity. Exercise has profound mood-boosting effects – it releases endorphins that have a direct impact on your mind. Push yourself to begin a basic exercise routine and try to stick with it regardless of your emotional state. It’ll also help you to feel like you’ve accomplished something, which will improve your overall sense of self-confidence.
- Spend time in meditation. Mindfulness meditation is all the rage right now thanks to its clinically proven effects on mental health. Use an app or guided CD to practice mindfulness. This may involve zoning in on your breathing for a few minutes, eating something with focused intention, or scanning your body for sensations and discomfort. It can take time to get used to, but it may lead to real changes in your emotional state.
- Strengthen your relationships. Feeling low can lead to isolation and loneliness. Reach out to friends or loved ones and have a conversation. You may find that you feel re-connected, or at least experience some temporary distraction. Over the long-term, maintaining strong relationships with friends and family will help keep you on an even keel.
- Do something good for someone else. While self-care is important when you’re feeling down, helping someone outside of yourself can also make a big difference. Studies are shown that volunteering releases oxytocin in your body that gives your mood a lift, while bringing down your cortisol levels. Even a small good deed will help you to shift your focus; and you just might make someone else’s day while you’re at it.