9 Ways to Naturally Lift Your Mood
We will start by emphasising that depression is a serious condition that should not be ignored. Before trying any of the below remedies, see your GP to get the appropriate treatment. Lifestyle changes and the natural remedies that we will discuss below are great for giving you a boost, but it is not something that should be ignored.
However; it is natural for us all to need a little lift every now and then, but if you find yourself moody, angry, excessively tired, or unhappy for a long period of time, please make the time to discuss with your doctor how you are feeling. Even if you do not feel like you are suffering from depression, they can rule out any medical or nutritional causes, before deciding on the most appropriate course of treatment.
If you need a little boost, here are some natural mood lifters that you can try at home.
Spend at least one hour every week with your best friend
Studies have shown that spending time with a close friend can make you feel happier, and one particular study showed that regular social contact with your best friend can actually work as effectively as medication and psychotherapy, used to treat depression.
The theory behind this is that that socialising with your close friends can help to boost self-confidence and encourage you to make positive changes that can help you to overcome depression.
Drink one or two cups of either tea or coffee every morning
It has been suggested that regular caffeine intake can decrease the risk of depression by more than fifty percent.
Do remember though, we are talking about a modest intake, as too much caffeine can actually have a negative effect on our health. On or two cups in the morning will help to keep your risk of depression lower, and will make you feel better.
Make sure you are eating the right food
What you are putting into your body can have a direct impact on how you feel. When you go shopping, try and pick foods which are naturally high in serotonin, which is also known as the happy hormone. Walnuts, kiwi fruits, bananas, sour cherries, pineapple, tomatoes and plums are all great options.
You should also eat plenty of foods that are high in tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that is converted into serotonin by your body. It is typically high in proteins, such as turkey, fish, chicken, cottage cheese, nuts, cheese, eggs and beans.
Make sure you are getting enough omega-3
Studies have suggested that people who consumed a diet that was rich in omega-3 fatty acids, were actually less likely to suffer from depression compared to those whose diets were very low in this fat.
One study focused on pregnant women and this important fatty acid and found that those who did not eat fish during pregnancy, had twice the rate of depression, as women who ate 10 ounces of fish every day.
Although fish is one of the best sources of omega-3, there are other ways in which you can up your intake. Flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, kidney beans, and black beans are all excellent sources as well.
Hang your head over the bed when you first wake up
This might sound a little odd, but lying on your back with your head hanging over the edge first thing can work wonders.
Hold a 5 or 10-pound dumbbell with both hands, and then extend it behind your head, letting your arms hang to the floor, before taking 10 deep breaths. Bring the weight back up and place it beside you, before taking another 10 deep breaths, and repeat three times.
The reason behind this is because mild depression can be linked to those who do not fully respirate, like it, those who shallow breath. Doing the above will open and stretch your rib cage and chest, which will make it easier to take a full, deep breath.
Surround yourself with smiles
Although it might be the last thing that you want to do, research has suggested that the physiology of smiling will actually make you feel happy. So smiling, even if you don’t feel like it will lift your spirit.
The same can be said for laughing. Laughing will help to stimulate serotonin, so if you are feeling sad or down, it might be a cliché, but watching a funny movie, or a stand-up routine by your favourite comedian can really work wonders.
Bang on something
This is a great one for if you are clinging onto any anger or aggression, as it has been suggested that banging on something can actually make you both more energetic, and less depressed.
One study should that those who took a drumming class felt more energetic and less depressed six weeks after the class than before they started it. This is believed to be because the act of drumming will help to relax your body, as well as build camaraderie with others in the class, which will both help to beat depression.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Things are bound to go wrong at some point, but one of the most important things to remember is to resist the urge to completely mentally beat yourself up about it. Do not forget that you are only human, and you are not perfect.
When you do find yourself mentally berating yourself, instead, replace these thoughts with a positive phrase. This can be difficult to do, but you will feel much better for doing so.
Aside from the obvious physical health benefits, exercise could actually have far more benefits for our mental health than we once thought. The main reason for this is because once again, it can increase the production and the release of serotonin.
You should find a form of exercise that you enjoy though, as you will far more likely to want to do this in some form every day. Aerobic exercise is the most effective way to boost your levels of serotonin; however, calming exercises such as yoga and Pilates still definitely have benefits.