Discouraged, apathetic, or disillusioned? Has our political system left you feeling down?
Here are six habits designed to improve your mood:
1. Listen to upbeat music like Mozart.
Music has long been a part of our human culture. Research studies show that there is a direct link between listening to music and enhancing your health and your mood.
In a study of 80 patients undergoing urological surgery “half the patients were randomly assigned to wear headphones that played slow movements from Mozart piano sonatas, while the other half wore headphones that did not play music.
Nurses who didn’t know which patients were hearing music reported that those who heard music required significantly less propofol to maintain deep sedation than those patients wearing silent headphones. The music recipients also had lower blood pressures and heart rates as well as lower blood levels of the stress hormone adrenaline and the inflammation-promoting cytokine interleukin-6.”
( You may be interested in my go-to positive music selection)
2. Increase your intake of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The average American on a Western diet consumes 10x more omega 6 fatty acids than omega-3 . Too much omega 6, found in safflower, cornflower, sesame and peanut oils, leads to heart disease. Healthy omega-3 fatty acids are found in walnuts, flaxseed, and fish, especially salmon. While results won’t be overnight, dietary change can have positive results over time.
3. Interact with strangers
A study from the University of British Columbia found that brief interactions with strangers tended to improve moods.
Why? “That’s because the desire to be liked often prompts people to put their best face forward and act cheerful,” says the study’s lead author, Elizabeth W. Dunn, PhD. Challenge yourself to reach out and connect with someone new.
4. Hang around happy people
If you want to be happy, find people with a sunny disposition and your mood will be transformed.
Researchers found that one person’s happiness can trigger a ripple effect throughout their social network. The closer you live to the person the stronger the influence. Since the company you keep can directly impact your well-being, make sure you surround yourself with optimists.
Many studies show the benefits of exercise on your mental health and brain functions. There is growing evidence that physical exertion like pumping iron has a biological connection to brain health.
A paper published in the Frontiers of Neuroscience shows that strenuous exercise boosts brain blood flow and develops new neurons in the memory region. In addition to improving cognitive reserves, exercise increases the production of dopamine and serotonin, our feel-good neurotransmitters.
6. Take action
Having no control or autonomy in your life can lead to a self-defeating mindset. Take one small action step to push yourself forward. There is often something we can control, even if it’s our response to the situation.
Immediately after the election C. A. Wells founded SuitupTogether.org to mobilize women across the country to shatter the glass ceiling for women. When your action step is focused on a good deed or a volunteer activity, you are more likely to experience greater empathy and appreciation for your own life.
Don’t let your mood control the outcome of your day. Choose to lift your veil of discouragement with some of these steps.