Top Tips to Boost your Mood - part 1
In the United Kingdom we are ever so slowly shifting out of our lockdown state but we are still feeling it's effects and will continue to do so for quite sometime. Coupled with extreme riots, protests and injustice; for a lot of people, especially sensitive, empathetic people, this can really take a toll on our emotional and mental health.
How can we shift our mindsets through these tough times and weather the storm in a more helpful and optimistic way?
As with everything there is no one-size fits all answer to this question. However, there are definitely plenty of things that we can try and do to help ourselves feel more stable and upbeat.
To get you started I have created this list of 20 powerful tips to lift your mood:
1. Start your day with gratitude. Be grateful for everything in your life that you currently have. The benefits of a Gratitude Practice seep in most when you do it consistently, when you write out the explanations why you are grateful for those particular things (write out 3 a day) and when you find different things to be grateful for everyday. I like to do this every morning and evening. I find it is a really nice way to start and finish the day.
If writing it down isn't your thing then perhaps attach gratitude to an activity you already do e.g. every-time you brush your teeth think of all the things you're grateful for. Or create a gratitude totem e.g. a bracelet, where every-time you see it you have to say 3 things that you're grateful for. Another top tip on gratitude is when you're thinking of all the things you don't have switch your mindset to repeat the mantra by Gabrielle Bernstein, 'Gratitude is my only attitude' and shift your mindset into attracting more of what you want, not more of what you lack.
2. Journal - Writing out your thoughts and letting it all pour out can be a really good way to transform your energy. The process of writing everything out can be a huge release emotionally and can free up a lot of space in your mind from what's troubling you.
3. Every morning write out what you are looking forward to today and every evening write out what you have to look forward to tomorrow. Let the feeling of excitement enter your heart and take away some of the dread that you may be feeling. Excitement and anticipation are somethings that we can actively create and can really add a spark and vibrancy to your life.
4. Let yourself visualise and daydream about fun things and goals that you’d like to do and see - Some of our plans may have been, 'cancelled' but by no means does that mean that they will never happen. Don't give up on your dreams. Let yourself enjoy the thought of them coming to reality and visualise things that you want in your life.
This can be a super powerful way to not only feel better but to also attract what you want to come into your life. It's also a really nice way, when you're wrapped up in bed at the beginning or end of the day to have a cosy moment.
5. Plan in treats and things to get excited about - We need to shift our feelings of dread and build in fun and excitement back in regularly. Plan out fun things to do every week that you can do. It can be even the smallest thing! Perhaps, your favourite coffee brand has opened and you can now get a coffee to go, plan a day to go and get it. Or you can plan to do a special movie themed night at home, where you go to town, light candles, create themed food, make fake movie cinema tickets and dress up the room to look more like a cinema. Go big or small on this one but make sure to actively plan these activities so you can always have something to look forward to. I learnt this technique from Brendon Burchard who has an amazing video on this, 'from dread to excitement'
6. Get dressed, make yourself look together - Taking care of our appearance is an act of self pride. When you get dressed and look your best you undoubtedly feel better. When you look together it can really help make you feel together. It doesn't mean that you have to spend forever getting ready or dress to the nines but just taking the time each day to do some skincare, do your hair and finding something comfortable but not slouchy can really do wonders. It is important to make a difference between comfortable and slouchy. By slouchy I mean anything that makes you feel like you're being lazy. Ideally the clothes you put on should make you feel good.
7. Have a pamper day - Taking step 5 a bit further treat yourself to a day where you really pamper yourself. If you have the funds, treat yourself to a face or hair or even foot mask. Have a long hot bath and pour in salts (magnesium flakes are particularly good to add for extra health benefits) and oils. And if you don't have the funds try doing your hair in a new way (there are plenty of free tutorials on this) Spending some extra time making yourself look better can be an excellent mood booster and help you to relax more.
8. Try to walk everyday and get into nature for at least 15 minutes (ideally in the morning 11am-1pm (different times are more effective depending on where you live and what time it is). Nature has so many benefits, from soothing you to helping you fight diseases (because of breathing in phytoncides—airborne chemicals produced by plants). Taking time to really breathe in the smell of flowers and nature can be a natural aromatherapy and can really help you feel more relaxed and refreshed. Even getting outside on a cloudy day can help you get more vitamin D. Sunlight is quantified in units called Lux. Full sunlight gives us about 30,000 lux, on cloudy days it's about 10,000 lux whereas even in a brightly lit room we're unlikely to get more than 500. So to really give our bodies what we need and help our mood we must ensure that we get outside into natural light. What's more is that sunlight exposure is known to help improve our natural circadian rhythms which will help us sleep more and helps boost our serotonin levels which helps bring about feelings of happiness. All these things will help brighten your mood
9. Move - Try to make sure that you get some form of exercise in everyday. Be it a walk, run, yoga, surfing etc. Pick something that you enjoy doing and 'run' with that (pun intended). Exercise is a known happiness inducer, helping to promote serotonin production and aid with so many things. It is a sure-fire way to boost our overall mood as not only will we feel the chemical benefits but as we get more in shape we'll feel more pride in ourselves. A really useful sustainable way to get exercise is to make sure to almost always do some form of movement before eating (exercise snacks) this enables me to feel in a way that I've really earned my food and I'm ready to eat. Another fun way is to turn some dance music on in your kitchen whilst you're waiting for your food and just jive to that which can count as some nice exercise snacks. We are not sedentary beings no matter how much our lives are becoming more office and digital based we aren't meant to be sitting all day.
10. Meditate - The benefits of meditation are so numerous. Ultimately though it can really help calm our minds and help us release negative emotions. I've been getting into it more recently and can honestly say it's incredibly powerful. Even 1 minute can make a world of difference to how at peace I feel. One meditation I've been using a lot recently is a Kundalini meditation for finding peace in your pulse and is literally called, 'Learning to meditate'. I found it in the book called, 'Miracles Now' by Gabrielle Bernstein. It is a super incredibly calming meditation.
Peace is in your pulse meditation:
To begin, sit in a comfortable cross legged position with your back and neck straight, chin slightly down. Lightly close your eyes and focus on the space between your eyebrows (third-eye point). Place the four fingers of your right hand on your left wrist and feel your pulse. Repeat the mantra Sat Nam (truth identified) in time with your pulse. Practice for 11minutes (the magic number for alignment) or you can do it even for 1 minute if running short on time.
This helps develop calmness and intuition and I find it a really magnificent mood booster.
I hope these tips help you and that you find happiness and peace within even through the dark times.
Naomi Leila Xx
p.s. Watch out for Part 2 next week