Last week I shared my first top 10 tips for how to boost your mood (in part 1) and hopefully there was something there that could help you. But for anyone looking to dive deeper on this topic or wants to learn more alternative ways to boost their mood this blog is for you.
Tips 11 -20:
11. Get creative - Let your emotions out through creative pursuits, compose, write, paint, dance, bake etc. You'll not only feel freer but you'll also feel, at the end, a sense of satisfaction and pride out of creating something beautiful from the darkness which will help your mood.
12. Limit your news intake - Due to the internet we can now get news updates 24/7 if we wish to. For some people, I understand perhaps this may be essential but for most of us I believe that it is not. Most news that is being broadcasted is negative. In fact, Media studies show that bad news far out weighs good news by as much as seventeen negative news reports for every one good news report. This is shocking! And not only that but when we think of how we are naturally more negatively biased (that is roughly, without going into depth - that we need 3 positives to outweigh one negative) it is no wonder that we have a hard time feeling positive and upbeat. If we thereby decrease our intake of news then we will be seeing a more normal perspective of the world, where it is not so skewed completely by the negative stories that the media is wishing to write about. It isn't necessary to have constant updates. As the good old fashioned saying goes, 'Bad news can wait'. I find that even only reading the newspaper once a week I am pretty updated on what is happening around the world as the newspaper goes into depth about all the goings on of the previous week and through talking to friends and family I hear of any major news stories or updates that I may need to be aware about. For me this is the perfect balance. That may not be the right balance for you but that's ok. Just try limiting your intake to what feels best for you. Ideally limit your intake to the point where it doesn't overwhelm you or make you think there is only bad news in the world.
13. Limit technology time - Technology can either be a really great helping hand or a real hinderance to our lives. To ensure that it is the former we need to make sure that we are using it healthily. If we are joint at the hips to our devices, falling asleep with our phones still clutched in our hands, waking up and immediately checking our phones, always answering every text immediately we can be sure that our moods will be affected. One of the main reasons for this is that essentially we are putting other people's needs above our own 24/7 which can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction. Also if we are constantly checking our social media we are more likely to succumb to the comparison trap game in our heads. Also the blue light on our phones can affect our sleep drastically. All of which can make us feel pretty rubbish. A few ways to make sure we only get the positive affects from technology is to turn off your devices at least an hour before bed, keep them out of your room, don't go on them for the first hour of the day and install an app like, 'YourHour' to try and ensure that you use your time on your devices wisely.
14. Tidy your space - When we clear physical space in our lives it really helps us clear mental space as well. It is a really surefire way to help lift your mood. I personally went through the Kon-Mari method and have seen it really improve my life in so many ways. If you're curious to read more about my experience I wrote about it in my blog: 'Getting clear and practical' Needless to say I would highly recommend if you are feeling down and you have got excess clutter in your room to try and find a way to tidy it up and reduce it.
15. Eat better - Our guts are our second brains. It is estimated that 90 percent of the body's serotonin (happy hormone) is made in the digestive tract. Which simply put shows that what we eat in fact affects how we feel. If we want to feel better we need to try and increase the production of our serotonin. This means we need to try to have better diets and eat well. A few quick tips on how to eat better is to try and avoid processed foods; only eat products which have a maximum of 5 ingredients on the back, limit your sugar intake and unhealthy carbohydrates (there is a difference between good carbs and bad and good sugar and bad sugar) and try to increase your intake of vegetables - use Dr Rangan Chatterjee's rainbow chart everyday (pdf attached at the end of this post), stick it on your fridge and try to make sure you are ticking off at least 5 categories everyday. This is a very vast topic but essential to our health and mood. Definitely worth taking on some of this advice or researching more into how to eat healthily. Find what you enjoy and what works for you to be healthy.
16. Drink more water and make sure to drink caffeine in a healthy way - If you haven't heard by now water is good for you. It affects so many things in our lives, to how we feel, look, behave and how fast we can think. It is known to for so many healthy benefits and we should be trying to drink 2 litres a day. Some easy tips to achieve this is to install a water tracker app on your phone to remind you to drink, infuse your water with lemons or limes or any flavour you like to make it more appealing, buy a water-bottle or cup that's ideally at least 500ml so you don't need to refill too many times and keep it by your bedside table so you are reminded to drink when you first get up. Another neat trick is to fill a 2 litre water bottle the night before, put it in your fridge and then pour from there throughout the day and make sure you finish that bottle. Whereas water is the great hydrator caffeine is the opposite. Caffeine can be healthy if we consume it in a healthy way otherwise it can due a lot of damage to you. It can really affect our sleep negatively and make us feel more stressed. To avoid it's negative affects try to avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before you sleep and limit your intake. Make sure that you watch out for caffeine in not just your coffee but in chocolate, tea and fizzy beverages too. Drinking in a healthy way can really ensure that our mood is more balanced.
17. Sleep better - Sleep is essential to a good mood. Without it we literally can not live. Recently I have been reading this incredible book called, ‘Sleep Smarter' by Shawn Stevenson. He explains 21 powerful tips on why we need sleep and how we can sleep well. If you are feeling really down and/or constantly tired this is a must read. There are so many things that can affect our sleep that we may be unaware of and Shawn Stevenson really goes into depth about what we can do to ensure that we really are getting the sleep we need. One main point to get you started that has really helped me is to try and get 7 and a half - 9 hours of sleep a night. This is because we sleep in 90mins cycles. Therefore, it's best for us to have either 6,7 and a half or 9 hours sleep so we don't interrupt our cycle and we can also wake up easier. One other key tip is to try and make sure you go to bed at roughly somewhere between 9pm-11pm as between 10pm and 2am (season and area makes it differ somewhat) we actually get better sleep and sleep after 2am doesn't have the same impact as it does then. Consistently getting good sleep may not always be possible but if we care about our physical and mental health we should really try to ensure that more often than not we get a good sleep.
18. Realise you are not alone - Reach out to family, friends or helplines. There are always people out there who want to help and if you ask for it you’ll be surprised at how many people are likely to want to help you and how much support you can get if you just ask for it. And for anyone really lucky to be living with people make sure you create good quality cuddle time to increase your oxytocin. Oxytocin is known as the warm, fuzzy hormone that promotes feelings of love, social bonding and well-being and we can promote it in our own bodies through touch. Thus, cuddling and any form of touches are always a good way to help you feel better.
19. Volunteer - Find a way to take positive action. Be the change you wish to seek. Steeping outside yourself and taking the focus off yourself can really lift your mood. And if you really don't have the time to volunteer right now or capability, think of how you can serve more people or the people around you better and act on that. Even small things can make a difference like smiling and asking how someone else is doing and really actively listening can help someone else's mood lift which will in turn help you and make your mood lift.
20. Finally, last but not least, remind yourself that, 'this too will pass' - Life is constantly changing and evolving. Nothing stays the same. We can have a series of falls but eventually they will stop. Things will change and we are the ones who can take the baby steps necessary to create the positive change we wish to see in the world.
I hope that these tips help you and that you find your way to boosting your own mood.
Wishing you a happy head, heart and soul
Naomi Leila Xx
p.s. Please let me know what tip helps you most? Are there any mood boosting tips that I haven't mentioned that you do? If there are please leave me a comment below
p.p.s If you've gotten this far and you like my post please press the heart button, thanking you in advance :)
p.p.p.s Here is the rainbow chart to print out if you want it. Also, I highly recommend his book, 'The 4 pillar plan' it is literally one of my favourite self-help books I've ever read.