Updated: Aug 5, 2018
Imagine being able to use one thing to boost your mood and get results.
Or even better:
What if there were 19 of these boosters...
...and you use them all, what would happen to your mood.
We have gathered together 19 different boosts that you can use right away to boost your low mood at early signs of depression.
1. Get Outside
Studies have shown that the brain makes more feel-good hormones boosting serotonin on sunny days more than they do on cloudy days. If you live in a city try and get out into some green space - the longer you can be outdoors the better.
2. Move More
Sitting still and being sedentary are linked to depression - Chinese research has that sedentary people are 25% more likely to feel symptoms of depressions. Even in the workplace get up from your desk, walk up the stairs, take a break at lunch and move about.
We are social animals - those who spend 6-8 hours a day socialising are 12x happier than those that don't. Even introverts are happier with social interaction. Go out of your way to talk to your friends or even a complete stranger.
4. Ditch Social Media
Social media does have its benefits, but it also contributes to negative feelings and action to FOMO (fear of missing out). The average person checks their social media every 12 minutes - there is a real chance of missing out on the moment and interactions with the world. Turn off your phone or notifications, move it to another room or even just leave it at home.
5. Ditch What Drains You
Sometimes in life, we have things that we are part of but they drain us mentally and physically. Taking time away from them can revitalise our energy and moods for them. These can include clubs, activities and people...there is no harm in taking a break.
Thinking about something positive that made you smile can actually boost your feelings of happiness. Fake smiles - like a mask don't work. You actually have to recall those positive and happy past memories. Plus smiles breed smiles if people are around you are happy you will feed off this happiness.
Laughing releases endorphins - try laughing and feeling crap at the same time...it hard. Like smiling it is infectious and spreads. Try watching something funny or talking to a friend that makes you laugh - also creating more fun in your life helps.
8. RAK - Random Act of Kindness
Research has shown that random acts of kindness can improve your mood when depressed, simple acts like donating food to the food bank, letting someone in front of you in or buying a coffee for someone. These acts can counteract the 'why me?' thoughts creating positive feelings within breaking the cycle.
9. Listen To Music
Music can do so much - helps you to plug back into the world, helps you to flip a switch to refocus or to help you feel the beat again. The body and mind are connected and music will help also to release endorphins, combined with movement will boost moods.
10. Walk Tall
A study found that by actively trying to walk tall with your head held high and shoulders back, you’re more likely to experience good moods. If you walk with your shoulders slouched, you’re more likely to focus on negatives rather than positives.
11. Gratitude Diary
Writing down 3-10 things each day you are grateful for that day helps you focus on the positives of the day rather than the negative boosting mood. Here is a list of prompt questions you could use for your gratitude diary.
12. Live In The Moment
The past is behind you, the future is yet to come...so why worry about them? Focus upon now, the present and take pleasure in the small things as much as the big. When was the last time you actually tasted the food and not just ate, or smelt a flower, or took time out to take in a view? Live now, not in the past or future.
13. Accept Your Crappy Mood
Like living in the present accepting that you are in a crappy mood can help you come out of it quicker. Trying to put a mask on and acknowledging your feelings will make them last longer and go deeper.
14. Phone a Friend
Reaching out, talking and being honest about your low mood will help to boost you out of it quicker. Friends that are really there and supportive can make the difference. Join the Rotundus Facebook Group with other guys who totally understand and are supportive and non-judgemental.
15. Cut Out Some Tasks
Having a 'to-do list' as long as your arm can be daunting and somewhat demoralising if you don't do them all. Organising them into different categories will help - must do, should do, could do and won't do. Cut out the ones you don't need to do - remember not to beat yourself up if they don't get completed.
16. Eat Better
Increasing intake of low mood foods like walnuts, kiwi, bananas, pineapple and tomatoes which are naturally high in serotonin can be a natural mood boost. Other foods like canned fish, flaxseeds, lentils, cashew nuts, chickpeas and dark chocolate can also boost moods.
17. Look Up To Right
Like walking tall holding your head up and also to the right helps to release endorphins - this could be the reason for so many selfies. This action is believed to manipulate serotonin release from the liver which helps aid recovery.
18. Clear Clutter
Physically and metaphorically declutter your life - any items, clothes, activities or behaviours that are getting in your way let them go, sell them, donate them or through them out...get rid! A clear space, a clear mind, an easy time.
This one may not seem like it is going to be nice but cold showers can really improve your mood. Start off on a medium temperature to wash and then lower the temperature down; for the first 15-20, it will be a shock. Use music or countdown to distract you - post-shower you will feel more invigorated.
I hope this post has given you some great ideas how to boost your mood when you are low.
But you're probably saying to yourself
"This is GREAT information, what is the easies way to put them into practice?"
All of them...but you will need to work at them often and regularly.
Now it's your turn
We would love to hear from you:
Which techniques from this post are you most likely to try?
Let us know with a quick comment.