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6 Hacks For An Instant Mood Boost

6 Hacks For An Instant Mood Boost

Do you ever find yourself feeling a bit low on energy or in a grumpy mood for no apparent reason? The good news is that you can choose to boost your mood whenever you wish, as long as you know how!

Follow the six steps below and get ready to feel better soon. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at work or home, these tips can be implemented almost anywhere.

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Make Use Of The Facial Feedback Hypothesis

When you’re happy, you smile. No surprise, right? Well, did you know that research suggests that the opposite is also true? When you adjust your body language and ‘act happy,’ then your mood will improve! Make a conscious effort to smile. Relax the other muscles in your face. Sit up straight. Talk in a light tone of voice. In other words, make-believe that you are in a positive frame of mind. These cues will signal to your brain that you are in a relaxed, happy state – and your mood should lift.

Do Something Nice For Someone Else

Have you ever noticed that doing a good deed leaves you with a warm glow inside? The next time you feel in need of a boost, take a few minutes to do something nice for someone else. It doesn’t have to be a grand or elaborate gesture – getting some fancy coffee for the communal break room or offering to carry in your neighbour’s shopping would do the trick! If you are alone, log on to The Hunger Site to give someone else free food at no cost to you.

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Exercise – Or At Least, Move Around

Exercise is a shortcut to a shot of endorphins – those feel-good chemicals that are released when we move. You don’t even have to leave the building to feel the benefits. Stand up and run in place for three minutes, and you should start to feel at least a little better. If possible, take a twenty-minute walk outside somewhere green. A nice park on a sunny day is ideal.

Drink A Large Glass Of Water

Did you know that even slight dehydration can impair performance and make you more prone to feeling anxious and low? Offset this problem by drinking two litres of water or more per day. Drink as soon as you feel thirsty, and carry a water bottle around with you so you remember to keep your levels topped up. Avoid or cut down on tea and coffee, as the caffeine they contain has dehydrating effects. If you can’t stand the taste of plain water, consider adding sugar-free flavourings or natural enhancers such as slices of lemon or lime. If you are exercising on a regular basis, drink extra water to maintain appropriate hydration levels.

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Cross An Item Off Your To-Do List

Nothing makes you feel quite so in control as a good to-do list. Feeling as though you have too much to do and not enough time in which to do it is a common cause of apathy, feelings of being overwhelmed, and even the sensation that you are ‘burning out.’ The next time everything seems a bit bleak and you feel ‘bleh,’ commit to crossing off at least one item. The sense of satisfaction can improve your mood.

Write Out Your Feelings

Did you know that writing out your feelings – known as ‘expressive writing’ – can help improve physical and mental health? The next time you are stuck in a negative mood state, grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down exactly what you are feeling. Try to be as specific as possible. For example, if you are feeling frustrated, is it due to the current challenge you are facing at work, or is it an ongoing issue with your partner or teenage child? Sometimes, writing about a situation helps you gain clarity.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash/Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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