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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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