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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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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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