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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

8 Powerful Mood Boosters to Lift Your Mood And Energy

8 Powerful Mood Boosters to Lift Your Mood And Energy

COVID-19 has bought significant disruption in our lives. For many of us, it has been a traumatic time as the feelings of fear and uncertainty seem to be dominating our lives. As a result, our mood and energy levels change so much that we feel like we are on a roller coaster ride every day.

Our anxiety and stress levels are what fuels our mood swings and low energy levels, and if we don’t take action to deal with this, we will find ourselves in a place where our well-being is under threat.

Here are 8 powerful mood booster strategies that you can apply right now to lift your mood and energy levels.

Following these 8 strategies consistently will help build your resilience and boost your mood and energy. Your ability to navigate your way through the disruption and uncertainty of life will come from a place of strength rather than confusion.

1. Exercise and Eat Healthy Food

Getting the blues can happen to anyone and a little diversion can help you feel more like yourself again. Going for a brisk walk, having a game of tennis, or doing 30 mins gym class is a quick easy way to distract yourself from feeling a bit down and boost your mood and energy.

Committing to a regular exercise regime, however, is the best way to sustain and effectively manage your mood and energy levels throughout your life. Along with exercise, eating healthy, balanced meals is key to keeping your energy levels up.

Avoid junk food, sweets, and alcohol at all costs when you are feeling down and low in energy.

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Exercising and eating balanced meals also contribute significantly to good sleeping patterns, which are essential to a healthy and well-balanced life.

2. Meditate

Meditating produces brain changes that promote positive emotions and reduce negative emotions, such as fear and anger. It can lower your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, adrenaline, and cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress.

Committing to regular mediation practices is a great strategy for managing stress and anxiety in your life.

There are many different approaches to mediation, and it may take you a while to find the one approach that works for you. Be prepared to explore and try out a few mediation programs until you find one that resonates with you.

You may want to consider taking up yoga as the first step. Yoga is a great way to introduce you to both mediation and exercise. There are also mediation classes, books CD’s, or apps that can introduce you to mediation practice.

3. Learn How to Relax Through Breathing

When we get anxious and stressed we tend to breathe rapidly and shallowly from our upper lungs. If we do this type of breathing for too long, we can end up hyperventilating – which is scary!

When we are at this stage, our body is in what is called an “Emergency State” and we can experience uncomfortable physical symptoms during a panic attack.

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The good news is that by changing your breathing, you can reverse these symptoms. By shifting your breathing rate and pattern, you can stimulate the body’s parasympathetic response. This is the body’s equally powerful and opposite system to the Emergency Response and is often called the relaxation response or commonly known as the Calming Response.

There are several other breathing techniques that you can use when you are in times of stress or fear.

The Calming Breathe technique is one of the many breathing techniques that can help you when you are low in energy, fearful, confused, or anxious.[1] It can help boost your mood and energy.

This technique takes time to become a natural part of your everyday life. So, be prepared to put in the work because you have more control over your life when you know how to breathe properly!

The Calming Breathe Technique

  1. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs then your upper lungs.
  2. Hold your breath to the count of “three.”
  3. Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.

4. Socialize

When you are low in energy and you feel down, the last thing you want to do is go out and socialize with people. It is okay to do this once in a while but if you get into a pattern of self-isolation, then you are not doing yourself any favor.

Being isolated leads to loneliness and that fuels your feelings of sadness. Spending time with others helps boost our mood. Humans are wired to be social and when we are with others, we are distracted away from thinking about ourselves.

If you are feeling low, make an effort to contact a friend or family member who you like and has positive energy. Get out of the house and arrange to meet them for a coffee or pick up the phone, message them, or video call them. Commit to taking action to contact or socialize with someone every time you are feeling down.

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If you don’t have someone to spend time with, then take action and go join a group or find a hobby or take a class. This is where you have to be accountable. You have the power to choose what you can do to lift your energy and mood levels.

Make a decision, and take one step to get out of the house and connect with people in some way.

5. Find Purpose and Meaning

Not having clarity in life or knowing what you want can contribute to low energy levels and feeling down. Having a purpose, meaning, and clarity in life improves your mood, reduces stress, and keeps you mentally sharp.

In the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff, Richard Carlson shows simple strategies you can use to stop blowing things out of proportion, to stop worrying about things that might happen (but probably won’t), to stop obsessing about things you can’t change and things that just don’t matter, and start living!

Richard Carlson has written a series of books on the same topic, and the main message in all his books is that when you have meaning in your life, it gives you the ability to focus on the things in life that matter – not the things in life that are dragging your down.

6. Dance

When you dance to a song you love, you feel happier! This is partly due to the release of endorphins and positive neurotransmitters that you experience when you dance, especially when you dance to a song you love.

So, when you are feeling low in energy and a bit down, put on your favorite dancing song and let yourself go and dance! It’s guaranteed that you will feel so much better!

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7. Sniff a Lemon or Essential Oils

Your sense of smell is connected to your emotional state, and lemons are said to be mood boosters! Studies have also shown that essential oils such as lavender and basil can help reduce stress and negativity. Peppermint is an essential oil that boosts energy and relieves stress and so does vanilla and cinnamon.

When you are under stress or low in energy, rub a scented lotion of a few drops of essential oils into your hands and breathe in. If you have trouble sleeping, put in your pillowcase a cloth with a few drops of lavender. The lavender will calm you down and help you drift off to sleep.

8. Cuddle a Pet or Hug Someone Special to You

Research has shown that stroking, cuddling, or even gazing into the eyes of a pet leads to a rise in oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is the “love hormone” that is also released during hugs, sex, or breastfeeding. It reduces stress and anxiety levels while increasing feelings of relaxation, trust, and bonding.

The more cuddles you have with your pet and the more you hug people the better you will feel. So, go out and cuddle and hug as much as you ca,n knowing that you will have more energy and feel so much happier about your life!

Final Thoughts

When you try these techniques, you will boost your mood and energy levels. Apply these mood booster strategies in your life so you can build your resilience and ability to deal with disruptions and uncertainties that you face in life, especially now that we are living in a world with COVID-19.

More Tips to Boost Your Mood and Energy

Featured photo credit: Max Ilienerwise via unsplash.com

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Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead

10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead

I’ll never forget the first time I heard that the way I was talking to myself, realizing how it directly influenced every aspect of my life. We can be our own worst enemy at times and our internal conversation and negative thoughts can be extremely limiting. Like most people, I was blind to this somewhat obvious piece of information.

Eventually, I realized that the negative thoughts I had weren’t facts at all, but instead self imposed limitations that I was putting on myself, which I also had the power to remove. Over the last decade, it has become very clear to me that most of us actually have very similar negative thoughts. Here are some of the most common negative thoughts we all have and what we should think instead.

1. I Am Not Good Enough

Have you ever thought that you weren’t good enough? When we feel that we aren’t good enough, we tend to drown in this emotion of self-doubt and pity. It can be a symptom of low self-esteem, but the truth is that every one is good enough.

You might not have the skills or tools to achieve what you want now, but you are certainly good enough and worthy of receiving what you want in life. If you have a $10 bill, and it falls on the ground into a puddle of mud, does that $10 lose its value? Of course not! So why do you feel that you lose value based on what you have done in life?

What to Think Instead

Instead of saying, “I am not good enough,” tell yourself that you are worthy of all you desire in this life, just like everyone else[1]. Focus on the things you like about yourself in this moment. You can even make a written list and post it nearby if it helps you to see it each day[2]

Practice Loving Yourself to Overcome Negative Thoughts

    2. I Can’t Do It

    “Can’t” is one of the most limiting words that you can tell yourself. Henry Ford once said,

    “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”

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    If you tell yourself that you can’t, you are sending messages to your mind and brain that you can’t, and so that will be your experience. Your mind won’t try if you have already told it that something is impossible. 

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of focusing your negative thoughts on what you think you can’t do, tell yourself, “I can do whatever I put my mind to.” While we all do have limitations, believing in your abilities in the first step to achieving your short and long term goals in life. 

    And sometimes, you may just need a little motivation boost. Get the Instant Motivation Boost Worksheet, it’s a free worksheet that will guide you to do the little things for an instant boost of motivation. Grab the free worksheet here.

    3. I’m Not as Lucky as Other People

    This thought normally comes from holding an illusion that other people’s lives are better and they are luckier, and that is what separates you from them. “Perfect” doesn’t exist, and there is often a lot of effort that goes behind that perceived “luck.”

    It is very disempowering to think that life will never offer you good things; the truth is that if you tap into some gratitude, you’ll see that you already have good things all around you. 

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of focusing on all the luck others seem to have, tell yourself, “Good things can and will happen to me.” Use a sense of gratitude to begin to notice all of the good things you would normally never notice. For example, when was the last time you felt grateful for the roof over your head, the food in your fridge, or your comfy bed?

    4. I Don’t Think I’ll Ever…

    Whatever you believe will become your reality, this is true. You shape your future every day by the choices you make and your habits. You can sabotage your opportunities by limiting yourself with negative thoughts.

    What would it be like if you believed that you could do what you really desired and have the experiences you wished instead? It is not about getting it right the first time, but trying. Don’t stop yourself before you have even given yourself a chance.

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    What to Think Instead

    Don’t limit yourself with negative thought patterns that tell you you’ll never do something. Instead, tell yourself, “I am confident I will…” Even if you don’t feel confident in this moment, feeding your brain positive thoughts will slowly build confidence over time. 

    5. I Should Be Better Than I Am

    Using the word “should” in this context makes this a truly negative thought and makes one feel less than they are. How often do you find yourself saying “I should be more clever, more disciplined, more productive, etc. than I am”? Remember how you feel immediately afterwards?

    What to Think Instead

    Tell yourself, “I am making an effort to change what I don’t like.” Everyone has parts of themselves that they hope to improve, and this is certainly possible, but it requires approaching these things with a sense of self-love and patience. 

    Set yourself goals for the things you are not happy with instead of telling yourself what you “should” be like or be doing. Take action the things you wish to change and remove limiting modals from your vocabulary.

    Here are some ways you can start to improve yourself.

    6. I Am Not Strong Enough

    It’s normal to feel that you are not strong enough at times[3]. We are all human, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel weak at times. What is important though, is the conversation you have with yourself afterwards. If you keep reinforcing the fact that you don’t feel strong with negative thoughts, how can you expect to feel?

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, tell yourself that you are strong enough to deal with the challenges in front of you, and support yourself in finding the strength you need in that moment.

    7. Nobody Cares

    It might feel that you are alone at times and that nobody cares, but I am convinced that there are people thinking about you that you don’t even know of. People do care; not everyone expresses their emotions in the same way. It isn’t nice feeling that nobody cares, so stop focusing on that and assuming what other people feel when you don’t actually know. Change your focus to something that makes you feel better instead.

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    What to Think Instead

    Instead of assuming that no one cares about you, remind yourself that there are people in your life who do, in fact, care very much. Do your best to cultivate those relationships and accept the love others are willing to give in order to combat your negative thoughts. 

    8. I Am Not Smart Enough

    This is a very general statement, yet many people tend to say it often and then feel bad about themselves afterwards. What are you not smart at specifically? I bet that if I asked you to identify some areas that you are smart in, you could if you really tried.

    Not everybody is clever and perfect in every area, and this is what makes us all unique. If you feel that you are lacking in a certain area of knowledge, instead of producing negative thoughts, make time to study and learn whatever it is that you want so that you don’t feel this way any more.

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of believing that you’re not intelligent, remind yourself that you are smart in a unique way and that you are capable of improving your knowledge in any area you choose. Lifelong learning can be a goal you constantly work toward.

    9. If I Don’t Do Well, I’m a Failure

    Holding high expectations for yourself and having conditions attached to your self worth on your performance isn’t fair. You need to take chances in life if you want to get different results. Don’t be scared of failing; the real failure lies in never having tried.

    What to Think Instead

    When facing a challenging situation or possible risk, tell yourself, “I am going to try; I am not scared of failing; that is not what is important.” Even if you “fail,” you will learn something about the world and yourself, and as long as that’s the case, nothing is ever a true failure. 

    10. Bad Things Will Happen

    Thinking negatively in general is thinking that whatever happens, it is most likely going to be the worst case scenario. What would it be like if you imagined the best case scenario instead? Our positive and negative thoughts are very powerful, and it’s common to use visualization as a technique to imagine the best case scenario.

    Whether you imagine the worst or the best case scenario, you are influencing your results. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen and rather on what you want to happen.

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    What to Think Instead

    Instead of thinking that bad things will happen when you try something, try thinking that the best will happen. This way, you’ll aim high, and even if you fall a little short, you’ll still get farther than you were before. 

    Final Thoughts

    We all have negative thoughts from time to time. However, when the majority of your thoughts are negative, you are undermining your happiness at the end of the day. Our thoughts directly affect how we feel and, therefore, what we do in life.

    If you’re feeling sad and are overwhelmed with negative thoughts, you can consider contacting a mental health professional to give your mental health a boost and get you back on track toward positivity.

    Don’t limit yourself or what is possible for you. Master your thoughts and change your results. 

    More on How to Stop Negative Thoughts

     

    Featured photo credit: arash payam via unsplash.com

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