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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

Reference

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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 December 3, 2020

Why Negative Self Talk Is Bad for You (And How to End It in 3 Steps)

Why Negative Self Talk Is Bad for You (And How to End It in 3 Steps)

Everyone I have met in my life wants unlimited opportunities, better relationships, a healthy body, a forgiving heart, a sharp mind, amazing skills, and financial security. If we all want these things, why can’t we accomplish them? The answer is simple: negative self talk.

The reason why many of us can’t get there is because we have a critical inner voice inside our head that tends to be negative and convincing.

Our inner voice is trying to convince us that we are not smart enough, strong enough, or good enough to do what we want to do in life. This invisible enemy inhibits us from pursuing the life we deserve, leading to anxiety, depression, and a higher stress level.

If we want to reach our potential and improve our mental health, we have to take control of this inner voice and learn how to tame it and transform it into a positive force.

It is important for us to learn more about this negative self talk before we can tame it to become a helpful positive force. Let’s start with the 4 different types of negative self-talk.

Types of Negative Self Talk

Studies show that there are four main types of negative self talk[1]:

  1. Filtering
  2. Personalizing
  3. Catastrophizing
  4. Polarizing

Let’s go through these one-by-one.

Filtering

You magnify the negative aspect of every situation. For example, you gained three pounds this week. You focus on this, and you ignore that you have lost 20 pounds this month.

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Personalizing

You always blame yourself for everything. For example, you hear that your soccer practice got canceled, and you assume that it is canceled because no one wanted to be around you.

Catastrophizing

You always expect the worst. For example, you have a flat tire in the morning, and you automatically assume the rest of your day will be horrible.

Polarizing

You either see things as perfect or horrible. For example, you got mad at your son and lost your temper; therefore, you are a horrible parent.

Next time you catch yourself talking negatively to yourself, ask yourself:

  • Am I filtering the positive out of this issue?
  • Am I blaming myself for something that I have no control over?
  • Am I expecting the worst of this?
  • Am I seeing things as black and white?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, take a step back and consider what you can do to turn your thinking from negative to positive.

It is important to take control of these thoughts before they become beliefs. A belief is something that you are certain about. The sooner you address these negative thoughts, the sooner you can move your life and business forward.

3 Steps to End Negative Self Talk

It is clear that negative self talk hinders your progress and prevents you from living the life that you deserve. Here are three methods you can use daily to overcome this innate habit.

1. Respond to Your Inner Voice

In a recent HBR article, Erica Ariel Fox stated that the toughest conversations any of us can have are the ones that we have with ourselves[2].

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She mentions a story about Dominique, a high performing executive who has great self-confidence but a critical inner voice. Dominique commands everyone’s attention and respect, but not her own.

Dominique has a serious problem when she talks to her captivated audience. She has an inner voice in her head saying, “Why should they listen to you?” I’m a fraud. I can’t do this.”

Dominique’s inner voice will impact her performance if she does not learn how to turn it to positive self talk.

It is clear that Dominique is filtering out all of her positive abilities and polarizing the situation. She has a lot of good things to offer, and she is not a fraud. So, the author gives her one enormous piece of advice:

“Do not ignore your inner voice, respond to it.”

Many executives do not shy away from having hard conversations with others, but they avoid having difficult conversations with themselves.

She advises people not to ignore their negative self-talk, but to respond to it. If your inner voice says, “That was terrible parenting,” you can respond with, “I’m not a perfect parent, and I’m okay with it.” This will make you feel awkward at first, but it gets easier with time.

Instead of ignoring your negative self talk, try learning to identify and respond to it kindly. Practice positive self-talk every day. Do not allow negative self-talk to rob you of your potential.

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2. Be Kind to Yourself

Do not say anything to yourself that you would not say to your best friend. We often say things to ourselves that are unkind, unfounded, and untrue.

When you are passed over for a promotion, be kind to yourself. When you forget to drop your clothes at the dry cleaner, be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes, we are all imperfect, we all have bad days, but it does not make us bad people.

When Jon Gordon[3] was 29 years old, he was facing a divorce. His wife was tired of his negativity. He made a decision to change. He developed a positive mindset, and he started to drown out negative thoughts with positive words.

This approach saved his marriage and changed his life. He encourages his readers to be kind to themselves and to be positive. Gordon understands that being positive won’t guarantee that you will succeed, but he knows that being negative will guarantee your failure and destroy your relationships.

If your friends cancel a dinner plan, don’t assume that no one wants to be around you. Stop personalizing events, and start framing it correctly. Your friends canceled your planned dinner because they are busy, and it has nothing to do with you.

Always choose to be kind to yourself. If you are having a hard time being kind to yourself, surround yourself with positive, kind people who are willing to support you and provide you with immediate kind feedback when you start having negative thoughts. Extensive research shows that positive people surround themselves with positive friends that help inspire them to be positive.

3. Stop Trying to Be Perfect

If your goal is to be perfect, you will fail. Do not expect perfection.

No one is perfect. Embrace imperfection. The key to a positive mindset is progress and not perfection. If you expect perfection, you will be allowing your negative self-talk to seep back into your mind.

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As a perfectionist, you will strive to keep everyone happy, and that is an unrealistic goal. Every time you have an argument with someone, you will keep replaying the conversations in your head over and over. These conversations will be negative in nature. If you want to stop this negative self talk, stop trying to be perfect.

Most perfectionists keep comparing themselves to other people. This habit is an official invitation to your negative self talk to reenter your mind again. Do not compare yourself to anyone. You will always find others who are better off than you.

Instead, focus on being grateful for the great things that you have.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery expressed this in his bestselling book Airman’s Odyssey:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Be content of what you have, and stop worrying about comparing yourself to others. Always be grateful, and when you catch yourself with negative thoughts, think of all the things you are grateful for.

If you want some inspiration about what to be grateful for every day, here they are: 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

The Bottom Line

Next time you catch yourself being negative, do not ignore your inner voice. Respond to it kindly, and give up the need to be perfect.

You’ve got this!

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Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

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