A great mood impacts more than just the way you feel. It powers your productivity, mental health, healthy relationships, and the choices you make. But on days when a lack of sleep or a looming work deadline is affecting your mood, it’s time to call in the reinforcements before those challenges really take a toll on your mental health.
The good news is, there are many easy and accessible ways you can boost your mood naturally in less than five minutes. From heading outdoors to aromatherapy to cold water therapy, we’ve rounded up a variety of ways to feel better fast, so you can discover the method that works best for you. Try one of the 7 methods to quickly give your mood some TLC.
1. Get Some Sun
It’s no secret that exposure to daylight can improve your mood. Science backs this up: exposure to sunlight may increase the brain’s release of serotonin, a hormone that makes you feel good. And consider how many times you’ve heard people talk about having the “winter blues.”
So head outdoors for a walk in the park or around the block on a sunny day to lift your spirits. Even standing or sitting on your patio soaking in the sun for a few minutes will do the trick. The sun’s warmth will feel good on you, too, like a warm sun hug.
2. Listen to Upbeat Music
Just like sunshine, upbeat music triggers the brain to release serotonin and dopamine, which spark feelings of joy. Just like when you work out and listen to your favorite upbeat music to stay motivated, upbeat music can also help in other points of the day.
The upbeat music may even inspire you to start singing along and/or dancing, which also has the effect of releasing endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are chemicals that act as a pain reliever and mood booster.
3. Recite an Affirmation
The way you speak to yourself is powerful, because it impacts the way you feel and what you believe about yourself. Positive affirmations can lift your self-esteem and sense of well-being, research suggests. So why not give yourself a daily mood boost with an affirmation? We like, “I choose to be happy,” and “I’m excited to see what today holds,” but there are so many more out there to choose from. Find what works for you and go with it!
4. Immerse Yourself in Cold Water
If you’re feeling down, put the freeze on that emotion by plunging yourself into an ice bath like The Plunge (aka cold water therapy) for an invigorating, mood-uplifting experience. The shock of the cold from ice baths revs up your body’s production of norepinephrine. A low level of this hormone and neurotransmitter has been linked to depression so the increase you get from an ice bath should do just the trick to boost your mental health just a little.
Ice bathing also has the long-term effects of increased energy, improved focus and mental fortitude, and reduced stress and anxiety.
5. Do Something Nice for Someone
Whether it’s volunteering or helping someone reach an item on the top shelf at the supermarket, doing something nice for someone just feels good. That’s because your altruism triggers an increase in serotonin and endorphins - the feel-good hormones.
So helping others is a win-win situation: The person you’re helping benefits from your assistance, and your mood does, too!
6. Eat a Healthy Snack
You show your body appreciation for what it does for you when you feed it the nutrients it needs to function. For example, your brain needs omega-3 fatty acids to carry out its role in how you control and process your emotions.
The next time your stomach rumbles with hunger, consider reaching for a snack that contains mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, soybeans, or fish like mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, or anchovies. We recommend flaxseeds and chia seeds for these mood-boosting fatty acids as they can easily be thrown into your morning smoothie, protein shake, salad, or smoothie bowl.
7. Smell a Pleasant Scent
There’s a reason aromatherapy is so popular: certain fragrances can elicit positive emotions that can lower stress and improve your overall mental outlook, a study suggests.
Lemon, lavender and jasmine are scents that have been linked to soothing anger, and alleviating anxiety and depression. So light that scented candle, turn on that essential oil diffuser, or literally stop to smell the roses.
Ready to Try an Ice Bath For Mental Wellness?
If you’re ready to enjoy the mental health benefits of ice bathing, get started by exploring the The Plunge. It’s a revolutionary ice bath tub that automatically adjusts to the temperature you set and eliminates the need for ice.
If you’re not quite ready to commit to a tub, try an ice bath at home instead, and see for yourself how it positively affects your mood. You can also learn more by unlocking our cold plunge protocols for your most efficient ice bath experience yet.
Medical disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your doctor before beginning a cold plunging routine or any physical activities.