By Edeline Anne Goh
When you’re feeling down, the first piece of advice you normally hear is this — take a break and take a few deep breaths.
While inhaling and exhaling deeply is certainly an effective way to calm yourself down and lighten your mood, we gathered 7 mood boosters with a little twist that work equally well (yes, we’ve tested them all!).
- FUN IN THE SUN
You may feel like isolating yourself in a dark room or just lying in bed with the curtains drawn when you are feeling down but that is one of the worst things you can do! Research shows that exposure to a certain degree of light will help to brighten up your mood. Your best option would be to turn to the most natural source of light, which is sunlight. If you have the chance, take a walk in the sun as sunlight boosts serotonin — a mood hormone that improves your mood. As an added bonus, a good dose of sunlight can help strengthen your bones as well.
- FRESH FLOWERS ANYONE?
A recent research by a psychologist from Harvard Medical School found that people who have fresh flowers in their home feel less worried. The sight of beautiful, vibrantly coloured flowers and the scent of fresh blooms will make you feel close to nature. For best results, pick flowers that grow in your favourite colours and place them where you can easily see them. Geranium and lavender are favourites when it comes to cheering someone up as they each give off a lovely, soothing scent and their vibrant colours are uplifting.
- ENJOY A HEALTHY MEAL
Have you ever felt guilty for turning to a box of sweets to cheer yourself up? Sugary and calorie-laden comfort food is only a temporary fix. Unhealthy food will give you a negative guilty feeling after you have came to your senses and realised the number of calories you just consumed! On the other hand, indulging in a healthy meal such as your favourite fruit salad or grilled chicken kebabs will help you feel full and satisfied. Most important of all — foods like this are good for you and won’t make you feel guilty afterwards!
- THE SOUND OF NATURE
Imagine the sound of birds chirping, leaves rustling on a tree as the wind blows and waves hitting against a white, sandy shore — don’t you feel a little more cheerful just thinking about it? If you really want to lift your mood, download the sounds of nature from the Internet or buy special CDs from music stores. Listen to these sounds in the mornings or when you are feeling down and you will feel a lot better in just a few minutes.
- HAVE A CUPPA
Herbal infusions are known for their healing properties and soothing effects. One of the most common herbal infusions is chamomile, which is known for its calming properties and ability to soothe an upset stomach. If chamomile is not your cup of tea, peppermint tea is another option that works just as well. Sniffing peppermint helps to calm the soul and reduce fatigue.
“If you smile through your fear and sorrow; Smile and maybe tomorrow you’ll see the sun come shining through for you.” That is a line from a famous song called “Smile”, which was beautifully sung by Nat King Cole and many other artists. Smiling at someone can work like magic when you are trying to heal emotional pain and sorrow. You can even look into the mirror and give yourself your very best, widest grin! Smiling releases happy hormones, which work really well as a mood booster.
- PET AN ANIMAL
Got a pet at home? Interacting with animals will help you feel loved and needed, which means it is a great way to cheer yourself up! Choose your pet according to your lifestyle as some pets such as dogs and cats require more attention and activity like walks and play time compared to others like fish. The good news is all pets tend to have a soothing, calming effect on their owners.
Did you know?
Exercising in the park or a place rich in greenery is an effective way to uplift your mood.