4 Quick Ways to Boost Your Mood

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

It works for us more times than not. When I’m cranky, feeling down or snapping at my spouse for no reason (well, no really good reason), I head outside. Often it’s just in my yard, sometimes around the block, or if I really need some space, I go to a nearby park and take a stroll around the pond. Just walking kind of clears my head and helps get me out of my funk. I always credited the fresh air. Recently, some researchers found that walking in nature actually quiets a part of the brain linked with patterns of negative thoughts. Whatever the reason, it makes a difference for me, and might for you, as well. Here are 3 other ways to boost your mood when you’re having a not-so-great day:

Chat with a stranger. I know it sounds weird, but some scientists tested the theory and found that taking a few minutes to talk to the barista at your coffee shop or fellow commuter on the bus or train can be a positive experience. It gives you a sense of belonging, and leaves you happier.

Fake a smile. Seriously. Paste a grin on your face even if you’re not feeling it. When a situation gets you stressed or flustered, research has shown that even the most forced smile can make you feel better.

Flip through old pics. It works better than eating chocolate, according to British scientists. They looked at a few different coping methods, including sipping an alcoholic drink, watching TV, listening to music, eating chocolate or looking at personal photos, to see how much people’s moods improved. Some strategies only elevated moods by 1%; viewing pictures gave people an 11 percent boost in happiness. So bust out those baby albums, check out recent vacation photos or just look through the gallery on your phone when you need a quick boost.