We get it; life can be really overwhelming sometimes. When you have so much on your plate, it can be hard to stay optimistic about your path. But a positive mindset may actually alleviate some of those real-life burdens to help you enjoy life and get the most out of every minute.
However, we also understand how difficult it can be to pull yourself out of a slump. That’s why we developed this list of items you can add to your self-care routine to help improve your mood and overall mindset. Please note that these are only suggestions and should not replace medical advice.
A positive mindset doesn’t mean you’re persistently happy, it means that you feel positive about your position regardless of setbacks. For example, if someone with a positive mindset loses their job, they may mourn its loss while still remaining optimistic about their future. Consequently, they will experience less stress than someone else in the same position with a more negative viewpoint. By minimizing stress, optimistic people can also minimize the physical and mental damage that stress may cause. Having a positive mindset could also motivate people to take better care if themselves and help them maintain the momentum necessary to achieve their goals.
People who are sociable tend to live longer, happier lives compared to those who often feel lonely. Face-to-face communication and skin-to-skin are especially beneficial because the act increases oxytocin to produce feelings of attachment, and dopamine, which regulates pleasure. If you’re struggling to get social, join a local group or take a class through your recreational facility.
Meditation is a common stress reduction strategy because it lets you calm your mind and release mental overload. Doing so can help increase your sense of self-awareness, release negative thought patterns, increase patience, lower your heart rate, and improve sleep. To meditate effectively, find a private location and get comfortable then sit and purposefully observe your thoughts and sensations. Let them come and then let them go. Breathe.
Cleaning sucks but clutter stresses. In fact, a quick de-clutter can make you feel more focused or calm depending on the environment. A good cleaning session can also get you moving, which prompts the body to release all kinds of mood-boosting chemicals like adrenaline, dopamine, endorphins, and endocannabinoids.
Did you know that a shockingly cold shower can actually boost your mood and relieve some pain? In fact, research suggests that a cold shower sends electrical pulses from the skin to the brain, thereby inducing quick anti-depressive qualities. This is not to suggest you forego your warm shower, of course, just drop the temperature for a few minutes before you get out for a quick pain-relieving mood boost.
Journaling is an excellent opportunity to unpack your thoughts, good or bad. Doing so also gives you the chance to reframe challenges in a more positive, optimistic light which can help reduce stress and improve sleep. If you’ve set specific goals for yourself, you can also use this time to evaluate your progress and celebrate your accomplishments.
Spending time in nature can help calm a busy mind, improve memory, increase focus, and reduce impulsivity. In fact, research shows that both visual and audible nature cues (lush greenery or birds chirping, for example) exert a positive impact on mood and cognition. Though its best to get outdoors, a looking at a scenic landscape or listening to calming nature sounds can work in a pinch.
Gardening can improve your mood in many interesting ways. Firstly, your skin transforms UV light into Vitamin D, which helps regulate mood and reduces feelings of sadness. Additionally, fertile soil contains microbes that can stimulate serotonin production to induce feelings of happiness and relaxation. Gardening can also improve motivation, boost self-esteem, and serve as an enjoyable exercise option.
Your body needs to rest. even if you have a lengthy to-do list. In fact, regular down time can actually improve your mood and productivity, so you can get more accomplished in less time. Essentially, downtime gives your brain a chance to rest so you can stay motivated and attentive later. Downtime can also improve creativity, emotional wellness, physical health, and personal relationships. Best of all, downtime is super easy to achieve; just relax. The trick, of course, is finding the time to do so.
We all want to feel better, but sometimes that better is hard to come by. If you need a quick mood boost to get over that hump, then CBD may be able to help. Research suggests that CBD may help alleviate mood problems and some conditions that can contribute to a despondent disposition. For example, CBD may also reduce pain or improve sleep which may improve mood and overall wellbeing.