Sometimes, I find myself snapping at my son for no good reason. In the back of my mind, I know that I shouldn’t be snapping at him; it’s not his fault that I’m having day. Even if raising children isn’t the recipe for happiness, the reality is that I am in control of my mood, and usually my snappishness comes from some cause other than what my son is doing at the moment.
So, when you find yourself feeling grumpy, what can you do to improve your mood? Here are 10 ideas for enhancing your mood almost immediately:
- Get a good night’s sleep: So this one isn’t totally immediate. However, if you get the sleep you need, your mood will improve overall. Lay the foundation for a better mood with the help of the right amount of sleep.
- Open the curtains: Natural light is a mood enhancer. Even if the sun isn’t shining directly in your window, just having that natural lighting can help. Even when I have a light on in the house (especially during the winter), I open the blinds to let in some natural light. My mood improves immediately, even on a cloudy day. For more severe problems, light therapy can help.
- Smile: Use the muscles in your face to smile. It will relieve tension and boost your mood. Even a fake smile can be an instant mood enhancer.
- Do something creative: Getting involved in a creative endeavor can improve your mood quickly. The other day, my son was unhappy, and I encouraged him to work on one of his art projects. Within five minutes he was happy and the bad mood was forgotten. From painting to music to writing in your journal, a little creativity can help you feel better almost immediately.
- Go outside: Sometimes, when I feel down, all I need to do is step outside and take a deep breath. I look around my yard and breathe deep. Even when it’s cold, a minute spent outside can help me feel better. Nature can relieve stress and improve your mood. Even just looking at pictures of nature can boost your mood.
- Exercise: If I’m grumpy, running through the sun salutation can help the situation. But it doesn’t have to be yoga to enhance your mood. Any physical activity can help. And you don’t even have to do it for a long period of time. Just get up move a little, and your attitude will adjust.
- Touch someone: A hug. Holding someone’s hand. Receiving a massage. Any form of touch can help your mood improve immediately. As long as the touch is appropriate for the situation, you can use human contact to boost your mood.
- Eat: Sometimes your bad mood has to do with hunger, low sugar levels, or something else. A nice piece of dark chocolate can help my mood instantly, and there are foods like healthy fats like those found in fish and nuts, can enhance your mood.
- Clear the clutter: Sometimes, a bad mood is the result of clutter in your home. Clear the clutter, open up some of the space, and reap the benefits in terms of a better mood.
- Sit up straight: Slumping over can affect your mood. If you want a bit of a lift, improve your posture and you’l be surprised at how much better you feel.
Try any one of these 10 things right now, and you might be surprised at the mood boost you get. You might not be instantly content and happy, but you will likely feel better — at least long enough to avoid ruining someone else’s day.
What do you think? What improves your mood?