8 Ways To Instantly Boost Your Mood

A woman stood on the beach in the sunshine

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

Guest post written by Nyxie’s Nook

Not all of us can be a ball of sunshine all the time. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t experience the occasional bad day, and that’s perfectly natural! For some of us a dip in mood is a frequent occurrence, while for others it could be during hormonal changes or particularly stressful occurrences. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, it’s impossible to be happy and cheerful all the time.

Some of us don’t have the privilege of hiding indoors on days when our mood is at its lowest. There are times when we have to grin and bear it, especially if we work in customer service. On those days in particular there are various small things you can do to boost your mood. Even if it’s just for a little while.

But how does mood work, and how can mood boosters help?

All feelings are chemical interactions that take place within the body, particularly the brain. While the science still isn’t overly clear, several studies have shown that neurotransmitters have a substantial influence on our mental health. The following are just some of the main neurotransmitters and their role within the body.

Dopamine

Also known as the ‘reward’ hormone. Dopamine is that little feeling of joy that you get from a grade well earned, or beating that final boss in a video game. Too much dopamine, however, can lead to hyperactivity, while too little leads to a decrease in energy levels. It’s the driving force behind our motivation, pushing us to keep going even when times get tough.

Serotonin

The ‘happy’ hormone, serotonin causes feelings of, well, happiness!

Cortisol

This little devil is the ‘stress‘ hormone and is essential to our everyday life. Too much of it is linked to increasing levels of depression and anxiety and can cause all sorts of physical issues within the body.

8 Ways To Instantly Boost Your Mood:

1. Get some natural daylight

Get outside, go for a walk or even simply draw back the curtains. Natural light has so many benefits for our mood that it’s difficult to know where to start. Sunlight triggers our bodies to produce serotonin which naturally acts as a mood lifter and even helps you focus.

It also helps the body produce vitamin D, wards off season depression and improves sleep, all of which give you the added ‘umph’ you need.

2. Random acts of kindness

Nothing makes you feel better than paying it forward. And better yet? You’re also making someone else feel good! Being kind, even in the smallest way,  boosts our feelings of empathy, gratitude and can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Dopamine plays a big part here and you’re left with a rewarding feeling.

There are so many ways you can be kind, some of which cost nothing at all! Can you think of any?

3. Laugh and smile. Even when you don’t feel like it

I know it sounds strange, but even the act of smiling or laughing can make us feel better. While it may be fake at first, laughing is known for being infectious. Soon you’ll be gripping your sides and doubling over. And if someone else joins in it’s almost impossible to stop!

But how can you laugh or smile when you don’t feel like it? You could watch a funny video online, listen to a comedic podcast or socialise with one of your funniest friends or colleagues.

Woman celebrating with popping and spraying a bottle of champagne

Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

4. Drink up!

Remember to stay hydrated. Drinking water frequently not only aids us physically but mentally too. Even the smallest variance in your water consumption can have a big impact on your mood. Make sure to have a glass of water with every meal, add flavour to make it more appeasing, or even buy yourself a flask so you can have water with you at all times. But be warned, if you’re not used to drinking water your body will feel compelled to drag you to the bathroom far more than you’re used to. The more you drink water, the more your body will become accustomed, so don’t stop!

5. Try some affirmations

Affirmations are often considered to be simple and easy to remember phrases used to help change a person’s inner voice. By using affirmations over time we’re able to slowly change our outlook on life and they’ve even been thought to improve our confidence, happiness, positivity and mood.

Some might think of affirmations as no more than words or ‘wishful thinking.’ However, as creatures of habit, we also tend to think in a certain way, whether it be predominantly positive or negative. These thoughts can influence our mood, behaviour, and even our ability to handle adversity. By using affirmations to gradually change our thoughts, we’re able to learn to be more positive and receptive to positive things.

6. Write your feelings down

When I feel angry, frustrated, sad or any overwhelming feeling, I turn to writing. Whether it’s on a computer or in a book, I always feel better getting my feelings out. Even the happy ones! Writing is an amazing way to work through what you’re feeling, and can be an excellent way to uplift your mood.

Don’t try to write something structured, instead practice freewriting and allow yourself to write whatever comes into your head. Bad grammar, incorrect spellings and all! Who knows, you might even have a story on your hands?

A woman smiling and happy on a swing in the forest

Photo by Camilo Contreras on Unsplash

7. Listen to some feel good music

There’s nothing I love more than a good playlist. I have one for every occasion, including one to help boost my mood when I’m feeling low. There are several cases showing how music impacts our mood and can be used as a tool to combat depression and anxiety. Upbeat, fast paced and ‘uplifting’ music works best when we’re trying to feel better and more energetic.

Music has even been used as therapy for various mood disorders and neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

If you use any of the major music streaming services you can always put together your very own mood boosting playlist. Or search for someone else’s!

8. Lower your caffeine intake

Who’s guilty of six or seven coffee’s a day? Me! Who also complains that she can’t sleep and feels horrible? Me! But after researching for this article I’ve come to realise that it’s my excessive caffeine levels that are the biggest culprit for my low moods and sleep disorder. Who would have known?

Excessive caffeine consumption leads to increased levels of anxiety and a constant state of nervousness. These, in turn, negatively impact your mood. Not to mention your sleeping pattern.

But don’t go cold turkey just yet. You don’t have to avoid caffeine, you just have to manage it on a daily basis. Instead of reaching for coffee first thing in the morning, drink some water. After that limit the amount of caffeine you drink throughout the day and make a sensible cut off point.

Remember that caffeine can be found in other drinks other than coffee such as tea and soft drinks. So it’s smart to keep an eye on those too.

These are just some ways you can boost your mood and make yourself feel good. How do you like to boost your mood? I’d love to hear in the comments.

58 thoughts on “8 Ways To Instantly Boost Your Mood

  1. You’ve shared some great advice here lovely. I especially love the ‘act of kindness’ tip which I’ll defiantly be doing more of. I’m always looking for good ways to boost my moods and these sound great. Thank you so much for sharing with us Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

    1. Whenever I’m feeling stressed natural sunlight is the best way for me to refocus and refresh.

  2. I like to listen to good music when driving or before going to bed. I like to smile too, even to strangers lol ~ I limit myself to having a cup of coffee/day and no matter how tired I am, I don’t drink more than two cups of coffee/day. Love these tips, thanks Lauren x

      1. Thank you for taking the time to boost us all up ! I’m especially grateful as I’ve been in a funk lately!

  3. Great tips, I’m working on getting some daylight to be honest haha. I will follow your tips because these days my mood is not the best. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I don’t venture out much under sunshine as it is summer. I write poetry and it reflects my emotions and moods. I listen to music while writing. I drink a lot of water. I had to quit coffee as I got sleep disorder. Affirmation is something I will try. Nice article.

  5. Agree with these tips. I usually do #3, smiling even if there’s no reason helps me feel better. Same with affirmations and I also like reading feel-good quotations. Positive words certainly improves my mood😀

  6. I like to boost my mood by listening to my favourite songs, drawing, singing, reading novels and watching comedy series. If I want to release my stress I just go out for a walk. Thanks for the great advice.

  7. Fab tips! I love writing my feelings out when I’m upset – it always feels like a massive burden has been lifted from my shoulders – and I also love random acts of kindness, they make you feel so good and it’s amazing to be helping others! Thank you so much for sharing x

  8. This is my favorite notion; nothing makes you feel better than giving back. And what’s even better? You’re also making another person happy! Being nice, even in the tiniest of ways, increases our sentiments of empathy and gratitude, as well as reducing anxiety and despair.

  9. Lots of these ideas help me too! Sometimes I don’t always feel like listening to music when I’m down, but I know that a good musical soundtrack will always help x

  10. Great tips! I am really getting into affirmations myself. They are really good for challenging negative and limiting beliefs. Def, gives an instant boost of positivity!

  11. Great ideas Lauren! I also noticed how bad too much caffeine would affect my sleep and my overall mood, thus, I reduced it as much as possible. Going outside for a walk in the sunlight is always helpful to me and also listening to some music and dance along.

  12. These are excellent suggestions. We often don’t realize how it’s the littlest things that can improve our mood–like a good laugh, being hydrated and getting outside to breathe in the fresh air and soak up the vitamin D.

  13. Great list! Spending time outdoors and soaking up the sun is always a great way to boost your mood. I also love affirmations, music, and random acts of kindness. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Great post! I am one for writing things down usually in a journal, getting some sun and reading! Reading is my mood booster. Going for a walk is also great for increasing moods. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. These are all great ideas! I especially need to work on increasing water intake and decreasing caffeine. Those would help tremendously! Exercising usually helps boost my mood too.

  16. This is an informative article. I struggle with anxiety at times and I didn’t know that excessive caffeine intake affected it. I learned something from this. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Little things are sometimes huge mood elevator
    Eating your favourite food could be a mood elevator, watching something you like could be a mood elevator, talking with friends, blogging these all things that are small but could make a huge difference.
    Great share lauren 🙂

  18. Whenever I’m feeling stressed natural sunlight is the best way for me to refocus and refresh.

  19. These are some great tips. I agree with you. Sunlight is perfect natural remedy for boosting one’s mental health. Maybe this is one of the reasons why people in the Caribbean are so happy.

  20. You’ve made a great post! I liked the idea of using natural light to boost mood. However, on days like today here at my house, natural light looks more like rain. Another option might be to appreciate some art, which has been shown to create positive results

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