Being in nature such as parks, green areas, forest, bush tracks, gardens, beaches etc has been scientifically proven to elevate mood. An article in the journal ‘Mind’ reported that 95% of people interviewed experienced a more positive mood, were less stressed or anxious and a general feeling of well being after spending some time outdoors in nature. Research done in hospitals, schools and workplaces has shown there is a reduction in anxiety and stress and an elevation in mood if there are green indoor plants on display. In a pandemic, if we are indeed allowed to go out, spending some time in nature as well as taking some nature back into your home with some indoor plants can be hugely beneficial.
Practicing meditation has shown to decrease circulating stress hormones and inflammatory chemicals in the body which both have an impact on our mood. Different types of meditation such as mindfulness, guided meditation, meditation that focuses on a mantra or on breathing have equally positive effects on mood.
Feeling grateful for the good and the positive is incredibly powerful. Sometimes it is easier to slide into feelings of negativity. Try finding a few things at the end of each day that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. Close your eyes and hold those thoughts of gratitude in your heart, as well as in your mind, and allow the positivity to flow.
4. Nutritious Whole Foods
Eating the correct foods will give your body the correct fuel, supporting both body and brain chemistry, and allowing you to feel well and happy.
5. Moderate Intensity Exercise
Moving our bodies - increasing our heart rate and including resistance training will release serotonin and endorphins, our “feel good” chemicals, which in turn will help elevate mood.
6. Taking Time for You
Make time for doing something you enjoy doing and that makes you happy. This can be anything from exercise to craft, gardening, sewing, dancing just to mention some things. Feeling valued by yourself is very important for a positive mood.
7. Essential Oils
Our olfactory system (sense of smell) is directly connected to the limbic system in the brain which is responsible for mood management amongst other things. Essential oils can be used in burners, diffusers or humidifiers, or even just a few drops directly on your skin or mixed in a moisturiser can be very effective. Oils mixed with some water in a spray bottle and used as a room spray can also work wonders to lift the mood in the room for everyone. Oils that have uplifting properties are lemon, orange, grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, rose, ylang ylang, lavender, peppermint and rosemary.
8. Herbal Teas
Maintaining adequate hydration through the day is imperative for ultimate body function. Herbal teas, apart from being often quite delicious, can be very therapeutic and are an interesting way to supplement the day’s intake of fluids. Herbs that can power your mood are turmeric, ginger, peppermint, rose, saffron, lemongrass, chamomile, ashwagandah and rooibos.