Did you ever wake up in a cranky mood? Or perhaps you read an email which ruined your mood? Well, it’s not the end of the world, actually, it can be a good thing. Read on. Believe it or not, the first step towards mood-boosting is the realisation that you are feeling low, or agitated.
Once you’re ready to slap everyone who comes your way, oops, I mean once you realise that you’re feeling negative, there are several ways in which you can boost your mood, within minutes! It’s easy!
Firstly, we must understand that feelings and specific moods arise from thoughts which we have pondered upon for long enough. And this is how we then feel emotions. Pleasant thoughts give rise to good emotions, such as joy and love, and unpleasant thoughts may give rise to anger or sadness. But the good news is that it’s all reversible!
So, here are some effective tips to boost your mood:
1. Go for a walk and don’t take your phone with you.
You might have noticed that devices make us restless. The fact that our hand can reach out to our phone or iPad at any moment is detrimental to our mental health and this activity does the trick.
And oh! If you’re bored without your phone, simply hum to yourself while you walk. (If singing isn’t your forte, make sure you don’t sing too loudly. We’ll all thank you for it!)
2. Recall a positive, happy memory or think of things you love.
At work, at home, or even at the dinner table, wherever you are, just close your eyes briefly. Listen to your breath for a few seconds, then think about something or someone you love. Imagine meeting them or recalling a recent happy memory in your life. If you can’t recall any, then simply imagine one of your dreams coming true! This simple activity has the power to boost your mood instantly and if done right, it may even become addictive. You’ve been warned.
3. Don’t listen to your mind — Thoughts are empty and can be ignored.
Close your eyes and simply try to observe your thoughts. Start with listening to your inhalation and exhalation. After a few breaths, simply watch your mind and if you get caught in a flow of thoughts, just come back to listening to your breath, and keep observing your mind. Something incredible happens through this activity, you realise that your mind is always moving and thoughts are empty. Mindfulness allows us to dismiss thoughts by simply altering our awareness towards an anchor (your breath).
4. Eat well and make sure you have been fed.
Sometimes we are just hangry. It’s that simple. If we don’t eat a balanced diet, it inevitably affects our mood. Try to recall whether you’ve had your nutrients for the day, if not, find something healthy to nibble on. Very often, our biology is to blame for our low mood.
5. Watch a movie, but keep it under control.
Sometimes you’ll need to distract your mind, but with awareness. Try to watch a comedy or do an activity you enjoy. Yes, retail therapy counts.
When all else fails, know that the mind is throwing a tantrum. It just won’t shut up and at this point, your mood is as bad as it gets. Your mind has become a grumpy toddler. It’s reached a point beyond taming. At that moment, it’s best to distract the mind with external aid. Once the negativity or restlessness has reduced, you can then pacify it with mindfulness, breathing exercises or positive self-dialogue.
Next time you feel low, try one of these. In doing so, if anyone complains that you didn’t pick up their call, just tell them that you didn’t hear your phone ring. That will do! They don’t need to know that you were singing to yourself in the middle of the street.
P.S: I simultaneously posted this article on LinkedIn, hence the mindfulness basics:)