Taking a more prominent role in your mental health has increased in popularity over the last decade. Topics that used to be considered confidential and private have made their way into mainstream discussion. If you're like many of us looking for steps toward a healthier you, you have come across the perfect page!
Improving your mental health can feel like a never-ending battle, especially when it can feel like climbing Everest to find your footing. The number one thing to remember is that YOU'RE NOT ALONE.
According to data collected by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
one in five U.S. adults and one in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience mental illness yearly. Not only that, but those of us that struggle with mental illness symptoms dont receive treatment for nearly 11 years on average!
If you're struggling with your mental health, don't hesitate to contact a professional. In the short term, whether you're having a bad day or just looking for small things to incorporate into your routine, here are ten easy-to-accomplish mood boosters.
Don’t close this page just yet. Although it’s natural to want to slap the person who suggests smiling more to feel better, there is some scientific evidence to back it up. This phenomenon comes courtesy of the facial feedback hypothesis. The hypothesis states that how our face moves can influence our feelings. Our facial expressions are more than just outward signs for others to know when to stay away; they also provide feedback to the brain, which influences our emotions. Not only has research shown that even fake or posed smiles can make people feel happier, but smiling at yourself or a stranger is an act of openness that can invite and encourage more happy moments.
We've all had a day where the negatives outweigh the positives. Just like taking notes in school, writing down important information helps your brain retain that information. The same principles can be applied here by writing down and showing gratitude for the good in your life. Doing this exercise consistently can boost your mood and help you focus on the positives in your life instead of harping on what may not go your way.
This technique targets our flight or fight response and returns us to a calm and relaxed state. Deep breathing and meditation have been proven to relieve stress, and some studies have said they can help with anxiety and insomnia. So, let your face muscles loose, unclench your jaw, release the tension in your eyebrows, and breathe in. Breathe in for a full five seconds, and then breathe out. Let yourself be entirely relaxed while you take in those well-deserved breaths. Imagine yourself releasing your worries and fears as you breathe out.
Unplug yourself from the digital world for an hour or more. Stepping away from the high-energy buzz of your phone can allow you to recharge and feel ready to take on the day. Your phone and the apps on it leverage something called gamification. These apps are designed to be addictive, and the longer we use them, the more we become reliant on them. The do not disturb button will become your best ally when you realize the amount of stress constantly scrolling through social media causes.
A short walk through your neighborhood or park can provide a psychological and physical escape, allowing you to refocus and organize your thoughts. Unplugging yourself is always a good idea, and walking has been shown to boost immune function and ease joint pain. Taking a moment to appreciate the nature around you isn’t just good for your physical and mental health.
Pay attention to the power of human connection. Whether it's on your way to work, riding up the elevator or checking out at the grocery store, there is never a lack of people you can engage with. As terrifying as this may feel, especially for introverts, starting a simple conversation about their day, cute shoes, or the shirt they're wearing takes you out of your head and gives your mind a break from what's been causing you stress. They'll appreciate it, and maybe you'll make a friend.
Give yourself a break! We're our worst critics; according to the National Science Foundation, we go through between 12,000 to 60,00 thoughts per day. The kicker is that 80% are harmful, not even new negative thoughts. A large majority, up to 95%, are precisely the same repetitive thoughts as the day before. Breaking this cycle by treating yourself to that coffee, smoothie, or organic cold-pressed drink by Living Juice you've been thinking about all week can be just the tool you need to improve your day.
Fighting negativity by helping others. It's obvious how helping a friend, or family member will improve their day or mood, but how can it help you? It works similarly to runners high, but it's called a helper high instead. The feelings we get when we see how our actions positively impact others don't stop there. Scientists have coined the term upstream reciprocity to describe the domino effect of warm and fuzzy feelings after that first act of kindness. An easy example is when someone pays for the food of the person behind them, then that person continues the gesture, and so on. Our attitudes rub off on others; the good you do doesn't go unnoticed and can even rub off on you.
Sleep is vital, not just necessary, but along with food, water and shelter, it has rippling effects when your body isn’t getting the proper amount. Our most common mental functions, like thinking clearly and controlling our emotions, have direct correlations with sleep. Studies show that a lack of sleep can affect all areas of our lives, from work performance to relationships, and of course, lead to mood problems like anger and depression. Taking a power nap could be the easiest way to recharge your battery and the key to improving your mood.
Expressing your feelings to someone you trust can help you work through your problems logically. They can provide an outside perspective you didn't know you needed, ultimately leaving you feeling better, understood, and heard.
Bad days are inevitable; no one can altogether avoid them. They creep up on you and can take complete rein on your day. Taking control and changing your mood is possible! These 10 mood boosters are great resources to have ready to go in your back pocket whenever you find yourself fighting against a bad mood.
If you’re ready to improve your mood now, head over to Living Juice to choose a cold-pressed juice packed with natural, health-boosting ingredients guaranteed to boost your mood!