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Natural Mood Boosters

We all get cranky and irritated, it’s a normal part of life (and most of our workplaces). Humans are sensitive and we often get thrown into a case of the blues by something as small as a late delivery or too much traffic on the way to work, to not getting chosen for something or stubbing our toe. It takes literally anything to make someone feel bad and what that stimulus is could be mundane or meaningful.

According to studies, although a lot of our happiness and behaviours can be linked to genetics, around 40% is linked to what we think and do on a daily basis. This means that you are and should be in control of your own happiness. We know that endorphins, a group of hormones that activate our body’s opiate receptors (read: happy hormones), are the key to happiness but the route to elevating endorphin levels often include a long workout or a sugar-laden dessert. There must be easier ways to beat the blues without having to leave the office or get fat?

There are loads of natural mood elevators and here are our top five picks for when you’re feeling low and want a quick pick-me-up whether you’re on the go, at home or at work.

Music

According to one study at the University of Missouri, if you’re trying to feel happier, listening to upbeat music can help. Clinical studies have shown that apart from relieving anxiety and improving mood, music can lower your blood pressure, manage pain and ease depression. If you’re feeling low or lethargic due to a bad start to your day, try putting on your headphones and listening to the soundtrack of La La Land or any other piece of ‘happy’ music that you enjoy.

Meditate

We can’t say enough good things about meditation. Apart from that fact that it increases the brain’s neuroplasticity, meditation can lower your blood pressure, relieve stress and even improve your mood. People often assume that meditation requires a Buddhist temple and infinite hours of silence, however this is totally false. There are some great guided meditation videos that you can find on YouTube and apps like Headspace that will help you learn how to meditate in only 10 minutes. Meditation increases our sense of well-being which will help you feel better and lift your spirit- literally.

Help

You may think that doing a good deed benefits the person on the receiving end though studies have shown that people who volunteer are more likely to be happier than those who don’t. Volunteering or helping someone out is an altruistic act that actually boosts your happiness levels which is a win-win for everyone. Though it may be difficult to skip out of the office to go volunteer, you could help a colleague out with a project they’re struggling with or write a thank you note to your friend who invited you to dinner last night. These small acts of kindness will actually help you feel better about yourself and forget all about that nasty mood.

Laugh

Laughter is often the best therapy. When you’re feeling low you may feel like absolutely nothing could make you laugh, but what about a child walking into a screen door or someone slipping on a banana peel? According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter cools down our stress response system and increases the blood flow of oxygen through our bodies making us feel relaxed and more positive. The next time you’re feeling down, all you need is a pair of headphones and your laptop- search YouTube for America’s Funniest Home Videos, TV show bloopers or your favourite comedian’s stand-up routine and let off a little steam with a good laugh.

Move

Sometimes a little change of environment is all we need. Though taking a walk around the block isn’t always possible in India, it is possible to step outside and just enjoy the sunshine. Studies have shown that light exposure can work as well as an anti-depressant and can ward off sleep problems and stress. Take a few minutes after lunch to take a small walk around your office building and just stop thinking about work and any problems you’ve been focusing on. Just take in your surroundings and try to calm your mind.

We find that a good mood can hit you by surprise almost as fast as a bad mood can so why not stack the odds in your favour and try out one of these natural mood elevating tips?

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