1) Gratitude journaling – the practice of gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness according to positive psychology research. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, savour good experiences, improve their health, deal with stress, and build strong relationships.
2) Savouring – By relishing and consciously taking pleasure in life you are able to gain the maximum amount of satisfaction and enjoyment from your current circumstances.
3) Eating mood boosting foods: –
- Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of the mineral selenium, studies show that low levels of selenium mean an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression, irritability, and tiredness.
- Eating oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines regularly will help improve your mood. They contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids studies have shown that low levels of this in the body can lead to depression and low mood.
- Oats can help to boost your mood because of their low glycaemic index (GI). They help keep blood sugar levels stable and therefore help with mood stability. Oats also contain the mood-boosting mineral selenium.
- Bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, fibre, potassium, phosphorus, iron and carbohydrate. Vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into the mood-lifting hormone serotonin and carbohydrates help with the absorption of tryptophan in the brain.
- Lentils are complex carbohydrates so, like bananas, help increase the brain’s production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. This helps with reduction in anxiety and helps us feel calmer and more relaxed.
- Chicken and turkey breast also help increase your levels of the amino acid tryptophan. It also helps to make the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep.
- Green leafy vegetables are great sources of B vitamins and since deficiencies in B vitamins have been linked to depression because of reduced serotonin production it makes sense to make sure you are including some in your diet.
- A small piece of dark chocolate causes the brain to release endorphins and boost serotonin levels. This can reduce the production of stress hormones and decrease anxiety levels.
4) Movement – exercising regularly boosts the production of endorphins, the feel-good hormones therefore improving your mood.
5) Hug a family member – hugging increases the production of oxytocin, one of the happiness hormones and creates connection.
6) Watch something funny – There is a reason for the saying, ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Laughter actually strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, reduces pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. It can inspire hope and create connection if you share the laughter with others.
7) Sing – Singing has been proven to boost mood by releasing endorphins and therefore reducing stress levels.
8) Phone a friend for a chat – Connecting with others can give your mood a boost and reduce your stress levels.
9) Get sufficient sleep – getting a good night’s sleep can contribute to a happier and more positive mood. Starting your day feeling refreshed helps you feel more energised and grateful for the day ahead.
10) Water is hugely important for our bodies to function properly – and even the smallest amount of water loss can be detrimental to our physical and mental wellbeing. Dehydration can also affect our ability to concentrate so make sure you are drinking regularly throughout the day.