It is awesome to be upbeat, happy go lucky and full of life. Life however, sometimes has a way of knocking us off our feet and for whatever reason, our mood can quickly change. Did you know that YOU have the power to change that mood? I have found that the following four things have helped me to come out of a slump at some time or another along my life journey. I hope these quick and easy tips can help you as well.
Clean up and organize
It’s interesting, when I feel like things are spinning out of control, I have found that cleaning can be quite therapeutic. Having my space neat and put together helps me clear my mind and organize my thoughts. According to an article from Shape Magazine titled “How Cleaning and Organizing Can Improve Your Physical and Mental Health,” women who described their home as cluttered or full of projects that were unfinished were more depressed, fatigued and had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol (29, January 2015). When I am organizing, in my closet for instance, I like to go through and group my clothes in sections such as skirts, dresses, pants, sleeveless shirts, etc. but you can group yours in the way that is most effective for you however. Once you have gone through and categorized your clothes, all the clothes that have not been worn in a while should be donated to the Goodwill or even a women’s shelter.
Acts of Kindness
Acts of kindness are random non consistent ways to show kindness to others. A few months back, the pastor at my church challenged us to go out and show our love to others by doing a random act of kindness. He gave examples such as purchasing someone’s gas, buying someone a coffee or even purchasing an individual’s groceries. These were all great ideas but I wanted to do an act of kindness where my kids could be involved as well. We live in a fairly big city and in big cities, there are usually large homeless populations. At stoplights you are able to see them with a sign asking for money. Rather than giving money to one homeless person, I decided we would feed the homeless. On a Saturday morning, we packed lunches for some of the homeless in our community and drove around looking for people to feed.
Within two hours, we had fed 9 different homeless people and my two older children both commented on how good it felt to make someone else smile. That is what it is all about. When you are not feeling good, try doing something for someone else. There are always people that can use a little help. Whether it is your aging parents, a neighbor or volunteering at a local food bank. If you are a bit of an introvert, things such as these listed may feel a bit overwhelming. You can do a random act of kindness such as sending cards to sick children in the hospitals, collect soda tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald house for sick children and their families, or write letters of encouragement to individuals who need them from the website www.moreloveletters.com.
Working out is something that not only is good for your outer appearance, it is equally as good for your body internally. When people work out, they feel a sense of well-being due to the release of endorphins. According to the American Psychology Association, there are many benefits to having a regular exercise routine. When people work out, they feel more energetic throughout the day and are able to sleep better at night. Exercising also allows people to feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. Having a regular workout routine has been known to help reduce negative moods, reduce tension and anxiety, improve memory as well as helping individuals think more clearly to make better decisions (http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/mind-body/stress/exercise-improves-your-mood/).
Faith and spirituality gives a sense of purpose and helps people to connect to something greater than themselves. A prayer during times of stress relieves the feeling of being alone. When individuals feel God is listening to their prayers and will help them, it gives them a sense of hope. With hope, individuals have the strength to move forward in life.
Prayer and meditation is one of the best ways to quickly boost a negative mood. I actually try to incorporate it into my everyday life to help keep me in check and avoid feeling down altogether. When I first wake up, I read from one of my devotionals to help me set the tone for the day. I’m currently reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and I also have the Joyce Meyer app on my phone which is amazing for her daily devotionals as well as replays of her daily broadcasts.
If you are not a spiritual or religious person, mediating works great as well. Yoga is a great way I have used meditation. A few years ago, I attended my first hot yoga class with a co-worker of mine and it was life changing. I can honestly say, this was one of the only places I was able to let go of all of my worries. Between sweating like a pig and trying to maintain the poses without looking out of place, I had no choice but to concentrate and focus on the present moment. LOL. If you have ever attended hot yoga, you know exactly what I mean. The temperature can easily get to over 100 degrees with no fans in sight, it feels a little like death warmed over. After an hour and a half session, I felt completely exhausted yet amazing at the same time so it was a no brainer to attend again. When I attended the following times, I was able to fully relax and again feel present and in the moment. Meditation can also be done alone, without yoga or a workout routine. There are many meditation videos on Youtube you can use or you can always Google meditation videos and choose the best one for you.
Remember, YOU have the power to change your mood, so choose wisely.
What are some of the ways you use to boost your mood? Comment below, I would love to hear from you!