Ways to Instantly Boost Your Mood

good vibes onlyIt 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

cleaning

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.

feeding homeless

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.

Workout

working out

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/).

Pray/Mediate

praise

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.

https://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/faith-and-stress/.

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!

Anxiety… now what?

 

118HIt was 3:20 am on a Saturday morning and I woke up gasping for air with an extreme amount of pain and pressure in my chest. I gasped trying to catch my breath and I could not seem to breathe comfortably. It was as though someone was sitting on my chest smothering me. I had sharp pains that radiated around to my back which caused me to fall out of the bed in a panic. I began to think “was my time up?” “Could this be the end?” I was praying… breathing… praying… breathing. I sure thought it was the end. I called my husband telling him something was wrong and I may need him to come home from work. “Would I seriously die here?” I called my dad and he took me to the local emergency room where many tests were ran from blood work, a gall bladder ultrasound, an EKG then a chest x-ray. All tests came back normal. What could it have been that was causing so much pain?

After about two hours of being poked and prodded in the ER, I was told I had chest wall pain which most likely came from stress. WHAT?! They explained with extreme amounts of stress, the body’s reaction is to tighten the muscles in the chest as well as around the rib cage. Surely this could not have been a result from stress could it? The short answer… YES. But it actually was a little more complicated than that.

You see, in 2015, we endured a house fire and I lost everything material and was left with nothing but the clothes on my back. This was a very traumatic event that you will have to be filled in at a later date. As a result, I began seeing a therapist I was referred to from an amazing friend. She has helped me work through several situations that have been quite beneficial and working through the fire was definitely one of them. With that being said, fast forward two years later and I am still seeing her to help me manage life in every aspect. After my ER visit, I had an appointment. We began as we normally did, she asked what was new and how things were going and I casually mentioned my trip to the ER thinking we would brush past it. To my surprise, my entire appointment was centered around my ER visit. “How did I feel?” “What led up to it?” During my session, she helped me realize what I had experienced was an anxiety attack.

262H

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is not a condition in its own entity, it is an umbrella term under which many anxiety disorders are placed in. Anxiety, according to the Cambridge Dictionary is an “uncomfortable feeling of worry about something that is happening or might happen” (2016). It develops from a complex set of risk factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States affecting 40 million adults based on information from Anxiety and Depression Association of America (www.adaa.org).

Women are more likely to be affected than men. Anxiety typically begins in childhood and the median age of onset is 7 years old. With so many individuals affected by anxiety, you either know someone who has anxiety or you may be affected by anxiety. Growing up, I never felt or knew what it felt like to be anxious, at least I did not think I did. Because anxiety can be revealed after life events, my anxiety became apparent to me shortly after our house fire and after speaking with a counselor about it, I came to realize, anxiety is something I have dealt with my entire life. If I had known this early on, I could have done something different to work through numerous situations along the way.

Signs of Anxiety

Natural anxiety is often present after a stressful situation or event that does not last long. The type of anxiety individuals who suffer from anxiety conditions experience is a little different. The episodes are more frequent and are not necessarily tied to a certain event or problem. Although each type of anxiety condition carries its own set of characteristics, most have the following signs in common…

  • Excessive worry about all things no matter how big or small
  • Restlessness or feeling on the edge
  • Irritability
  • Feeling extremely tired/fatigue
  • Muscle tension

Treating Anxiety

If you have ever had any of the above signs, it is good to know that you are not alone. With the way our world operates today placing such high demands to be without flaw, more and more people are experiencing anxiety but often are suffering alone. When you begin to open up and share your experience with others, you will see that it is more common than you know. Anxiety is easy to treat and it is ok to ask for help. You can find help through therapy with a therapist or counselor and medication. To find what works best for you, it is important to research your options. There are great websites online such as www.postivelypositive.com, www.anxietyslayer.com, www.anxietycentre.com, as well as Youtube. You will be surprised about how many people there are who talk about their struggles and ways they deal with anxiety that can really be helpful. For me, I have a strong sense of faith and I pray and surround myself with like-minded individuals. I chose to work with a therapist while I implemented a workout regimen that not only helps me relieve stress, it also helps me get my body together J I also have a great group of friends and family who are very supportive and they love me for me.