Having a bad day? Not in the best of moods? It happens, and it’s all a part of life in the working world. But guess what? You don’t have to stay in that grumpy mood for long; there are techniques you can apply that will actually alter the chemicals in your brain to release the ones that make you feel good. Get ready to feel better and boost that mood!
1. Smell Yourself Happy
Aromatherapy is quickly gaining popularity and with good reason. Studies show that the essential oil, lavender, creates the calming affects your body needs to relax. It’s a similar reaction that anti-anxiety medications can produce in the body. Calming smells work by stimulating serotonin production. Next time you have the blues, try a few drops of lavender in your diffuser for a release of those mood-altering hormones.
2. Crank Up the Tunes
We all have that one song that instantly puts us in a good mood. It may take you back to a fun party or simpler time with your family, but either way, it gets your toes tapping and feeling good. Humans all connect deeply to music, and according to a study published in Nature Neuroscience, dopamine is actually released in the brain when you are listening to music the tune you love most. So find your happy place in a song and crank it up!
3. Keep it Natural
There are always a few things you should keep on hand, and when it comes to your mood, consider adding one more item to your work bag, an adaptogen. Adaptogens are to help boost particular areas of your boy’s health, like the brain. One of the most well-known examples is ginseng, but for mood, consider Mucuna pruriens. This adaptogen contains L-DOPA, which helps increase dopamine. Also look into, Rhodiola. This adaptogen helps keep your dopamine levels stabilized.
4. Laugh it up
Laughing is always fun! And it’s no wonder why, laughing actually releases endorphins. Usually, endorphins are released during sports and exercise, but when you laugh, your abdominal muscles contract and give you a bit of a “feeling good” work out. Those contractions stimulate endorphin production. To feel better fast, find your favorite funny video on YouTube and get your giggle on!
5. “Love” a Little More Often
There is a good reason oxytocin is called the “love hormone.” This neurotransmitter is released during sex by the pituitary gland. So, try and up those oxytocin levels the good old fashion way.
6. Light Up Your Life
Fall is almost here, and that means the days will be getting a bit shorter. For many, the extra darkness can equal extra dark moods. That condition has a name, seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD can leave us feeling depressed and groggy. Try putting a little more light in your life, specifically, blue light. Look into blue-light therapy boxes for boosting serotonin during the long winter months.
7. Sleep in a Bit
Waking up to a blaring alarm clock is not the best way to start the day. Your body has a natural way to wake; dopamine actuals signals your body to dial down levels of melatonin. But a lack of sleep can throw this system off. To put it simply, if you are not getting enough sleep, your body gets lethargic, and your brain can become depressed. Make sure the chemical processes in your body get a chance to work properly by allowing them to do so. Get enough sleep, even just a few hours less than your body needs will throw your dopamine levels out of whack.
8. Spice it Up
If you’re a fan of spicy food, then this technique will please your taste buds. Capsaicin, the chemical found in peppers, is what makes your mouth tingle after eating at your favorite Thai restaurant. A pleasant side effect of that delicious food is the fact that your body recognizes this heat as pain and that triggers endorphins.
9. Eat More Protein
The more protein you consume, the more likely your body is to produce extra dopamine in the body. The amino acids found in meat and fish help boost the production neurotransmitter DOPA. This production is aided along by a tyrosine rich diet. This nutrient is high in grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, and tuna and cage-free organic eggs. For people who eat a more plant based diet, you can get the same nutrients to enhance your mood from seeds, nuts, and legumes.
10. Exercise Your Brain
Never stop learning! Picking up new hobbies and new areas of interest can go a long way in boosting your mood and overall happiness. Dopamine is actually associated with feeling accomplished and rewarded. By rewarding ourselves with something new that makes us feel fulfilled, releasing dopamine. The learning of that new skill is reinforced, and the cycle can begin again as you achieve more and more goals. Picking up a new hobby is a sure way to boost your mood!
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