When most of us think of lifting our mood, we think we need to overhaul our lifestyle in some way: Eat healthy, lose weight, exercise more, work less, stress less…
I know myself when I think of changing my lifestyle to incorporate more healthy habits and routines, I tend to get stuck in the “thought” stage of change and struggle to actually implement any change.
For most of us, it’s pretty overwhelming to contemplate overhauling your lifestyle. So, if you’re like most people, you tend to put “life goals” on the back burner for a rainy day when you have more time and energy.
In this way, you’re delaying (and denying) reaching a generally happier place. And the irony is, happiness does not grow out of major lifestyle shifts.
I’m not saying that exercise or eating well, for example, doesn’t play a significant role in mood, it does! We all know the research. But it’s not the answer to happiness.
Happiness is born out of the small stuff, the way you approach your day to day.
You can make small changes to make a difference to your mood and feel immediately rewarded.
Ways to Instantly Lift Your Mood
Perhaps my favourite strategy to instantly lift your mood is positive thinking. For many of this, this doesn’t come naturally… our brains often lead us towards worries and pessimistic ways of thinking. However, it’s actually not very hard to shift your thinking. Sometimes it’s as easy as asking yourself:
- What positives could I draw from this situation?
- Or, what’s the silver lining?
And the best thing about positive thinking is that it’s addictive: The more you think positively, the more you want to think positively.
My next fav strategy is to hang out with people you love. Connection and relationships is a core driver to happiness. You don’t have to hang out with loved ones everyday, but even if you connect with people as you go about your day – for example, chatting to the person who makes your coffee – you will instantly boost your mood.
Stay fairly organised and tidy. This may sound boring, but if you’re on top of life admin (e.g. washing, tidy house, food in cupboard, etc), there is more room for fun! Whereas, if you’re chasing your tail, it’s hard to make room for enjoyable activities and enjoyable activities can be tainted by disorganisation (e.g. you turn up late to parties or you forget your lunch on a day outing).
Make sure to get outside. Leaving the house may seem unnecessary, especially if it’s a cold wintry day. However, leaving the house will boost your mood instantly. Contrary to this, staying indoors will likely contribute to a low mood (more here in blog post – Combating the Winter Blues). Leaving the house can be as simple as buying a coffee or posting a letter.
Listen to music as much as possible. Music has an instantaneous affect on mood. Listen to music whenever you can – when you’re in the shower, doing the dishes, tidying the house, driving to work. Take any opportunity to remind yourself of your heart beat.
And finally, my last (but not least) strategy to boost your mood: Show pride in your care for yourself. This can mean anything from dressing in clothes you like, to keeping on top of your personal hygiene, to ensuring adequate grooming. This may sound superficial, but it’s actually less about how others perceive you, and more about the message you’re sending yourself, which is: “I’m worth the effort”. More here in blog post – The Most Practical and First Step to Depression Recovery.
How can Peaceful Mind Psychology help lift your mood?
Our team of Melbourne-based psychologists are experts in helping individuals improve their moods. We are also experienced in supporting individuals recover from depression. If you would like some professional assistance contact us at Peaceful Mind Psychology.