Health

10 Ways to instantly boost your mood

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Young funny woman making mustache with a long strand of her hair in a humorous way over white background boost your mood

Image: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

Let’s be real – we’re all so over being victims to whatever your mood happens to be. There is abundant evidence that moods are interlaced with other things, including body posture, scent, and scenery. This means that you can learn to instantly boost your mood whenever you feel you need it. Based on cold, hard science, here are ten ways to improve your mood in minutes

Watch Kitten Videos

Research supports what you may have known all along. Spending ten to fifteen minutes watching kitten videos on the internet makes you happy. Don’t ask me why, it just does. Just don’t overdo it, though. Too much time and it begins to feel wasteful instead of helpful.

Coloring

Ever wish you could feel happy like when you were a kid? You can. It turns out that box of Crayola offered a lot more than a rainbow of colors. Researchers in the area of color psychology have uncovered that spending time with a coloring book and crayons or pencils can boost your mood almost instantly. In fact, just looking at certain colors can make you feel better right away. If you won’t take my word for it, maybe you’ll take Kendall Jenner’s. According to Peoplethe supermodel painted a wall in her home a peppy pink because it is supposed to aid in calming anxiety. Not to mention it’s just really pretty.

Relax in the glow

Did you know that turning off your electric lights and burning a candle for lighting can make you feel better automatically? The candle doesn’t even have to be scented. The gentle flickering flame and soft lighting that candles provide make your room more in tune with nature’s natural light, soothing your body and soul.

Be kind

The Journal of Social Psychology reports that study participants who did something kind each day for ten days felt happier than those who didn’t. You don’t have to do something kind for ten whole days (though the world could really use it right now). Even one small kind gesture will instantly boost your mood. Need ideas? Wish someone a “Happy Tuesday,” pay for coffee for the next person in line, secretly leave a dollar bill on the counter in a public place, clean the office microwave, or call your boyfriend’s mother just to say “hi.”

Hold a warm beverage

When your body experiences warmth—particularly in a cold environment—you’re body internally takes note and feel warm and calm, too. The next time you’re feeling blue, just boil some water or make yourself a cup of hot cocoa or herbal tea. Hold the mug with both hands, close your eyes and let the warmth and happiness fill you up. Hot tea is basically a bubble bath for the soul so yes.

Smile

If you want to feel instantly better, just smile. Scientific studies have actually proven that this simple method works like a charm. In fact, your mood may be so crappy that you struggle with forcing a smile. But keep at it, because you’ll be amazed at the instant mood lifting results.

Take a nap

Your mood is greatly affected by the quality and quantity of sleep you get, according to Harvard researchers. If you feel your mood dropping, think about last night’s sleep. Chances are you didn’t get enough. Take fifteen or twenty minutes to nap. When you awaken, your mood will have improved and you can go about the rest of the day feeling happier and more energized.

Listen to Music

Music is closely connected with mood. In fact, studies have shown that listening to what can be described as “sad but beautiful” music makes people feel better. Why not add a playlist to your device that’s dedicated to helping you feel better when you’re feeling blue? Speaking from experience and my many, many Spotify playlists, it works!

Nibble on chocolate

It turns out that dark chocolate has components that elevate serotonin levels in our brain. So the next time you’re feeling blue, go ahead and indulge in a nibble or two of high-quality dark chocolate. Avoid eating the whole bar, though. Just one ounce is the recommended amount.

Walk it out

The American Psychological Association reports that after only five minutes of brisk exercise, your mood improves a great deal. FIVE. Don’t even think of it in terms of exercise. Just go with the flow and stroll around the block to instantly boost your mood.

Next time you’re feeling down, try at least one thing on this list—and feel better instantly.

Kate Supino is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing her research and experience with readers everywhere. She lives in sunny South Florida.