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13 Guaranteed Ways to Quickly Improve Your Mood

By Claudiu Pop

Life can get hard and you may feel stressed out more often than not in these busy times that we live in. Fortunately, there are many ways to quickly improve your mood, even when you feel like everything is going the wrong way. 

And the best thing? We researched the most simple and efficient methods, so you can get rid of any negative feelings like depression and anxiety in a blink of an eye.

Try each of the methods to see what works best for you and jot down their numbers. Come back to this post every time you feel down. We’ve got your back!

1. Change your posture

From modifying your facial muscles to changing the way you sit down, everything you do with your body has a great effect on your mental state. Yet, we’re here to tell you how to quickly improve your mood, so here we go.

Smile

Whether you have a reason or not, putting up a wide smile on your face is inevitably going to make you feel better. Many studies have proven the connection between our facial expressions and moods. 

A frown will accentuate your sadness and a laugh will supercharge your happiness. Also, try to smile whenever you feel sorrow and see that you’ll brighten up even if it’s just for a little.

You know how that saying goes: “A day without smiling is a day wasted!”

Strike a powerful pose

Try to flex your biceps, put your fists on your hips like Superman, or stay with your feet on your desk like a Wall Street mogul. You will feel more daring, confident, and ready for action.

Why? Striking a powerful pose, like the ones we’ve just listed, will increase your testosterone and decrease your stress hormone. This means fewer negative thoughts lurking in your mind and more uplifting ones.

After all, there is a reason why almost all superheroes have specific poses. It’s a secret weapon.

Lower your shoulders

Working long hours in front of a computer can be very tiring and stressful.

Also, chances are your shoulders are always shrugged forwards, especially when you get closer to the end of your working day. This is mainly due to stress and your bad keyboard-typing habits.

Please stay on the back of your chair when typing, even if your grumpy boss wants that long report ready in 1 hour. Relax, lower your shoulders and do your best. The oxygen will get easier to your brain and muscles and you’ll feel much better.

If you find it hard to keep your shoulders down, try Jean Claude Van Damme’s warm-up exercises. These will bring amazing improvements to your posture.

Dance like nobody’s watching

Our bodies are meant to always be moving, running and, you guessed it, dancing. Showing off some of your best moves while a great track plays in the background will make your blood flow like nothing else.

Therefore, you’ll feel waves of dopamine starting to flow throughout your body and you’ll instantly feel happier.

Dress up with your favorite clothes

We don’t need any licensed experts to tell us that what we wear affects our mood. When we wear our favorite outfits, we feel confident, stronger and much fresher. It’s like getting a new haircut, isn’t it?

So, next time you feel you could use a morale boost, put on your best set of clothes. You don’t necessarily need to go outside with them, just put them on. Any difference? Of course!

PRO TIP: Go for warm colors when choosing your “mood improvement” attire. Those bring up feelings of happiness, energy and optimism.

2. Indulge your taste

As complex one may think human beings are, we don’t need very much to be happy. We can find joy even in the littlest of things, but we need to look for it.

Enjoy a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea

Caffeine is known for its properties of boosting our neural networks, but also for eliminating our morning drowsiness. Simply put, drinking a cup of coffee or some black tea will energize you and pick you up from any lethargic state you may be in.

After all, there’s a reason why tea and coffee are the most consumed beverages in the world.

Yet, you want to make sure you consume low-sugar coffee. So, if you usually buy your dose of caffeine from Starbucks, ask for any of their healthy drinks.

Chew gum

Studies have shown that chewing gum not only makes you more productive and more attentive, but it also improves your mood. This widely spread activity promotes the flow of blood to your brain and, bonus, you’ll have a fresh breath.

Eat some chocolate

We know you love to hear this because now you have an excuse when you reach for that chocolate box – you want to cheer up.

What you need to know is that not chocolate is the magic ingredient that enhances your mood but the cocoa in it. The positive effects of this exotic fruit have been known for a long time and you don’t want to miss out on them.

3. Listen to music

We talked about dancing, but very often all you need to quickly improve your mood is an uplifting song. Make a playlist of the songs that always make you happy and hit the play button when you’re a bit under the weather.

There’s no accounting for tastes, but here are some uplifting songs that might help you out.

  • Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
  • Fireworks – Katy Perry
  • Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
  • Walking on Sunshine – Katrina Leskanich
  • Happy – Pharell Williams

Great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said “Life without music would be a mistake.” He was a wise man.

4. Delight your eyes

The mind is greatly influenced by what the eyes see. This is a great opportunity for you to improve your mood. Look at inspiring sceneries, beautiful art, or anything else that triggers a warm feeling inside yourself.

Look out the window

Sometimes all you need to quickly improve your mood is to let the natural light get into your eyes.

Go to the window with the best view in your home or office and just observe. You’ll find that this simple act will recharge your batteries and fill you with energy.

Notice small miracles

In the modern era, people are so busy that they often miss the little moments of magic that the universe prepared for them.

Move your focus from your everyday worries and start to appreciate the little wonders of the world. These can be anything: a blooming flower, a good deed, or even the brush strokes of a great artist. 

Speaking of art, a simple painting can bring color to your life, supercharge you after a stressful day and so much more. To be more convinced of the value of art, find out the 9 Reasons to Buy Art for Your Home.

And remember, wherever you look there is something to be seen.

Admire some flowers

Flowers are one of the most beautiful things in the world and even a look at their colorful appearance will make you feel 10 times better.

The idea is to go to a recent bucket of flowers you bought or to one of your flower pots and observe their texture, color, and smell. Your mood will blossom.

Add here that you can use this mood improvement tool as a pretext to buy some flowers for your significant other or for your dear ones. 

Embrace the green

If we ticked off the flowers, you also need to know that the color green can help you improve your mood. Green is considered one of the most relaxing colors the human eye can detect.

No wonder that beautiful natural sceneries with plenty of grass, trees, and flying leaves cover the backgrounds of so many desktops.

Light a candle

Fire and its movements have impressed us since we were living in caves and it still ignites a spark inside whenever we look at it. The motions of a dancing flame and the light coming from it stimulate our eyes and mind.

Therefore, don’t hold off. Go light a candle and let yourself be inspired by its small but lively flame.

Watch hilarious videos

You can instantly level up your mood by watching some funny video compilations on Youtube. This will detach you from your daily problems and, above all, make you laugh.

Flip through a photo album

Shuffling through memories is always an enjoyable activity because it will make you relive many feelings from the past.

You can add quotes about memories under your favorite pictures to make the photo album more interesting.

When you feel depressed or anxious, this activity is perfect because it reminds you of who you are and what you have accomplished so far.

5. Get comfortable

Snuggling up under a soft blanket is always welcomed when you are feeling a little overwhelmed because it gives you a sense of protection.

It’s like having your own cozy nestle where you can escape from your negative feelings and meditate on your next actions.

TIP: A quick self-massage when you are at work is going to refresh yourself and lower the pressure. Concentrate on your shoulders and neck to relieve tension.

6. Connect with others

No, it’s not about sending a friend request on Facebook. To quickly improve your mood it’s enough to go over to a friend or family member and just hug them, showing your appreciation.

There’s nothing like it. So whenever you feel down, do this; it’s human nature.

And if you don’t have such a person close by, have no worries. Go cuddle your cat, your dog, or whatever pet you have in your house.

7. Captivate your sense of smell

Buying aromatic sticks or candles is one of the best moves you can do. Whether you love the smell of clementines, wood, or any other scents found on the market, you are set for an olfactory delight.

Who can be upset when a fresh flowery scent takes over their room?

8. Meditate

You don’t need mantras, just find a quiet place, close your eyes, take deep breaths and visualize yourself in a place you love, doing something you enjoy. Also, you can visualize your best self or think about your progress in life so far.

TIP: If you encounter a negative thought don’t fight it. Take a deep breath and exhale that gloomy feeling.

9. Work

Yeah, you heard us well. Sometimes the best way to get rid of negative feelings is to get working and start accomplishing tasks. Start by organizing your schedule and then take each duty on your to-do list at a time. You’ll feel positive every time you complete a task, no matter how small.

Be sure to check our 6 Tips to Crush Your Daily Tasks to maximize your productivity.

10. Show your kindness

This is a no-brainer. Go help a homeless person, guide a lost person, adopt a pet from the shelter; it’s your choice.

A good deed heals your soul and will surely brighten you up. After all, it’s in our human DNA to help each other.

11. Laugh

We saved the best for last. Laughter is the best medicine for a bad mood and it brings many other health benefits as well. Stress relief, muscle relaxation, and immunity fortification are a few of them. 

Therefore, think of something that always puts a smile on your face, look at some funny videos, watch a stand-up comedy or call one of your goofy friends. I guarantee your mood is going to improve big time!

12. Exercise

Whether you like to work out in a gym or go for a bike ride, you are doing yourself a favor every time you exercise, both physically and psychologically. Research shows that exercising improves anxiety, stress, and depression.

Tip for gym-goers: science says that swimming can also boost your mood, so for those cases when your usual workout sessions won't make you feel much better afterward, make sure you get a membership at one of the gyms with pools located near you

13. Take cold showers

According to a 2007 study, taking cold showers activates the transmission of good hormones, like noradrenaline, to the brain, and has been proved to relieve depressive symptoms "rather effectively."

A good mood-boosting combo is to take cold showers after your workout. This way you'll reap the mental health benefits of exercising and combine it with the anti-depressive effects of a cold shower.

But make sure you buy a membership at a gym that has a shower room. Our list of best gyms with showers is going to be very helpful.

We equipped you with a full list of actions you can turn to whenever you want to quickly improve your mood. In the end, it’s your choice how you eliminate negative feelings, whether you choose to adopt a strong body position, to stimulate any of your five senses as we showed above, or to simply have a good healthy laugh.

Brain Tips
Cognitive Activities
Written by Claudiu Pop
Claudiu Pop is the founder of Unfold Today and an awarded journalist with expertise in numerous fields such as health, nutrition, fitness, mental health, productivity, healthy habits, and other domains related to personal growth. He has a BA in Journalism from Babeș-Bolyai University and was trained by professionals coming from the most authoritative news organizations, like CNN, The New York Times, and Reuters. Claudiu's work, published in various national and international outlets has been read by over 1 million people before he was even 21 years old.
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