My Q Health | 31 Ways to Boost Your Mood Naturally
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31 Ways to Boost Your Mood Naturally

31 Ways to Boost Your Mood Naturally

Feeling down? These strategies may help

Don’t blame yourself

This is the simplest and most important thing you can do to beat depression. The stigma of depression, plus feelings of guilt and inadequacy, can get in the way of recovery. Managing the symptoms of depression requires a practical, proactive approach—and patience with yourself.

Try to look on the bright side—seriously

“How you frame something can change everything,” says life coach and Health magazine columnist M. J. Ryan, the author of AdaptAbility: How to Survive Change You Didn’t Ask For. Try to consider the sunny side of a situation rather than focusing on the negative. If it’s pouring rain, think of the good it will do for your garden. The result: A more optimistic and inventive you who can take on just about anything.

Get a good night’s sleep

Much remains unknown about the connection between depression and sleep, and everyone has different sleep needs, but experts recommend that depressed people get enough sleep and maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule.

Let the sun shine in

“Brightening your bedroom when you wake up helps you feel happier all day,” says Michael Terman, PhD, the director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia University Medical Center. Leave curtains and blinds open, and/or put lamps on a timer to switch on 15 minutes before your alarm sounds to get a “dawn simulation” effect. Just being outdoors can boost your mood as well, Terman explains. Morning sunlight is most beneficial, so take a pre-work walk.

Swap out bulbs

If you think your depressed mood may be due to a lack of sunlight (the main cause of seasonal affective disorder), try using compact fluorescent bulbs to light high-traffic areas such as the kitchen and family room. Compact fluorescent bulbs mimic sunlight better than incandescent bulbs.

Play with a furry friend

Petting a dog for just 15 minutes releases the feel-good hormones serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol, a University of Missouri–Columbia study says. You’re more of a cat person? No worries: Other research has found that playing with your kitty gives a similar mood and health boost.
To read full article, visit Health.com.
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