Feeling positive, content, and having good, stable moods are all important parts of good wellbeing but, unfortunately, only around 14% of people in the UK report feeling really fulfilled in these areas on a regular basis. There are lots of things you can do to improve your mood, feel more positive and improve your overall sense of mental wellbeing.
Everyone will have different mechanisms they use to improve mood on a day to day basis, some of which may include:
- Smiling – Research has shown that smiling even if you’re not feeling happy can decrease perceived levels of stress.
- Good posture – Sitting up straight increases feelings of self-confidence, while slumping over has the opposite effect.
- Decluttering – Clutter at work can make you lose focus and curb productivity. Decluttering may make you feel more relaxed, organised and better able to concentrate.
- Listen to Music – Several studies have found that listening to music can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and boost mood. The right music for you may have the power to change your attitude.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and finding ways to deal with negative feelings in the long term can be difficult.
It is also important to make some more long term changes by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and using positive ways of dealing with your negative feelings. When you are feeling down it is important to steer away from negative coping mechanisms which could be harmful to yourself and others around you. For example drinking too much alcohol, misusing drugs or self-harm. Focus on the following in order to keep your mood stable to help you avoid those negative coping mechanisms:
- Physical activity: Regular exercise (150 minutes per week is the national recommendation) has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem and improve sleep.
- Healthy Eating: Have regular meals including protein to keep your energy levels stable. Also choose foods containing mood-friendly nutrients, such as whole grains, chicken, oily fish, nuts and seeds. Drinking 2-3 litres of water a day will also help regulate energy and stress hormones
- Spending time with family or friends can be that ‘pick me up’ that you sometimes need, it also enables you to share your thoughts with others and to gain a different perspective on any potential problems you may have.