Depression, anxiety and other mood disorders can all leave you feeling down, lethargic and stressed. Taking steps to improve your mood and change the way you are feeling helps to provide both immediate and long-term relief from your symptoms. While depression and anxiety are complex conditions that may require medical treatment, there are ways to take control of your symptoms Here are five things you can do right now to boost your mood.
Exercise is one of the simplest ways to improve the symptoms of common mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and panic disorder. Exercise releases endorphins and helps to relieve tension. You don't have to go to the gym or take an exercise class to benefit from exercise. Taking a short walk to the local shop may be enough to improve your mood.
Relaxation exercises, such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing and visualization, help to calm the mind and release tension from the body, particularly when practiced daily. When your mood plummets and you're struggling to cope, try taking a few minutes out of your day to perform some deep breathing exercises. Increase the calming effects by visualizing a calming environment, such as a beach, forest or mountain range.
Foods containing tryptophan can help to alleviate the symptoms of depression, as tryptophan is needed for the production of serotonin in the body. Turkey is one of the best foods for helping to boost anyone’s mood, as it contains high levels of tryptophan. Red meat, chicken, nuts, seeds, cheese, oats and eggs also contain significant levels of tryptophan. Eating a handful of nuts, a bowl of oatmeal or a turkey sandwich can give your mood an instant boost.
Talking and sharing your feelings with someone you trust can instantly change your mood. While friends and family can provide support and comfort for many people experiencing mental health problems, other people find it difficult to talk to those they are closest to. Seeking help from a counselor, psychotherapist or even a volunteer helpline can make a huge difference to your mood. Support groups and online forums can also help, as they enable you to share your experiences with other people.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal helps you to make sense of your moods. Keeping a journal will also help you to identify triggers that can worsen your mood. Try keeping a daily journal to explore how you feel and record your experiences, as it will provide valuable insights that can help you to find a way forward. If you have a counselor or close friend you feel comfortable with, consider sharing your journal entries with them, as this will help them to understand what you are going through.
Depression, anxiety and other mood disorders can have a serious impact on the quality of your life, leading to low mood, reduced energy levels and lack of motivation. Moving your body, relaxing, eating foods containing tryptophan, talking to someone and writing in a journal can all help to boost your mood and reduce your symptoms.