Everyone will have days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. It’s normal to have a bad day occasionally, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to sit idly by as your lousy mood worsens or turns into full-on depression. It also doesn’t mean you can’t prevent many of these bad feelings from forming in the first place.
Daily exercise, eating right, and getting enough shut-eye are three distinct ways to boost your mood and improve your overall mental and physical health. There are however a couple less obvious ways to get your mind right and improve your mood.
Here are five secret mood-boosting recipes:
#1 Make Out More
Kissing, as it turns out, is not only good as foreplay, it is also beneficial in and of itself. Kissing, even a couple pecks, increases levels of dopamine in the bloodstream, the body’s natural reward system. Kissing also has been shown to lower cholesterol in both men and women alike.
#2 Sing in the Shower
Whether you’re crooning with Sinatra, bustin’ a rhyme, or pouring your guts out with Adele, singing in the shower is a great way to start your day. Corny as it sounds, belting lyrics to your favorite jam might help turn your morning frown right-side up. A recent German study even showed that singing helped create antibodies used to fight disease. Make sure to cite that research when the neighbors complain.
#3 Journal the Good Stuff
Tracking the positive things that happen in your life is an excellent way of reinforcing positivity. At the end of every day, take out a notebook and jot down three good things that happened to you that day. It could be as seemingly innocuous as a joke you heard that made you laugh, a video you saw that made you smile, or the way the sun shone through the trees outside your office.
Tracking positive things is a great way of filtering out the bad and focusing on the good. Being grateful for even the small things in life is an essential ingredient to being happy. Plus, once you’ve been writing for a while, it’s a joy to look back through all the happy moments of your life.
#4 Dust off the Old Photo Album
Not just good for laughs (OMG would you look at that haircut?), it turns out that flipping through old photographs is a proven way of lifting our spirits. A study at Open University in the United Kingdom showed that looking at old family photos was a more efficient mood booster than drinking alcohol, watching TV, listening to music, or even having a piece of chocolate! In fact, rediscovering that old photo album can make you feel 11% better (every little bit helps).
#5 Take Natural Mood-Boosting Supplements
Before you take anti-depressants, which can have a whole host of severe side effects, it’s important to exhaust all the natural ways of improving your mood. Two great natural supplements for mood improvement are probiotics and turmeric. Both are proven means of not only helping the body but helping the mind as well.
Turmeric has been used around the globe for thousands of years. It has been shown in multiple studies to help reduce pain and inflammation, fight off free radical damage, and improve overall mood.
Probiotics, the good bacteria in the belly that fight off disease, have been shown to be very useful in improving mental and physical health. Adding these beneficial bacteria to your gut or “Second Brain” as medical experts often call it, can be an incredibly effective mood booster. These single strains of “good” probiotic that can help the digestive system can be found in dark chocolate, kefir, sauerkraut, microalgae, miso soup, pickles, tempeh, and yogurt (especially handmade). However, taking a potent probiotic supplement is a faster and more efficient way to balance your GI tract and improve your overall mood and outlook. Getting your “Second Brain” feeling good with probiotics and the “first” brain will follow.