Enhance Your Mood NATURALLY!
Everyone has times when they are just not feeling up to par. Stress, not enough sleep and too much time inside can cause a person to begin to feel sad, frustrated or fatigued. But there are a few easy ways to help enhance your mood and energy naturally like eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising and having more fun in life!
Health & Wellness
Here are only a few of the many ways in which you can ensure that you remain healthy and active well into your Golden Years.
1. Exercise for yourself! Health care providers often call exercise the “miracle” or “wonder” drug—alluding to the wide variety of proven benefits that it provides. Exercising even 20 minutes per day will release such mood enhancing hormones as serotonin and dopamine which are credited for good feelings and good mood. Try to be outdoors, not only does spending time in the sun increase the very important vitamin D production (another good mood producer), it also helps set your internal clock for normal sleep cycles. Remember, exercise doesn’t always have to be about looking good, it can be about feeling good as well. Heck, it might even be fun!
2. Sleep! Getting healthy amounts of sleep per night can keep you energetic, focused and ready for the day. With 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night, the body can rejuvenate and repair from the previous day and let the natural hormone balancing cycle take place. This cycle keeps the brain alert and more calmly responsive to stressful situations that may occur during the day. Keep in mind that watching TV or spending time in front of the computer just before bed can confuse the brain to stay in “day time mode”, always turn off any lighted electronics at least 1/2 hour before bed.
3. Eat right! Many times we can find ourselves eating a quick bag of chips or cookie for an afternoon “pick me up”, but eat sources of clean protein, preferably in the morning, like salmon, chicken, eggs, nuts and beans for energy. Also keep adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates (such as brown rice or lentils) and Omega 3 rich fats (also found in fish and flax or avocado oils) in the diet to enhance the protein intake and give your cells energy and keep the brain efficient in the production of the important mood hormones.
4. Be social! Spending time with loved ones can also be a great way to increase your mood and happiness. Being interactive with others by talking, listening, playing, laughing, and hugging can actually increase the hormone called oxytocin which is found to have stronger effects then even serotonin. This also strengthens relationships creating a better sense of support and love in life.
Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, golfing, karaoke or join a yoga class). Just 30 minutes of physical activity daily will boost your happiness by increasing endorphins (proteins produced by your cells during exercise that help you feel happy).
5. Laughter! Never underestimate the value of laughter! Smiling, laughter, and general feelings of jubilation can be some of the best medicine. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. The harder you laugh, the greater this effect. If you can find a way to put yourself into a state of rolling, outrageous laughter, you’re going to get a fantastic physical workout from it. In fact, the next day, you may even find your stomach muscles are sore. Have you ever laughed so hard that your stomach hurt and your facial muscles were exhausted? That’s some serious exercise, and it’s the kind of exercise in which we should all engage on a regular basis.
Just ask yourself “Have I laughed today?” It might be all you need to turn those icky feelings around. This fun infographic, found via Visual.ly by Medical Insurance, gives us a no-nonsense look at why laughter is so great for our health: bodies and minds.