What if there were things you could do every day that would help put you in a good mood? This article goes beyond the obvious. You already know that getting a good night’s sleep, doing some movement, etc., will help you with your mood. But what about things you may never have thought of, like dark chocolate? This is all about small habits you can start today that’ll help you maintain a better mood.
Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and enjoy some laughs! You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search. Here’s a link to the podcast on iTunes.
Being in a Good Mood
Life happens. It can feel challenging to be in a great mood Every.Single.Day. However, there ARE things you can do each day that’ll help move you towards being in a good mood.
I didn’t want this article to be filled with obvious habits. You already know basic things, like those in the list below:
- Daily exercise
- Eating regularly
- Calling a friend
- Essential oils such as lavender
These are the basics. If I could draw a triangle, these would be at the very bottom. If you don’t sleep well, for example, it’s going to be really hard for you to be in a good mood. But we’re not going to talk about the basics since you already know them.
Instead, we’re going to talk about things that you may not have thought of already, but which can really help.
Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Gotta start with something fun 😉
Once when I was really upset about something, my Mom told me to go eat some chocolate! I was shocked since I’m not someone who stress-eats. But my Mom is a scientist and she knew what she was doing.
According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, consuming chocolate may improve your mood and make you feel more calm and content. It also stimulates the production of endorphis. If that wasn’t good enough, the journal reports it also contains serotonin, which is an antidepressant and can elevate moods.
Notice Which Foods Improve Your Mood
There are foods that may improve your moods. Start noticing – what foods uplift you?
1. Foods high in Omega-3s fatty acids
I’ve noticed for myself that foods high in Omega3’s tend to make me feel great. Tuna in particular puts me in a GREAT mood. Below are foods that are known to be high in Omega3’s.
- Wild Alaskan salmon
- Other oily fish
- Flax and chia seeds
Interestingly, A New Zealand study found that fish consumption was linked to better mental health!
2. Fermented foods, such as kombucha.
Our second brain is in our gut, so it makes sense that we have to feed our gut some good bacteria to put us in a good mood.
Below are fermented foods that have bacteria that makes our tummy’s happy:
- Korean kimchi
- Pickled vegetables
3. Notice what your body likes
Just start noticing what your body likes. For example, I do really well with oatmeal. Eating regular old-fashioned oatmeal makes me feel energized and happy throughout the day.
I’m not a doctor so talk to yours before you take a supplement. Many people are deficient in Vitamin D. Next time you go for your yearly physical, consider simply ask about your Vitamin D levels.
I was tested and was shocked at how low my levels were. I took a QUALITY Vitamin D supplement and it radically chnaged my mood. I used to have hip pain at night. Once I took it, all my bone pain was gone. I was more positive, too.
Also, don’t forget about your kids! Make sure their levels are good, too.
Get Some Fresh Air (forest bathing – Shinrin-Yoku)
Your Mom was right when she told you to go play outside. Fresh air is GREAT for you! The Japanese practice Shinrin-Yoku, forest bathing, where they use their senses when outside in nature to notice and appreciate it.
And isn’t it just FUN to be outside? It feels so free and happy. Get out in nature and:
- Take a walk
- Work outside
- Read outside
- Put your feet or hands in the dirt. UK scientists find that the ground has friendly bacteria in soil that produce serotonin, similarly to anti-depressants.
Pay Attention to What Makes You Happy
The best advice I can give you is to start noticing what makes you happy!
Don’t let other people or a scientific study dictate what improves your mood. Notice for yourself. Be the scientist of your own life.
Learn to trust yourself. Trust your body.
For example, many experts advise drinking half your body-weight in ounces. I find I need about 30 oz more than my body weight to avoid headaches and feel energized.
Create your own list that works for you.
Another example is that many people suggest you have fresh flowers in the house. However, this doesn’t work for me since after the first week, I don’t notice them and it doesn’t feel special. I enjoy flowers much better as an occasional treat.
Just notice and do more of what makes you happy!