As much as we hate to admit it, summer is coming to an end. And that means shorter days, cooler temps, and fall weather is on their way. For some this is a welcomed change, but for many others, it can bring about the fall blues: lower energy, sadness, and in some cases even depression. With that in mind, we’ve compiled 5 of the best ways to naturally boost your mood in the coming months. Incorporate one (or more) of these strategies into your routine to help ease the seasonal transition and combat low mood.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise can improve your mood. But why exactly? According to Better Health, physical activity increases your level of endorphins (mood-boosting chemicals), limits the effects of stress on your brain, and can help you to feel a sense of accomplishment. These factors, combined with likely feeling healthier and stronger with regular exercise, are likely to leave you in a better mood overall. The form of exercise and duration don’t totally matter, as long as you’re getting active a few times a week.
Laugh It Up
It may sound far-fetched, but it’s true. Laughter can boost your mood. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins (those feel-good chemicals again) which naturally raises your mood, according to HealthGuide. It also relaxes the body and reduces stress, so you’re bound to feel a little better. If you can’t get the laughter flowing regularly with a friend or a good TV show, consider trying laughter yoga. It’s an international practice with guided techniques to promote real and contagious laughter.
While dance may fall under exercise for some people, it really deserves its own unique category. Dance combines the endorphin release of physical activity with the joy that comes from creative expression and movement. Plus, listening (and dancing) to music you like is thought to release pleasure-causing hormones in the brain. According to MindWise Innovations, dance can also encourage us to be more social and feel connected––which can improve both mood and mental health.
Get Your Vitamin D
Why is it that we feel so good while basking in the sun? It’s because our bodies produce vitamin D when we’re exposed to the sun’s rays. That said, sitting in the sun isn’t always the most practical way to get vitamin D (especially in the winter months). Thankfully, you can also get more vitamin D by taking a daily supplement or eating certain foods like salmon, egg yolk, and yogurt. Research has shown that vitamin D can regulate your mood and ward off depression, according to Healthline.
Mindfulness and meditation are everywhere these days and for good reason. It has been shown to promote a positive outlook, healthy sleep patterns, decrease stress and anxiety, and even increase pain tolerance––all of which contribute to a better mood. In fact, studies have shown that regular meditation is correlated with increases in positive thinking and optimism, and that meditation proves to be almost as effective in easing depression as an antidepressant, according to Healthline. Check out one of these apps to get started.
Written By: Kara Cuzzone