Are you sad or depressed? Improve your mood naturally with these 8 tips using everything from caffeine to kindness.
Caution with Caffeine
If you’re feeling blue, you may think that caffeinated beverages could give you a little mental pick-me-up, but they’ve actually been found to suppress serotonin production, so that morning coffee could end up making you feel worse. Try switching to another comforting beverage like an herbal tea instead.
On the other hand, a number of foods can improve your mood, most notably (and deliciously) dark chocolate! Savor one or two squares of good dark chocolate every day to boost endorphins and serotonin production. You can also eat one to two bananas a day, or up your intake of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like wild salmon and sardines.
Take a Moment to Be Thankful
Even if life is really rough at the moment, you still have things to be thankful for if you look carefully. Keeping track of them can help you put life in perspective and feel better sooner. Every day, write down three to five things you’re thankful for—it could be the unconditional love of your pet, a phone call from a dear friend, a beautiful sunset—anything that helps you see the good in life.
Get Out of the House
If you’re depressed, you may not have much motivation to get out and do, frankly, anything outside of the house. But sitting around and dwelling can make you feel worse, so try to plan an outdoor activity every day—go to the supermarket, set a lunch date with a friend, take a walk. This kind of external stimulation helps increase serotonin, so that you’ll start feeling more upbeat!
Pay It Forward
Be nice to someone else! It sounds counterintuitive, but saying hi to a stranger, holding the door open for someone, or even complimenting a coworker on her outfit can help you feel better when you’re depressed. It takes the focus off of you and your concerns and makes a positive connection with someone else.
A Bouquet Pick Me Up
Buy yourself some flowers. It sounds silly, but flowers are known to improve one’s mood. Every time you look at their natural beauty you’ll feel a little brighter!
If you’re a woman, put on a little lipstick! It will give you a surprising increase in confidence and will make you feel good about yourself. Also, spend a little extra time on your appearance—if you look good on the outside, you may start to feel better on the inside.
Check Your Thyroid
If you have a history of chronic depression, ask your doctor to check your thyroid function. It’s possible you may have hypothyroidism, an easy-to-treat condition treatable with thyroid medication. Up to 20 percent of chronically depressed people have hypothyroidism, so it’s definitely worth a simple blood test. It could change your life!
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