The cyclical paradox of trying to get yourself into a good mood, one: Note that you’re feeling particularly upset today. Two: Ignore it for an hour. Three: Try to dig yourself out of it. Four: Get frustrated when you can’t — unless you’ve got an arsenal of things that will make you happy right now because then, you’re prepared to overcome a bad mood whenever it strikes. The even better news is that the more you turn to the same mood-lifting items and hobbies, the more you’ll start to associate these things with happiness and relaxation, and the easier it’ll be to get that feeling back next time.
For the most part, I’m a really positive person, but we all get into ruts from time to time. When it happens, the biggest sense of comfort you can have is the phrase, “I can do something about this.” For you, that might be your favorite hobby and a cup of coffee. For me, I’ve got my meditation practice, I’ve got my acupuncture mat, and I’ve got my favorite adult coloring book, and all of them have worked wonders as far as getting me out of the worst of moods.
1. Raise Your Mood With Light Therapy
It’s been scientifically proven that the level and type of light in the room has the ability to impact the brain in such a way that your mood is affected, and that’s why (especially if you have seasonal depression) it’s worth investing in one of these Verilux HappyLights. They provide the type of full-spectrum light that cues your body to stabilize and rejuvenate, helping with mood, energy levels, and motivation.
2. Make A Weekly List To Get Organized
Lists have a tendency to help us feel organized and more in control of our lives, and that’s why The 52 Lists Project journal has such high reviews. It allows you to create one list a week for the whole year, and it’s filled with prompts that nurture self-expression, creativity, and development. Reviewers are saying things like, “A wonderful journal. So beautifully thought out and organized,” and it makes for a great weekly meditation that can really help alter your mood.
3. Don't Stop The Organizing There — Get Focused By Cutting Out Clutter
Studies have indicated that clutter in general can cause an inability to focus, which leads to decreased productivity. If not getting stuff done that you need to makes you feel a little anxious, start small! Take these duck shaped paper clips, for example. Not only do they store neatly in a pull out drawer, but using them to keep important papers together may just have you cracking a smile before you know it.
4. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
If you're so stressed out that even the smallest decisions have you spiraling, pass them off to this paperweight! (Okay, not the big ones, but the smaller things at the bottom of your "To Do" list.) Simply spin the center, and either make an effort to be productive, reorganize your strategy, or handle the issue tomorrow (among many other options).
5. Ease Away Stress With An Adult Coloring Book
Everyone’s jumping on the adult coloring book bandwagon, and that’s probably because it creates the kind of mindfulness that has the potential to seriously decrease stress and improve mood. This mandala coloring book has over a hundred unique and therapeutic designs, and each one is printed on a black back to prevent bleed-though — meaning that you can use any tool you want for coloring
6. Motivate Yourself To Stick With A Mind-Calming Exercise, Like Yoga
I’m a huge believer of the benefits of exercise on your mood, but sometimes a little bit of motivation is in order. If you’re looking to get into yoga but can’t afford a weekly class, The Yoga Journal is a really good compromise. It’s a three-in-one resource that helps you track your progress, record your experiences, and guide you to a better practice with tips and specific positions.
7. Use Heat And Aromatherapy To Relax Your Mind And Body
Whether you’re crouched over a desk all day or just really not into the cold weather, this Herbal Warming Scarf makes for an instant mood-changer. You can put it in the microwave to heat up its natural flaxseed, grains, and herbal core, and it’s got a beautiful and comforting scent that helps your mind to relax right alongside your body.
8. Reach For A Comforting Cup Of Tea
Rose buds are packed with vitamins and nutritious properties that could potentially help with things like menstrual pain, stress, and anxiety. This Alteya Organics USDA organic rose bud tea is made with organic rosebuds from the Bulgarian Rose Valley, and it’s got an incredible, naturally sweet taste that helps with skin health, mood, and relaxation.
9. Pamper Yourself Every Once In A While
Whether you’re really into your beauty routine or not, pampering yourself every once in a while is a great way to improve your mood, your self esteem, and your feeling of self worth. A great way to try out some of the best-selling AHAVA products, this AHAVA starter kit comes with a purifying mud mask, a mineral hand cream, a nourishing moisturizer, and a hibiscus and fig wash — all of which smell incredible and feel even better.
10. Keep Dehydration At Bay With A Little Motivation
After you've gotten yourself organized, take care of your hydration situation. Even mild cases of dehydration are shown to negatively impact mood, so if it takes a smilie face ice cube to get you to the fridge for water, so be it! If their friendly faces don't have you feeling better, your body's healthy hydration levels certainly will.
11. Get A Group Of People Together And Laugh
Sometimes you just need a really solid whole-body laugh. Draw What?! is an epic (vastly inappropriate) board game that’s pretty much a mashup of Cards Against Humanity, Pictionary, and Candy Land. “I've never had so much fun playing a game,” one reviewer says. “This game had me and my friends on the ground all night in tears because it is just so hilarious!” Whether you’re chilling with a small group or trying to get to know everyone at a party, this one will amp the mood of everyone in the room.
12. Utilize Acupuncture For Immediate Stress Relief
Whether my back’s bothering me or I’m just in a bit of a slump, the first thing I reach for on an off-day is my Spoonk acupressure massage mat. It works similarly to the ancient art of acupuncture, as it uses thousands of little stimulation points to increase circulation, energy levels, mood, and — I’d argue — happiness. Just position it under your back, lay there, and let the relaxation roll in.
13. Make Eyeroll-Worthy Chores A Little More Fun
Squeegeeing the shower door can be fun with the right tools, really. Designed by Sung Wook Park and Alan Wisniewski, this little guy has no problem using its rubber blade to cut through the steam for a crystal-clear finish (and maybe write your name, while you're at it.)
14. Whatever It Takes To Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. Studies show that eating a balanced breakfast can lead to improved concentration and performance throughout the day, so do what it takes to make sure you're excited about getting your nutrition in first thing. This adorable toaster can be customized for 14 different pet shapes, and if it's an early morning 'gram of toast that gets you out of bed in the morning — then go for it.
15. Positively Impact Your Mood With Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy (the use of essential oils to impact the mood) is believed by some to work because it stimulates the smell receptors in the brain to influence physical and mental health. These Soothe the Soul yogi candles use hand-poured soy and carefully chosen blends of essential oils to create three incredible-smelling candles: one to rejuvenate, one to calm, and one to motivate.
Images: Amazon (10); Uncommon Goods (5); Design: Brit Philips
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