We all feel a little flat sometimes, but there are ways to lift your spirits quickly and easily – like these 6 proven mood-boosting techniques. Give some (or all) of them a go the next time you find yourself in a funk.
1. Go for a Walk
The old phrase ‘walk it off’ may sound flippant, but it’s stood the test of time for a reason. Increasing research has shown that taking even a short stroll can yield a number of powerful benefits for the mind and body.
As with many forms of exercise, walking pumps up production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters (aka endorphins). The resulting “runner’s high” helps relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
A quick lap around your favourite trail also promotes what researchers have dubbed “Divergent thinking”, which is a state marked by especially creative perspectives and ideas. It’s great for solving a challenging work or personal problem that you can’t quite wrap your head around otherwise.
Finally, walking and its associated physical benefits lift self-esteem and self-image – two consistent sources of low mood.
Many people only think about reaching for water when they’re thirsty, but by then it may be too late.
Two studies conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory demonstrated that even mild dehydration is enough to alter a person’s mood, energy, and ability to think clearly.
So what’s the best way to keep your hydration at optimum levels? Common wisdom suggests drinking around 2 litres of water per day, though this is subject to ambient conditions, your activity level, and the food you eat.
3. Take an Ice Bath
Athletes, actors, and everyday people are increasingly turning to cold plunges for their physical benefits, but did you know that frosty waters also promote mental wellbeing?
Exposing your body to cold causes a spike in neurotransmitters and activates the sympathetic nervous system, producing potent feelings of energy, focus, and alertness. The effect is so great that scientists have proposed cold therapy as an adjunctive treatment for depression.
If you’re interested in improving your mood through cold plunges, read our How Ice Baths Affect Your Mental Health blog post.
4. Talk Things Over
A problem shared is a problem halved. Even if you’re not looking for a solution, the catharsis of a candid chat with a friend or family member can leave you feeling a lot better.
Additionally, it provides an opportunity to look objectively at what’s causing you distress, and identify the steps you can take to remedy it. Choosing someone from outside of the situation also helps you see things through a different perspective.
5. Try a Breathing Exercise
Box breathing is a popular method of keeping your cool when presented with a stressful situation or environment. You can perform this breathing technique anywhere and at any time, just follow the simple steps below.
- Inhale for four seconds.
- Hold your breath for four seconds.
- Exhale for four seconds.
- Hold your breath for four seconds.
- Repeat steps 1 – 4 as needed.
6. Heat it Up
It also reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and modulates the circadian rhythm for deeper, more restorative sleep.
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Whether you’re interested in the numerous mood-enhancing benefits of hot or cold baths, iCoolsport has you covered.
Capable of chilling water to as low as 2°C (35.6F), our range of all-in-one MiPod Chill units are the perfect way to incorporate regular ice baths in your routine.
The best of both worlds can be found in the MiPod Pro Dual Temp Chill & Heat, which combines these heating and cooling technologies in a handy all-in-one solution.
NOTE: The information contained herein does not constitute medical advice. Consult your physician if you experience persistent low mood, depression, anxiety, or any other mental or physical symptoms.