boost your mood tipsFeel better quickly with these 7 mood-boosting tips.

Approximately 24 percent of Americans suffer from extreme stress at least once a year, and this number has been increasing rapidly since 2014. Not only does stress feel bad and make it difficult to concentrate and sleep but it can also lead to serious health problems.

Therefore, it’s vitally important to take regular steps to boost your mood and stay as de-stressed as possible. The good news is that there are some very simple ways to make yourself feel better without needing to invest a lot of time, energy or money.

1. Deep Breathing

Breathing happens unconsciously, so most of us are not tuned into it. Believe it or not, if you’re one of the people who pays zero attention to your breathing, you may not be doing it properly. Of course, you’re getting enough oxygen to survive, but deep breathing techniques and proper posture are known to reduce stress and tension.

The next time you feel your mood turning toward depression, inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for two seconds and then exhale for four seconds. Repeat this process at least three times to clear your mind and slow everything down for a minute.

2. Eat a Healthy Snack

The commercials about people getting “hangry” may not be far from reality; if you fail to eat until long after your hunger has set in, you are likely to end up feeling stressed and irritable. Improve your mood by preventing this from happening.

Keep a healthy snack with you at all times such as an apple or some nuts. Taking a couple of minutes to eat when you begin to feel hungry will elevate your mood and help you make smarter meal choices.

3. Learn Tai Chi

Several studies have found that Tai Chi improves quality of life, mood, and daily activity levels. Because this martial art is low impact and doesn’t put a lot of stress on your joints, it can be done by almost anyone. There are even modified Tai Chi moves for individuals in a wheelchair.

The best part is that YouTube and public libraries offer numerous free training videos, so you don’t need to pay for an instructor if you’re on a limited budget. Simply select a beginner routine and practice it frequently enough that you can do it from memory. This will enable you to do some Tai Chi moves whenever you start feeling upset or stressed out. It won’t make stressful situations go away, but Tai Chi can help you deal with them better.

4. Take a Break in Nature

An extremely easy and free way to boost your mood is by taking a stroll through the woods. According to researchers from Stanford University, being in nature provides numerous mental health benefits. One of the biggest perks is that people who spend time in a wooded setting are less likely to ruminate over negative things.

Vitamin N, as it’s sometimes referred to, can also reduce anxiety and depression. Studies have even linked it to improved cognitive functionality. Daily exercise is another way to boost your mood, so why not combine the two by walking, hiking or jogging in the woods?

herbs for anxiety research5. Relax with a Book and Cup of Tea

It’s common to have the misconception that you need a lot of time to unwind and relax. Due to this, many people don’t provide themselves with the necessary self-care on a daily basis. Scientists have determined that you can greatly reduce your stress levels in less than 10 minutes and doing this is a good way to boost your mood.

High on the list of quick and effective relaxation techniques is the combination of reading for pleasure while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. Reading offers a stress reduction of 68 percent. On its own, drinking coffee or tea brings stress levels down by 54 percent. Putting these two relaxing activities together may not get you to 100 percent, but they’re likely to help you feel calmer.

6. Make Smart Color Choices

Colors have a huge impact on each person’s psychological well-being. There are colors that have a calming effect and others that can make you feel more anxious. Peter’s of Kensington recently reported that the 2017 Pantone color of the year is Greenery. The color green is psychologically associated with harmony, calm, balance, growth, and renewal. In other words, if you introduce green into your home or work environment, you’ll benefit from the naturally stress-reducing effect this color has on many people.

7. Smell a Pleasing Scent

Your sense of smell plays a major role in your memory recall and your overall mood. Certain scents are known to help people feel more relaxed or energized, which means they provide an instant mood enhancement. Some of the best choices include orange, pine, lavender, vanilla, and freshly cut grass.

aromatherapy scent boost moodGetting a small bottle of the essential oil scent you prefer gives you a way to instantly feel better. Simply keep the bottle with you at all times and take a few seconds to smell it whenever you feel stressed, upset or overwhelmed. Again, this isn’t something that can change the situation you’re in, but it can help you deal with things differently.

A mood boost can also come from doing something you find enjoyable such as playing mobile games that are designed to improve your mood and cognitive functionality. Regardless of which specific mood boosters you choose, always remember that you can feel better after just a few minutes. If you choose an essential oil, you can even begin to feel more uplifted after just a couple of seconds!

Make time daily to provide yourself with this level of basic self-care, and your mood will naturally start to stay at a higher level. Boosting your mood doesn’t have to take a long time or cost a lot of money. Try these 7 simple tips instead!