With stress soaring, commitments overwhelming and time dwindling, most of us find it hard to manage our mental health before it spirals. But sometimes a few little techniques here and there can make all the difference – if you're looking for a mood boost that's delightfully out of the ordinary, you're in the right place.
In a world that often seems to spin faster than we can catch our breath, it's no surprise that many people find themselves wrestling with low mood. The stresses of daily life, personal challenges, and global uncertainties can all cast a shadow on our emotional wellbeing.
Low mood and depression are not isolated experiences but shared challenges faced by millions. In Australia, a staggering one in 13 people experienced symptoms of depression in 2020-2021 alone. The breakdown of this statistic reveals that 7.5% of individuals aged 16 to 85 years reported an affective condition within the past year. While the numbers may seem daunting – and they barely even scratch the surface – there are a few things we can do to boost our mood. While these easy activities can’t replace medical support and therapy, particularly if you’re dealing with more severe symptoms, they’re worth finding time for. A warm cup of tea, the laughter of a loved one, the feeling of sunshine on your skin, or the soothing notes of your favourite song can all provide moments of respite. These small joys may not eradicate low mood entirely, but they can act as stepping stones toward brighter days. Here are three simple and strangely effective ways to turn your frown upside down:
Dance Like Nobody's Watching
When was the last time you danced like no one was watching? Crank up your favourite tunes, clear some space in your living room, and have a solo party. Dancing isn't just about getting your heart rate up; it's an expression of joy and freedom. Whether you're grooving to the latest hits or indulging in some old-school classics, dancing can release endorphins and instantly elevate your mood. So, next time you're feeling down, don't hesitate to have a dance party for one – or invite friends to join in the fun!
Embrace the Cold
It may sound counterintuitive, but exposing yourself to cold temperatures can have surprising mood-boosting effects. Cold exposure, whether it's taking a brisk winter walk or a cold shower, can trigger the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation. The shock of cold may initially make you shiver, but it can also leave you feeling invigorated, awake, and ready to tackle the day. The practise can also release endorphins, those feel-good hormones that lift our mood and pump us full of motivation and positivity. Using water as therapy is an emerging treatment for mental health conditions, with studies finding cold showers may significantly reduce symptoms of depression. Just 5 minutes in the shower a few times a week is enough to feel the mood-boosting effects of a cool wash. This works as the shock of cold water jolts electrical impulses to your brain which improve mental clarity, low mood and low motivation. So, step out of your comfort zone (and your warm blankets) and welcome the cold with open arms.
Share the Love
Sometimes, the simplest acts of kindness can brighten your day. Hugging someone you care about is an instant mood lifter. Hugs release oxytocin, often referred to as the "love hormone," which promotes feelings of trust and bonding. Even a quick hug from a friend or family member can create a warm and fuzzy sensation that lingers long after the embrace. Additionally, engaging in social activities, whether it's chatting with a friend, volunteering, or participating in group activities, can boost your mood by fostering a sense of connection and belonging.
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