You don’t need an iron will or monk-like levels of commitment to stay calm and positive. Regulating your mood just takes practice. Staying peppy or balanced, or just trying not to have a blow-up or meltdown, means you have to work at it every day.
But there are some easy ways to boost your chances!
How Do Natural Mood Boosters Work?
Natural mood enhancers (or natural mood stabilizers, if you need to turn it down a notch instead of up) take advantage of the mind-body connection. For example, there’s a proven link between food and moods.
It doesn’t matter if it’s food, an herbal supplement, or an activity; it’s going to interact with your body. Like a knocking at the door, you can’t ignore it; your brain will answer.
13 Mood Boosters You Can Try Right Now
Need a mood boost right at this moment? We’re starting with some of the most immediate solutions. Then we’ll go on to take a look at mood-boosting foods and mood supplements.
Proven Mood Enhancers: Good Habits
Moving Your Body
Everyone likes to cite the importance of regular exercise, but sometimes you just aren’t in the mood. It feels tiring and insurmountable, so you don’t start at all.
But some activity is better than none. So get up and stretch, do tai chi, yoga, or put on an upbeat song and move with the beat.
If you have the discipline and the ability, regular moderate to intense exercise really does work. It energizes the body and triggers endorphins while leaving no mental space for dwelling on anxiety or negativity.
Find a routine you enjoy, and you’ll even look forward to it.
This goes along with moving your body because the usual method for getting outside is taking a walk. Humans want sunlight (and vitamin D). But even if it’s dark or rainy, it’s good to change scenery.
Focus on staying present, taking in the new sights, sounds, and smells around you, for maximum benefit.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Staying present and grounded are the building blocks of mindfulness. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or run down, take a minute to pause and focus more inwardly.
How are you doing right now? Where are you? What’s going on?
Do you need to eat or hydrate?
How does your body feel?
Have a tasty snack and really enjoy it, eating deliberately to savor the texture and flavors.
It’s a self-check-in to help you recalibrate and find the energy to continue – a power nap, but for your brain only. Meditation is like an extension of this, except you focus on breathing and sitting with yourself for a more extended period.
Good Mood Food: Nutrition-Packed
There’s a proven link between food and moods.
OK, so maybe we’ve started with the least nutritional and most indulgent. Who doesn’t turn to chocolate as a sweet pick-me-up?
But this bittersweet alternative has more beneficial plant compounds, less added sugar, and fewer fats. Nonetheless, it’s still somewhat sugary and has higher calories, so dark chocolate makes for a gratifying midday power snack.
(And it might be an aphrodisiac, and at the very least, it can improve blood flow.)
Leafy greens are packed with folate, a B vitamin. Studies have found it in lower levels among depressed individuals, suggesting its importance in a stable, uplifted mood. Plus, greens have plenty of other vitamins and nutrients that can help you properly metabolize your body’s existing feel-good chemicals.
Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and quinoa are other sources of folate and B vitamins, as well as a host of other mood-useful vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Nuts and seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps you produce serotonin (and vitamin B3). Plus, some are a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Berries and Fruits
Dark-colored berries are rich in antioxidants. These can reduce inflammation in the body and eliminate free radicals. Enhance your body, enhance your mood, right?
Most other fruits will have a positive impact, too. They’re full of vitamins your body craves, and citrus and avocados fall in the folate camp if you’re reluctant to add greens to your diet.
This one’s a mood stabilizer. Simply put, oats keep you full.
You could eat this fiber and iron-rich food at any time, but if you have them for breakfast, it can keep your belly full and blood sugar balanced fairly long throughout the day. Stable blood sugar helps prevent irritability and mood swings, which is very important if you’re the “hangry” type.
And as a bonus tip, considering everything else on this list, maybe the most powerful food for your mood jumpstarting needs is a hand-crafted smoothie.
Daily Mood Booster: Supplements
A perennial favorite for unwinding at bedtime, lavender has the potential to be a daytime stress reliever and mood stabilizer when taken orally. Try it and see how you feel.
SAM-e is shorthand for S-adenosylmethionine. This supplement is derived from an amino acid, but it also occurs naturally in our bodies. Studies have found abnormal levels of SAM-e in people with depression, which first prompted its study. It can make an effective mood booster.
This goes hand-in-hand with the well-known mood food, fat-rich fish. Salmon, for example, contains the fatty acids DHA and EPA. These support your serotonin levels — but you can just take a supplement if your diet lacks the appropriate seafood.
Kratom is a plant with relatively mild opioid-like effects. It’s not an opioid, but it interacts with some of the very same receptors to help relieve pain, take the edge off stress, and generate pep and happiness.
In addition, it can function as both a mood-boosting supplement or a mood-stabilizing one. Certain varieties act more as a sedative and others as more of a stimulant. Here at Organa, we have both, as well as varieties that promote overall mental balance. While kratom ultimately may not be right for you, its effects are proven and begin kicking in soon after your first dose.
It can be hard to shift yourself into a continually positive mindset. But it’s much easier to shift your mood for the better at any given moment.
- Whether it’s a low-impact activity or heart-pounding workout, getting the body physically involved forces your brain to adjust. Or you could slow down and tune in for a manual adjustment.
- Our diet is important, too, because what we eat impacts what nutrients our body is working with. We need plenty of raw materials to produce and utilize serotonin and other feel-good chemicals.
- When you just want a little targeted boost, supplements are an excellent choice for recharging the mind and refreshing your mood.