Mood, is a feeling, an outlook, a state of mind, a chemical reaction. How to improve your mood is surprisingly simple and boils down to making just 3 simple behaviour changes in your day. Let me explain.
- When you move more your mood improves. When you are in a better mood, you will enjoy it and want to move more. The cycle goes on.
- The better your mood the better your choices will be around food. The less unhealthy foods you eat, the better your mood will be. The cycle goes on.
- By combining the two your stress levels will lower.
- As stress levels lower you are better able to cope with whatever comes your way. This in turn improves your mood and the cycle goes on!
All 3 are linked and all 3 matter! Told you it was simple!
How to improve your mood by moving more
Exercise is just moving! Moving helps release certain feel-good chemicals into your bloodstream which are then pumped around your body and into your brain. This helps to improve your mood. The type of exercise you might think are a gym or running-related or something like that. Wrong! It really is just moving more, unless you actually do want to go to the gym or out for a run?
My tips for moving more
Make it something that is easy to fit into your day, like ‘the 5-minute walk away.
This simply means setting an alarm on your phone for 5 minutes, head out the door and walk like you are late in any direction until the alarm sounds. Then just walk back the same way on the same route. That’s 10 minutes off power walking completed. If you did that 3 times a day it equals 30 minutes of power walking. Over 5 days that’s 2 and a half hours under your belt without you having to change much at all!
Another tip is to use the simple method of Trigger, Action, Reward. In other words, turning something you already do into a benefit. For example, the kettle wait.
When you make a cuppa (trigger), do 20 pushups on the kitchen counter followed by 20 squats. Repeat this twice before the kettle boils (action). If you do this 4 times a day, that’s 160 pushups and 160 squats done each day resulting in firmer thighs and backside, toned arms, chest, and abs (reward).
Put that with the 30 minutes power walk each day and bob’s your uncle, more moving! More tips here
How to improve your mood by eating
You are a chemical set. The inside of your body is a marvel. It needs certain things to do its job. It’s called nutrition. You also eat for pleasure and taste. Unfortunately, we are bombarded with the pleasure bomb all the time from every direction. It might taste good, but most times it’s not good. It’s a quick fix to feeling better with the lasting result of feeling worse, and I don’t need to elaborate on that because you know what I mean.
Once the process of nutrition is complete, what goes in your mouth is immaterial. So make that process work for both nutrition and pleasure. Take a look at more mindful eating tips here.
Things to include into your daily diet to improve your mood
- Canned fish like tuna, sardines, or mackerel
- Dark green leafy veg
- Dark chocolate
This is just a short list to help get the ball rolling.
How to improve your mood by changing your mind
Did you know that you get what you focus on? Your mind will search and find what it is asked to look for, whether imagined or real. So the trick is to focus on what you want and not what you don’t want. To focus on what you can realistically change and not what you can’t.
Take driving as an example.
There may be others on the road that do not seem to understand the highway code as you do. There may be others on the road who seem to have no manners or courtesy. Everyone and their dog have a car. Why is that huge lorry going this way? All the traffic lights conspire to stop you from getting where you are going on time. Roadworks seem to only be on the routes you are taking. Potholes and speed bumps jolt your bones. It can be stressful, yes. It can put you in a bad mood, yes. If you choose to let it that is!
Deliveries need to be made. Traffic lights prevent anarchy and loss of life. Roads need maintenance. You have a car so why not everyone else? And yes, some people don’t give a shit! Can you change any of that? No. Do you know these things are probably going to happen when you pull away from your house? Yes! So why get all uptight and upset? Simply choose another way.
Focus on what you can change and not what you can’t!
Let’s continue with the driving example, this is what works for me…
As a professional coach, it’s really important to be on time. I am ready for Tuesday before I go to bed Monday night. I allow 30 minutes extra on every journey. They are my ‘just in case minutes’. During the journey, I listen to relaxing music of my choice or a podcast, not the radio. At each stop, be that a jam or traffic light, I do ‘the tummy tuck’. But more importantly, it takes the focus away from the fact I am in a jam or seeing a red light! It means I’m using the time constructively and not getting stressed.
Managing the situation mindfully. Choosing to take away the stress and not letting it get me down. Arriving in a good mood.
How to improve your mood
So the answer to ‘how to improve your mood’ is to move more, eat better, don’t sweat the small stuff.
I hope this simple approach on how to improve your mood resonated with you in some way. If it did, you can check out my Good Mood Method here.
My posts are actionable and not just to read. Let me know how you get on 🙂