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5 Ways to uplift your mood and release stress

Today, most people are going through the motions of their day under a lot of stress, fear, and anxiety. Some actively address this and try to change it, while others simply endure until they crack under the pressure. This can have many negative effects, and lead to depression, chronic anxiety and other emotional and psychological disorders that decrease a person’s quality of living – in some cases, until they do not feel as if they are living anymore.

One of the most common advice out there is to let go of stress, and be happy. Look on the bright side, and take everything as it comes. However, you rarely get insight into how to do this, how to achieve this. How can you uplift your mood when you are overworked, tired, and stressed?

There are many different ways that you can uplift your mood. Below, we have shown several of them. The mental exercises and lifestyle changes described below will help you improve your mood when the stress of life becomes too difficult to bear. Keep in mind that their effect depends on you. Each person is unique, and as such, some of the exercises below might not work for you, but with a little adaptation and improvising, you can mold it until it does.

Eating healthy food

Eating healthy food not only will improve your mood, but it will have a positive effect on your overall health and wellbeing. Many of us feel that we do not have the time to cook healthy meals, and often treat meals like obligations rather than moments of enjoyment. Eating healthy food can change that. You do not need to start cooking every day, of course, but you can avoid unhealthy fried food, and stop patronizing the nearest fast food joint on lunch. Pack a salad, instead. Moreover, certain types of fruits, vegetables, grain, and meat have a positive effect on the body and actually can improve your mood, or at least help you relax. Search for foods rich in vitamin B6, which naturally relaxes your body, and search for other types of foods that can have the same effect. Food and mood have a connection, and one you discover it, you can use food to improve upon your mood, productivity, and overall quality of life.

Time for yourself

One of the many consequences of having a busy lifestyle is lack of time for yourself. Think about it – when was the last time you undertook an activity that was purely for your own pleasure? It does not matter whether the activity is watching a movie, or taking a trip to the beach or the mountains. It can be a short activity. For example, meditating for ten minutes and simply allowing yourself to be inside your own mind for a bit – to clear it, to come to terms with everything that is happening to you, or to simply calm down the outside noise can be highly beneficial. Other activities include listening to music, or drawing, or any other activity that is a hobby. You need an activity that you are not obligated to do, but that you do simply for the pleasure of it. In other words, take your own self on a date – be it home, or outside – and enjoy your own company for a bit. 

Good quality sleep

Each person needs a different amount of sleep in order to feel well rested and energized throughout the day. Not getting enough sleep can lead to many physical and psychological ailments, but chronic fatigue during the day is one of the most dangerous ones, as it can lead to vehicular accidents and cause problems with concentration and focus. Some people feel rested after only six hours of sleep, while some need more. Instead of following guidelines, discover how many hours of sleep make you feel rested, but also, make sure to sleep through the night. Many people often stay up late at night and sleep late into the day, which actually disrupts your biological sleep-wake cycle and has a great effect on your overall productivity, alertness, and ability to concentrate on your daily tasks, which in turn adds to your stress levels and can lead to depression. Moreover, if you have a sleep disorder, like obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, or insomnia, you should consider seeking help or using CPAP machines, which will help you get enough hours of quality sleep to feel energized and alert in the mornings. 

Exercise – but do not overdo it

Being fit goes together with eating healthy food and feeling good within your body. However, this does not mean that you need to spend a lot of time exercising during the day, especially if exercising is not something that you often have time to do. The goal with these lifestyle changes is to improve your mood, not add more stress by adding more obligations and tasks to your daily list. The best way to include exercise in your life is to pick the types of exercises you need. For example, if you do a lot of physical work during your working hours, consider yoga, or other relaxation exercises that will not add more physical toll on your body. On the other hand, if you work in an office and spend your working hours sitting down in front of a computer, consider combining yoga, flexibility exercises and cardio exercises to help your body release some of the accumulated stress on the muscles that do not get a lot of movement during the day. Remember, you do not need to spend more than ten minutes to help your body relax, especially if you have a busy schedule. However, you should find a way to incorporate physical exercise into your daily routine.

Take walks without your phone

Often, we work even when we are not at work. A simple email that you would have read in the morning, will find its way to you the previous evening, and that will make you focus on work again, and diminish your ability to relax and enjoy some downtime. To avoid this, take walks with your dog (or your friends, children, spouse, or significant other) and leave your phone behind. Allow yourself to simply enjoy the moment and remember it – instead of capturing it with your phone and sharing it on social media. Take a walk to look at the world around you, rather than the world within you. Allow yourself to remember that you need to live your life, not just work, or stress over everything all the time. Make good memories for yourself, and allow yourself to enjoy them and seek more memories like that, because those memories are the constructs of your life. Stress will always find a way to integrate into your life, but you need to remember that health, family, and friends are also present in your life, and deserve just as much focus and attention.