Life got you down in the dumps lately? You’re not alone. An estimated 10 to 20 percent of Americans are affected by mild SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), or depression that follows the seasons, and another 20 million suffer from some form of clinical depression. Aside from taking medication, there are several ways to boost your mood on your own. Check out these easy ways to naturally enhance your mood and feel more positive throughout the day:
- Listen to happy music. Research suggests that cheerful music can naturally enhance your mood, so long as you don’t overthink it and avoid asking yourself, “Am I happy yet?” while listening. Make a playlist of some of your favorite upbeat songs, throw on some headphones, and let yourself fully enjoy the music.
- Exercise. Going for a run or heading to the gym is usually the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling down, but it’s proven that exercise causes the brain to release endorphins and other “happy” chemicals. Know that your workout doesn’t have to be vigorous- a leisurely walk or other mild exercises can still substantially improve your mood.
- Get some sunlight. Without enough exposure to the sun, your serotonin levels can drop, causing you to feel depressed. It can be hard to expose yourself to enough sunlight in the winter when the days are short and nights are long, so head outside on your lunch break and take advantage of moments that can be spent in the daylight. Of course, too much sun can be dangerous, so always protect yourself with sunscreen. Shoot for about 20 minutes a day for healthy Vitamin D levels.
- Declutter/organize. Cleaning up, getting rid of old junk, or even just organizing your desk can instantly make you feel happier. Clutter and messes remind us of things that should be getting done but are not, which leads one to feel overwhelmed or like a failure. Decluttering can just mean going through your closet or tidying up the living room (not necessarily devoting a full day to cleaning). Even a small organization task is enough to lift your mood for some time.
- Change your diet. The foods you consume have a substantial effect on how you feel throughout the day. To improve your mood, avoid over consumption of processed carbohydrates, flours, sugars, and other “white” foods. Conversely, foods like salmon, walnuts, red meat, dark chocolate, and seaweed are said to improve energy levels and regulate mood.
- Get Adjusted. Being in natural alignment can help reduce stress and muscle tension, allowing your body to feel better and reduce any symptoms of depression.
If you experience occasional, seasonal, or even clinical depression and natural remedies are not enough, consider chiropractic care to improve your mood and mental health. Chiropractic can relieve mild to chronic pain and correct movement restrictions or mis-alignments that affect the nervous system, both of which are linked to improved mood. To determine if chiropractic is right for you, set up a consultation with Fletcher Chiropractic today!