Do you ever have days where you just feel like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed? You feel cranky and on-edge, but you’re not exactly sure why? I have certainly had my share of those, and I have discovered that it is really helpful to have a list of things to help you instantly improve your mood. This is not a trite list to promise happiness in the midst of deep grieving or sorrow. Rather, this is a proactive list of helpful ideas I’ve come up with for those days when I simply need an attitude adjustment. Here are 10 ways I have found to instantly boost my mood and energy levels!
There is nothing that changes my mood faster than spending time in God’s presence and pouring out my heart to Him. He already knows everything I’m going through, and He has promised to always be with me. Even if I have just 5 minutes in the middle of the day, taking that time to tell the Lord what is on my heart always lifts my spirits and gives me a new perspective. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7. Try praying the prayer that 19th century author Hannah Whitall Smith taught her son to pray, “Dear Lord, make me happy in you.”
2. Meditate on Scripture
God’s Word is the best anti-depressant, blue-mood-buster there is! Meditating on the truths of God’s Word will combat the lies we are tempted to believe about ourselves, our situations, and the world around us. Happy living starts with happy thinking, and happy thinking begins with God’s Word. As Psalm 119:2 says, “Blessed (Happy) are those who keep his testimonies (His Word), who seek him with their whole heart.” When we seek God with our whole heart and let His Word transform our hearts and minds, we will experience true joy. When you feel down, turn to Scripture and spend a few minutes meditating on who God is and what He has done. Here are a few other suggested meditations that will surely lift your spirits – Ephesians 1, Psalm 19, Psalm 121, Isaiah 61, Philippians 4.
3. Do a 10-minute workout
Sometimes our sluggish mood is due to our sluggish metabolism, and we just need to rev things up a little bit. Doing a quick, 10-minute workout will help get your blood pumping and get oxygen to your lungs and your brain. Studies show that the increased oxygen to your brain helps to elevate your mood instantly. Don’t know what to do for 10 minutes? Here’s a list of workouts to get you started!
4. Make yourself a healthy snack
Sometimes irritable moods are related to low blood sugar. We call it getting “hangry” in our house (hungry + angry)! That dip in blood sugar can cause us to feel on edge and shaky, proving that our bodies need a healthy mix of protein, fat, and complex carbs to get us steady again. If you feel like this in the morning, make sure you are eating a healthy breakfast. If it’s in the afternoon when this feeling hits, try eating a healthy snack (nut butter with apples, hardboiled egg, string cheese with almonds, baked chickpeas, veggies with hummus, etc.)
5. Listen to upbeat music
Music can have a powerful sway over our emotions, so try tuning in to relaxing or upbeat music from your favorite CDs or online music sites (like Pandora or Spotify). Upbeat Jazz or Classical music always puts me in a better mood. You can also listen to your favorite praise and worship music to spend time worshiping the Lord. Anytime we take our eyes off ourselves and put them on Jesus, we will feel happier!
6. Have a soothing cup of tea
I find the simple act of making a cup of tea relaxing. Holding a steaming cup of my favorite blend is a soothing afternoon ritual. Some of my favorite blends are Jasmine green tea, Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea, Chamomile tea, and Raspberry Leaf tea. Find a blend you love and savor the mood-boosting effects it can bring.
7. Call or text an encouraging friend
Hopefully we all have that special friend who always makes us feel like a million bucks when we’re around them. Give them a call or send them a quick text to let them know you’re thinking about them. Just hearing their voice can lift your spirits and instantly encourage you. And if you feel you don’t have a friend like that, look at #1 and #2 again!
8. Jot down 3 things you’re thankful for
Studies show that grateful people are happy people. More importantly, Scripture shows it too – “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in everything”(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). It’s hard to be thankful and complain at the same time. Try jotting down just 3 things you’re thankful for right now in your journal (you’ll probably find that you don’t want to stop at 3). Make this a daily habit, and you’ll likely find that you have consistently happier moods.
9. Get some sunshine
Do you ever start to feel blue when it’s rained non-stop for several days and you haven’t seen the sun? Studies show that lack of sunshine is directly related to blue moods and feeling lethargic. The sun is a tremendous source of Vitamin D, the mood-boosting vitamin. So when you get the chance, try a brisk walk in the sunshine for an instant mood lifter!
10. Reach out and encourage someone else
Believe it or not, taking your eyes off yourself and thinking about ways to encourage others is one of the best ways to lift your spirits. Call or text a friend to see how they’re doing, tell them why you appreciate them, and ask them how you can pray for them. Both of you will be blessed by doing so!
Hopefully you can implement one or more of these ideas today to boost your mood and feel happier and healthier. Maybe you even thought of your own “Mood-Booster” list. I’d love to hear about it!