Basic Steps to Take to Raise Your Mood
In my last post, we talked about ways to know when your low-vibe mood may be more than simply being low-vibe.
Whether or not your mood or funk has reached a clinical level, or is still simply a subclinical funk, there’s a physical element at play. That means you can take direct action to help support all the chemicals that help improve your mood.
Here are five things to try when you’re feeling low, with some quick points on how or why it will help. (Because I know sometimes when you’re feeling super low, everything seems legitimately pointless).
Go for a walk, dance it out, do some yoga, move however you want to move.
Intensive exercise releases endorphins which have been shown to boost moods.
Light exercise like walking or stretching has been shown to support creativity which is bound to give you a new perspective on whatever it is that’s got you down.
2.Get back to basics.
When was the last time you ate?
We all know the struggle is real when we get hangry, but not eating can also make you tired, give you less energy to do things, and ultimately trigger negative thinking and emotions.
What have you been eating?
A poor diet can make you feel sluggish for sure. But if you know you deal with being more low-vibe more often, then there are also foods you can incorporate to help promote serotonin development. Look for things that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and tuna.
What have you been drinking?
If you’re running on coffee, that may be doing more harm than good. Caffeine reduces serotonin production and increases your central nervous system activity, which really just paves the way for anxiety.
How’s your sleep been?
Did you get too much (I know when I oversleep I’m kind of ruined for the next day!) Have you not been sleeping? Getting too much or too little sleep can definitely affect your mood.
Also, going back to what you’ve been drinking, if you’ve been having a boozy beverage or two as a nightcap to help you sleep, that’s not actually helping. Even low levels of alcohol disrupt REM sleep, which means you may get some shut eye, but it’s not as restful as it could be.
3.Get the D.
Seriously, Vitamin D deficiency can lower your mood.
There are a few ways to get what you need—go outside when the sun is shining, vitamins, and happy lamps are all various tools my clients have used to raise their Vitamin D levels and improve their moods. And, with winter coming, we’re all getting less sun than just a month or two earlier.
It’s definitely worth noting that the beloved “happy lamps” that mimic sun can be worth a try. Personally, I’ve seen a wide range of responses from clients. Some love it, some saw no improvement. The academic research is relatively split too. Also, this is one of those times where I feel like legally I need to say, if you’re thinking about taking ANY supplement, talk to YOUR doctor or therapist. I have qualifications as a mental health professional, but I AM NOT your mental health professional and am not telling you to take supplements. Just noting them as a resource to consider.
4. Do something new.
Even if you can’t get yourself out of bed because you’re feeling so down, this can be as simple as checking out a new website, finding a new blog, listening to a new podcast. Those are all places to start. Of course, if you can get up and do some stuff, find something new in town that’s going on to try. Just do something that your brain isn’t expecting. It will fire up to take in the new experience which can serve as a bit of a reset.
5. Be thankful—write it out.
It’s no secret that being grateful can shift your perspective. But writing it out activates different parts of the brain makes practicing gratitude much more of an active practice. When you’re in a super low vibe mood, your brain is exaggerating the bad, and it’s your job to challenge those thoughts and exaggerate the good in your life.
If you tried these and nothing seems to work, or if your mood is affecting your life, and getting in the way of your routine, then it's time to find a professional to speak with. Your primary care physician can be a great place to start, as most doctor's offices now have behavioral health integrated, so if you need it, there's likely a mental health professional available in the same office.