If you need an instant “pick me up” we have just the thing you are looking for.
Here are 10 proven ways to boost your mental and physical wellness in less time than it takes to read this article.
Smiling is a natural drug. Just by making yourself smile you can trick your body into helping elevate your mood. This is because the physical act of smiling activates neural messaging in your brain.
A simple smile can trigger mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Think of smiling like a natural anti-depressant.
Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin. Together these three neurotransmitters make us feel good from head to toe. Not only do these natural chemicals elevate your mood, but they also relax your body and reduce physical pain.
So, if you want to feel better try making yourself smile even if it feels forced initially.
2. Take a break.
If everything feels like an effort, give yourself time to stop and take a break. Sometimes it is ok to let the world wait while you do something else.
A change of scene, a change of pace or a change of focus is good for your mental health.
Pause for five-minutes from cleaning your kitchen, take a half-hour lunch break at work away from your desk or switch tasks and focus on something else.
A break from being in-active in front of a computer might be to get up and exert some energy into going for a walk or doing some exercise.
A break from an active job could mean not doing very much at all. Take a deep breath… and relax. Try yoga or meditation, or just putting your feet up.
3. Listen to Music to wind down
Now that lots of people are worrking from home, there is no longer a wind down time on the commute between work and home. Instead we go from work to home-schooling to work to homeschooling until teatime. It is important to take time for yourself where you can. Take 10 mins to yourself and pop your headphones in to listen to your favourite music or a podcast or walk to the bottom of the garden with a cuppa and allow yourself to wind down.
4. Micro exercise
All forms of general everyday movement is good for you. It is more important to get up and move than to stress about ambitious workouts. Look for opportunities over the course of every day to put your body under brief resistance load. Just by jumping up from your desk, running up and down the stairs and doing a quick blitz of housework at top speed you will be turbocharging fat burning, increasing oxygen delivery and blood circulation to the brain, and flooding the bloodstream with neurotransmitters that will boost your mood and improve your focus.
5. Dark Chocolate
So, eating dark chocolate only appears to be proven way to boost your mental and physical health if you believe research paid for by chocolate manufacturers. Chocolate with a high cocoa content is said to act as a mood booster and lower symptoms of depression, so if you need an instant “pick me up” eating a small amount of chocolate to test the theory could be worth a try! Of course, this does not mean you should go all out and consume lots of chocolate every day. It is still loaded with calories and easy to overeat.
6. Social Media perspective & screen time
Take a minute to put social media posts into perspective. Most people only post the good stuff about their lives, so put aside any thoughts that someone else’s life is better than yours. Reduce your feelings of negativity by turning off your phone, reducing your screen time and doing something that makes you happy.
7. Strawberries and blueberries
Beat the winter blues with the taste of summer. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which aids in the production of endorphins. Since endorphins act on the opiate receptors in our brains, they reduce pain and boost pleasure, resulting in a feeling of well-being. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and folate, which helps your body to produce mood-boosting serotonin.
8. Take a walk.
For an instant feel good get out in the fresh air and just walk. Walking can be very therapeutic. It can be time to yourself to clear your mind and to just breathe. Lockdown has taught us the importance of using an hour of exercise time to just walk and talk with a friend – which is without doubt one of the best types of therapy. When you have not been anywhere or done anything worth talking about, and therefore have absolutely no news to tell each other, there’s nowhere left for conversation to go but straight into the confessional. Enjoy a deep and meaningful chat with a friend whilst walking for an instant feel good.
9. Relax in the bath.
Really there are only so many nights in watching Netflix that you can take before it all starts to feel a bit like Groundhog Day. Break the routine and search out some candles and all your favourite bath products, find your biggest fluffiest towel and run yourself a big relaxing bath. Find some slow relaxing background music that reminds you of going to a beauty salon and then lie back and relax and pretend you are on holiday. Guaranteed to make you feel good.
Time for some crazy kitchen dancing… get the music on and get moving. Be silly, sing along and have fun. Having a go at recreating a TiKTok with your family can be a good way to have a laugh and create some memories along the way. Dance like no one is watching and remember to SMILE!