Where does mood originate from? If you said “”the mind,” you’re close enough. No matter what mood you’re in, the brain is controlling that feeling. If you constantly feel grumpy, thinking about things that make you even more grumpy surely won’t tell your brain to change anything.
On the contrary, positive affirmations and thinking are well-known to create a healthier, happier state of mind. But there’s much more to mood than just positive thoughts or imagery. In fact, many of the “passive” things we do in our day-to-day lives have a major impact on mood.
If you’ve been in a poor mood lately, or you just want to feel better and improve your well-being, then these simple lifestyle changes are just what the doctor ordered!
Lifestyle Hacks to Improve Mood
From drinking water, to sleeping well, to nourishing your body appropriately, these lifestyle hacks can make all the difference between a bad day and a good day.
Sleep well to live well
Chronic sleep deprivation is an insidious risk factor for a myriad of deleterious health conditions, notably depression, Alzheimer’s disease, metabolic syndrome, premature aging, and even sudden death . In other words, skimping on sleep affects all aspects of your wellness, especially mental health and mood – the exact opposite of what you want. There is no better way to start your day than being well rested, which means getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night .
If you have trouble falling asleep, taking a CBD supplement shortly before bedtime can help. Many people find that CBD allows them to unwind and achieve deeper sleep.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
The human brain is 75-80% water, and dehydration is known to impair cognitive performance and mental function (especially in older adults) . In other words, being dehydrated can lead to brain fog, irritability, and mental fatigue, none of which will help your mood.
As a simple rule-of-thumb, consume at least ½ oz of water per every pound you weigh. For example, a 170-lb man should drink about 85 oz of water per day. If you’re not a fan of plain water, try adding freshly squeezed lemon or cucumber to it for a natural flavor boost and beneficial vitamin C.
Exercise your brain
It’s common knowledge that physical exercise keeps us feeling youthful and healthy, but the mood benefits of challenging your mind are just as important . After all, there’s not much reason for your brain to “feel good” if it doesn’t get the necessary “exercise” it needs to function optimally. Whether it’s learning something new, trying to solve a crossword puzzle, painting a picture, or reading a book, do something to challenge your brain every day and it will pay dividends towards your mood and well-being.
Relax your mind with meditation
Stress is a major culprit of premature aging and poor mood. While one might presume that the stress-relieving benefits of meditation are based on pseudoscience, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Deep breathing exercises like meditation have been shown in clinical trials to significantly reduce the psychological symptoms of chronic distress [5, 6].
Meditation encourages breathing deeply through your belly and nose instead of through the mouth, as we often do when we are anxious or stressed out. In turn, this calms the adrenal glands and reduces stress hormone secretion, thereby protecting the heart and brain from undue physiological stress. All it takes is 5-10 minutes of meditating per day to feel better and keep your mind sharp.
Food is fuel for the brain
Many of us overlook the importance of proper diet for keeping our minds sharp, yet food is Mother Nature’s primary form of medicine. As part of a balanced diet, be sure to incorporate at least 5-6 servings of vegetables and fruits per day. Green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, collard greens, and broccoli are especially important due to their abundance of brain-supporting micronutrients, notably magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
Improve Mood and Sharpen Your Mind
Some of these “hacks” may seem so obvious that people dismiss them, but you’d be surprised how often these lifestyle changes are overlooked. Practicing these healthy habits will only encourage positive mood and a sharper mind – the foundations of health and happiness.