Natural ways to boost your mood

Health

If you’re having a tough day or just feeling a bit down, these simple and all-natural mood boosters can help increase your energy and put you on the path to happiness.  

  • Embrace nature. Research shows that spending time outdoors can help put a smile on your face. Being around trees in particular has been shown to increase energy levels and reduce stress. Take in fall foliage while you stroll through your neighborhood or spend the afternoon apple picking to gain the mood-boosting benefits.  
  • Catch a comedy. Go ahead and click on that silly video your friend shared on Facebook, or curl up on the couch and enjoy your favorite funny flick. Laughter boosts your energy expenditure up to 20 percent, according to one study. A good laugh will also release feel-good brain chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, which elevate your mood and reduce stress.
  • Snack smart. Sure, a sugary treat may temporarily make you feel good, but there are other choices that will have a healthier effect. If you find your mood dipping, munch on foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, albacore tuna, and lake trout, which some studies have shown can help fight depression. 
  • Breathe in. Smell is a powerful sense. Research has shown that our brains link specific scents to memories. For example, the smell of bubble gum might make you reminisce about being a carefree kid, and lavender might remind you of lazy summer days in your garden. Keep a candle or item with a beloved smell nearby and take a whiff when you need an instant lift.
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