Some days you just feel flat, like you have no personality. You are a busy busy mum making sure everyone else around you is taken care of first, right?

Often if our mood is a little low it can be hard to motivate yourself to do anything about it, it can be easy to wallow in it, blame the world and just hide under the covers. But I have 5 sure-fire ways to shift your mood with minimal effort.

My 5 top ways

  1. Play your favourite up-beat song, loud. Your body can’t ignore the memories from good times associated with your favourite song and a good beat will have your toes tapping in no time. Singing along adds power to the uplifting punch because it’s toning the Vagus Nerve. The Vagus Nerve connects the brain to your organs and has a two way message highway so this can totally help shift your mood.
  2. Aromatic anchoring is a wonderful way to help shift a low mood. Utilising smell works instantly as the olfactory system is a direct line to the Hippocampus and limbic brain, our memory and emotions.
    It helps to anchor in a specific scent when you are feeling amazing so that when you smell that scent again when you feel low it uses memory as well to uplift your mood. I recommend using essential oils as they contain chemical constituents that can effect mood; uplifting scents include Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, and Lemongrass.
  3. Exercise is an absolute gamer changer to help with low mood. Biochemical changes during or after exercise can help shift mood. In one review of studies it found “The most improvements are caused by rhythmic, aerobic exercises, using of large muscle groups (jogging, swimming, cycling, walking), of moderate and low intensity. They should be conducted for 15 to 30 minutes and performed a minimum of three times a week in programs of 10-weeks or longer.”1 Also mentioned that acute exercise effects can be seen after one session of exercise, also toning the vagus nerve was mentioned as a benefit.
    Plus the benefit of distraction whilst doing the exercise is actually recognized in psychology.
    If you are feeling lethargic, try a few yoga stretches as even the deep breathing and stretching can make a difference to mood.
  4. Nature Therapy is as ancient as it comes. Getting out into nature is a wonderful way to uplift the mood. I’d recommend walking to the top of a ridge or hill or being on a beach as my two favourites. The perspective it gives you can be inspiring. In Japan, it is encouraged to go into the forest to forest bath (shinrin yoku)an ancient practice with many benefits. One being that cortisol levels can be significantly lowered.
  5. Gratitude Journaling has become more popular in recent times. As we get busy we can sometimes forget about all the good stuff we having going on. A self-reflection practice like writing down what you’re grateful for every day can really help you shift negative thoughts and be in the present moment. Five minutes of stillness is worth every second and the act of writing something down can solidify the positive thoughts.

I hope you can take one of these tips and apply it next time you feel a bit low. If you have been feeling this way for a while or aren’t finding joy in the things that used to make you happy then please seek professional help; talk to your doctor. 

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15518309/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31001682/

Written by Naturopath and Gut Health Specialist - Jane McClurg

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