Because of all the demands from juggling various tasks and chores and responsibilities at home and at work, it is nothing but natural to become stressed every now and then. Many of us turn to our doctors ‒ remember the Rolling Stones song “Mother’s Little Helper” ‒ for antidepressants to get them out of their rut, lift their mood and boost their energy levels.
Since the arrival of probably one of the world’s most well-known anti-depressants (sorry, we can’t name it here) the use of antidepressants in the United States has according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) increased by well over 425% since the late eighties. This means that one in every 10 people older than 12 ‒ that’s 10% of this group! ‒ regularly takes some form of prescription antidepressant. Unfortunately, many antidepressants have serious potential side effects! Luckily, they are also very expensive…
But medicine ‒ legal drugs ‒ are not the only way. There are many chemical-free methods of naturally boosting your energy levels, and with that your down-in-the-dumps-mood!
The next time when you are feeling as if you simply cannot get out of bed or face the day and its challenges, try one of these strategies to boost your mood:
- Start exercising regularly. Medical researchers have established that regular exercise or other physical activity, such as a brisk walk or quick workout at the gymnasium, or even an aerobics class or one of the now popular “Boot Camps”, will cause your brain to shift gear and start releasing the different chemicals your body manufactures anyway to up your mood, get rid of some stress, and put you on a path of relaxation.
- You can do any of many things, but depending on your health, age and abilities, pick something that will get your heart pumping and raise ‒ just 30 minutes a day. If that sounds too much, start with shorter periods and increase it gradually.
- Regular and healthy exercise (not overdoing it) will help you loose weight if you need to shed a few extra pounds, control your weight and even condition your muscles. You won’t only look and feel much better, but toning your body it will increase your endurance, performance and energy levels as you progress.
- It might be time to change what you eat. Researchers say our brains need at least 20% of our total calorie intake per day to function properly.
- The human brain needs certain chemical precursors be able to create and maintain the best possible levels of everyday mood lifting compounds called dopamine and serotonin. If you do not have the correct cocktail of the right calories and chemicals, you feel sluggish, lazy and even depressed.
- This can easily be boosted by changing your diet and make sure you get enough fish, nuts, eggs and meat. Chocolate is a big and obviously very popular serotonin booster, while dark chocolate (although not that popular) is known for relaxing blood vessels with a lower blood pressure as a direct result.
- The saying “laughter is the best medicine” has a lot of truth to it. Laughing from deep within ‒ not just smiling, but really laughing ‒ improves not only oxygen in your blood, but gives you immediate energy, leaving you recharged and feeling lots better. Take a break and do something that will bring laughter into your daily life.
- Laughter helps your body to release endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killer and mood booster.
- Do good ‒ perform a good deed or random act of kindness. Whenever you reach out and help someone, regardless of how big or small the deed, you stop focusing on your own feelings and shift your mind to the needs of other people. This gives you a break from those thoughts or worries or burning issues that bring down your mood.
- Holding out your hand to offer some help to someone can give your self-esteem a major boost and instantly make you feel better.
- Also reach out to family and friends. When something brings you down and you feel your spirits lagging, go out and find a friend or a loving relative and confide in them ‒ it will make you feel so much better just to get it off your chest.
- Sharing the burden can move mountains to help release tension. A close friend or loved one that you can rely on, can help you resolve the issue or at least cheer you up while you’re finding a way to overcome the problem.
Our busy lives make it easy to feel alone ‒ isolated, overwhelmed and even depressed.
As the song goes, a little pill from the doctor can take it away, but nothing is better than a natural way such as some of these simple, everyday strategies without that little pill to lift your mood and improve your energy each and every day.
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