Sometimes the stress of everyday life and activities can get you down, so if you are in need of a pick-me-up these days, you don’t have to break your bank account by relying on retail therapy to elevate your mood. Instead, you can lift your spirits with a few simple tips that will turn your frown upside down and kick up your energy a few notches!
As much as we like to feel accomplished and ensure that we are being productive, all too often we can spiral down into a working whirlwind. Sitting at the desk all day and staring into the computer screen can zap you of your energy and drain your mood. To get out of your rut, all you have to do is get back on your feet!
Yes, it is as simple as taking a few moments to stand tall, stretch your arms, and wiggle your fingers and toes. A boost in circulation will deliver much needed oxygen-rich blood to your cells, giving you an instant surge of energy. Smile while you stretch because it will trigger the release of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical that will instantly perk up your mood!
Stress can wreak havoc on our thoughts and behavior. Negative thought patterns may eventually contribute to depression, anxiety, and possibly an unfulfilling lifestyle. On the flip side, more positive thoughts can instantly lift your spirits and change your outlook. Try the following exercise: each day write down at least three things for which you are grateful. Your mind will instantly tune into a positive channel and you will begin to focus on the blessings in your life. Instead of dragging yourself down with what you wish you had, boost your mood by acknowledging all the things that you do have at this moment. You will begin to see that your glass is more than half full.
Turn On Some Music
There is nothing like your favorite tune to instantly make you feel like a rock star! Whether you enjoy jazz or the latest pop, studies indicate that listening or creating music can potentially treat depression, autism, and help in pain management. Try to listen to music that triggers happy thoughts and memories or calms you when you are feeling stressed. After a few minutes you may find the urge to shimmy–or perhaps enjoy a deep meditation. Whatever your choice may be, make sure to have your favorite go-to list of tunes on handy for an instant lift! If you are looking for something to relax your spirit, try my Cherry Blossom or Waterlily music CDs, to help create soothing sounds of nature and calm your mood.
If your closet is full of gray and black, it may be time to add a splash of color. Just changing out of your usual monochrome dark colors can instantly lift your spirits. In particular, bright shades of red, pink, and yellow are best for stimulating your brain. But you don’t have to toss your favorite gray shirt for a wardrobe that looks like a Crayola box! Adding just one or two brighter items to your closet is all you may need to color your mood happy.
Another great and delicious way to boost the levels of serotonin in your brain is to munch on some healthy carbs. To get the health benefits you crave, it is best to stick with whole grains and fruit. Pass on the processed chips and sweet treats for carbohydrates that will provide you with the slow release of energy you need to carry you through the day. If you’re feeling blue, try snacking on about 30 grams of good carbs, which is just the right amount to give you the lift you need:
• half whole grain toast with one tablespoon of nut butter and half cup of berries
• half cup oatmeal with a handful of unsalted nuts and dried cranberries
• one banana
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has appeared regularly on “Dr. Oz,” “The Doctors,” and “EXTRA.” Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to also founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at [email protected]