BLUE Monday is considered the most depressing day of the year, and Mondays are pretty bleak.
Many of us are struggling with the cold days and long nights and the news is pretty grim too.
So you have every right to feel down, but there are plenty of ways to get a little more optimistic.
Try some of these mood boosters – the best part is that they all last no longer than 60 seconds!
1. ENJOY A HUG
“Never underestimate the power of a hug,” says Dr. Andre Brittain-Dissont, Physician of Aesthetics and Longevity.
“I mean a good long bear hug, longer than is civilized and close enough to feel someone’s heartbeat.
“It’s a primitive mood enhancer. Just make sure it’s with someone who’s likely to hug you back!”
2. TOUCH YOURSELF
It’s not what you think; According to Meg James, meditation and mindfulness teacher at Keep It Cleaner, oxytocin, the love hormone, is released when you put your hand on your heart, put your face in your hands, or gently massage your arms.
She says: “It gives you a quick boost of security and frees you from stressful emotions.”
3. POP a PROBIOTICS
One of the best things you can do for your health and well-being is to take care of your gut. Research has found that the gut and brain are connected.
Taking probiotics helps improve gut health as well as improve your mood and cognitive function.
Probiotic supplements contain friendly bacteria needed for a happy tummy.
Try it: ProVen Probiotics 25 Billion (£15.95 www.provenprobiotics.co.uk)
4. WRITE A GRATITUDE LIST
Despite the current climate, there is much to be thankful for. Writing these things down can help change the way we think.
“This can increase our level of happiness and lift our spirits, which helps us appreciate all the things we already have,” says Lisa Gunn, director of emotional wellbeing prevention at Nuffield Health.
5. LAUGH LOUD
Even if you’re not watching or doing something funny, force yourself to laugh.
“The act of laughing and laughing increases dopamine and reduces the stress response in the body,” explains Lisa.
6. SQUIRT PERFUME
“Wearing perfume can do wonders for your mood,” says Barbara Santini, psychologist at peachesandscreams.co.uk.
The best scents for mood boosting? Try those with citrus, pine, ginger, or peppermint in them.
7. ENJOY A CUP
According to nutritionist Dr. According to Carrie Ruxton of the Tea Advisory Panel, the botanicals in tea have a real physiological effect on our mood.
“Caffeine and L-theanine work together in our brain to keep us feeling alert, focused, and calm.
“L-Theanine has been found to turn certain areas of the brain on and off, leading to feelings of relaxation.
“Studies even show that if we drink tea before a stressful event, stress hormones like cortisol are reduced,” she explains.
8. DOPAMINE DRESSING
Wearing an outfit that makes you feel positive can actually trigger a psychological boost related to the feel-good chemical dopamine.
Shakaila Forbes-Bell, fashion psychologist, recommends brighter colors to improve mood.
“We can attribute this to the Ecological Valence Theory; the idea that people generally associate colors with certain objects and therefore the feelings we have towards those objects are the same as their associated color.
“Clear skies and water are calming and associated with blue, so wearing blue makes us feel calm.
“Sunshine and the yellow smiley face are associated with optimism, which is why wearing yellow makes people feel optimistic.”
9. START A DO LESS LIST
Rather than fret over the endless list of resolutions that, to be honest, are likely to be scrapped in February, try making a “do less” list.
“Rather than focus on creating new habits, why not start eliminating the ones that make you feel bad?
“That could mean working less overtime, spending less time on the phone, or even trying to keep fewer people happy,” says Chris Griffiths, founder of productivity app ayoa.com.
10. LIGHT A CANDLE
“Fragrances, experienced in nature, improve well-being and mental health by making us feel more relaxed, cheerful, and healthy.
“Smells in nature, like the smell of rain or damp grass on a wet day, or the smoke from a campfire, can improve our mental health,” says author and psychologist Susie Pearl.
Getting out in nature can help, but for a quick boost, light a scented candle or incense; Opt for lavender, sandalwood, rosewood, chamomile and jasmine.
11. SHAKE IT
Stop what you are doing, stand up and shake your body vigorously.
“It helps regulate the nervous system. It also manages and relieves stress and can also help overcome cravings,” says Lisa Marley, head trainer at ProVeg UK.
12. TAKE A COLD SHOWER
“It reduces inflammation, relieves pain, and improves circulation,” says Lisa.
Cold showers may not be easy in the winter, so start with 10 seconds at the end of your regular shower and work up to 60 seconds.
13. SPLASH COLD WATER
Cold showers out of the question? Psychotherapist Ella McCrystal says, “Punching your face in cold water a few times can reset the vagus nerve, which plays an important role in stress regulation.
“It’s the longest cranial nerve and has been described as a ‘secret weapon’ in the fight against stress, sending calming messages to our organs in flight or fight mode.”
The vagus nerve runs from our brain down to our abdomen and connects to several organs; Resetting can be a really good thing for regulating our sympathetic nervous system.
14. MAKE THE BED
If you tend to leave home with an unmade bed, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
“It’s a proven fact that starting the day by making your bed makes you feel more positive about life,” says Lisa.
15. MOVE FOR ONE MINUTE
“Exercise triggers the release of feel-good endorphins,” says Ella.
“The more you exercise, the clearer your mind becomes. Try jumping in place, doing jumping jacks, or jogging in place for 60 seconds.”
16. Arranging flowers
Caring for flowers has been shown to have a therapeutic effect.
Jade Robertson, floral designer at Prestige Flowers, says, “If you only have 60 seconds, spend it arranging a bouquet of colorful flowers, like yellow roses.”
She adds: “Take a vase, fill it with fresh water and put some flower food in it.
“Then take the flowers that will be your focal point, remove any leaves below the waterline and cut off the stems. keep her a little longer.
“Surround your main flowers with filler flowers and foliage, remove the lower leaves and trim their stems slightly shorter to give your bouquet a rounded look.”
17. COLLECT GARBAGE
“When you’re out, you spend 60 seconds picking up litter,” says SUP yoga instructor India Pearson.
“Not only will you make a positive difference to your environment, you might find that it has a positive impact on your mental health as well.
“A study conducted by the 2 Minute Foundation found that 80 percent of participants said picking up trash made them feel positive.”
18. NEGATIVITY BURNING
What is going on in your life that makes you feel negative? Is it a human? A place? Or maybe a work project is driving you insane.
“On a piece of paper, write three things that make you feel negative or that you want to get rid of in your life.
“Place the piece of paper in a fireproof bowl or bowl and light it in a safe environment,” says Andrea Marsh, executive director of Deeper Connections – Mindset and Self Development Coach.
“When the paper is completely burned, take it outside and throw it in the air!
“Burning away negative thoughts physically can actually trigger a sense of emotional freedom from them.”
19. MAKE SOMEONE SMILE
“Text or call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and let them know you’re thinking of them,” Andrea advises.
“Just wishing someone a good day and telling them they’re on your thoughts will make them feel happy and in turn, your spirits will be lifted as well.”
20. VISIT YOUR HAPPY PLACE
Not literally, but metaphorically. “We all have somewhere in our heads where we’ve been and it’s created amazing memories that always make you feel good when you think about it,” explains Andrea.
Close your eyes, take three deep breaths and enter this wonderful place.
See it clearly in intimate detail. Hear the noises. Are there certain smells associated with this place? Try to bring that smell into your vision.
Don’t have a specific happy place? Andrea recommends creating one: “Use your imagination and imagine where and what your happy place would be.”
21. ONE MINUTE MEDITATION
“All you have to do is close your eyes and connect with your senses; Feel the rise and fall of your breath, the connection between your body and the surfaces below you, and the temperature of the air against your skin,” Meg recommends.
22. CHANGING NOSES BREATHING
Manage stress and improve your mood with yoga breathing.
“Bring your right hand directly in front of your face, place your index and middle fingers between your brows.
“Take a deep breath through your nose and breathe straight into your belly, and then breathe out,” says Meg.
“Next, gently close your right nostril with your right thumb and breathe in through your left nostril.
“Then close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale slowly through your right nostril.
“Holding your right nostril open, breathe in slowly, and then close it with your thumb. Open your left nostril and exhale slowly on that side.”
Finally, release your right hand and bring it back to rest.
www.the-sun.com/health/7142628/winter-blues-quick-mood-boosters/ Kick the winter blues with 22 mood boosters that only take 60 seconds