Did you know that the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index conducts a mood poll among Americans daily? The survey which has run since 2008 establishes that around 9-11% of adult Americans live with a consistently bad mood. What puts you in a bad mood? A failed relationship, an empty bank account, or a backlog of pressing work that makes you freak out every single time you picture it in your mind?
You might be consoled to know that a newfangled wave of thought campaigns that a bad mood is essential to good overall mental health. Doubtful? If you want to see for yourself, just Google ‘the benefits of a bad mood’. Psychologists, scholars and life coaches will now tell you that being in a bad mood is beneficial.
Beware, though, about reading only the first lines, or you will miss the recurrent conclusion: "a bad mood is good, only if it elicits action towards a positive mood." On the other hand, a good mood has indisputable benefits for our lives. A person in a positive mood experiences a sense of self-love and self-worth. Additionally, we tend to perceive the world positively if we have a predominant positive mood. We will readily smile at other people and spontaneously give a helping hand. So, if being in a good mood is crucial to your wellbeing, any trick that helps you sustain or recover it, is gold. Here are 6 gold tricks to sustaining or recovering your good mood.
1 - Get more sleep
Sleep and mood are an inseparable duo. Insufficient sleep puts your nerves on edge, making you short-tempered and easily irritable. The more you experience sleeplessness, the more frustrated you become—it becomes a dangerous cycle that can lead from a bad mood into a full-fledged case of depression.
Adequate sleep has known benefits to heart and mental health and is also thought to aid weight loss. To say it in the least words, if you are a daytime workaholic but are instead faithful to a daily 8-hour sleep routine, the bad mood syndrome will stay away from you.
2 - Exercise
Exercise has immediate effects on mood. The quick rise in heart rate releases the feel-good chemicals called endorphins. At the same time, it suppresses the stress-causing ones.
This activity doesn’t mean a trip to the gym or working out with a trainer. Just taking a brisk walk or doing a series of muscle-stretching exercises for 30 minutes has similar benefits to vigorously working out and takes half the time of a formal workout. You’ll feel accomplished and better about yourself after a exercising. And hey, exercise keeps the anti-depressant pill away!
3 - Sunshine
Who doesn’t find a dull and rainy day depressing? Studies on the relationship between sunlight and mood suggest that the exposure to sunshine enhances the production of serotonin, a pleasure-control neurotransmitter. Sunlight is equally responsible for a lot of other feel-good hormones. If you awaken to the rays of the sunshine, you avoid the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a temporary condition of depression associated with sunlight deprivation.
4 - Snuggle your pet
Service animals have long held esteem for aiding people with physical disabilities. They spent decades seeing for the blind, hearing for the deaf, and retrieving objects for people bound to wheelchairs. In recent years, however there’s been a rapid rise in service animals utilized to combat those with mental disabilities.
The presence of a service animal makes those who struggle with severe depression, OCD, and bi-polar disorder feel calmer and gives them a sense of purpose. So, why not take a cue from that research, and snuggle your own pet when you’re feeling blue?
Animals are true to their instinctual nature. When you hug or cuddle a pet, they impulsively snuggle their body on ours. Alternatively, they may relax to take in the soothing experience from your touch. Feelings are contagious, a relaxed dog will infect you with the sensation of tranquility, just like its lick will send you the ‘I love you too’ message.
5 - Call a friend
The adage that says, ‘a problem shared is half solved’, still holds. The attention and understanding from a friend is a good ambiance for venting and eliminating the feeling of defeat. If your self-defeating thoughts consistently tell you that you are a goof-off, a good friend will affirm you as a nerd and go-getter. Rather than dialing the depressing and self-defeating thoughts, reach out for your phone and call up a friend.
6 - Reward yourself
It’s gratifying to work hard to reach a goal and then receive an award. A prime example of this is collecting a weekly paycheck. You work all week, and Friday your boss hands you that slip of paper that validates your worth to the company.
You can carry that gratification a step further and set up a system of rewards to both motivate yourself and keep your mood elevated. This treat doesn’t need to require a significant investment. It could be simple pleasures like taking five minutes to enjoy a hot cup of green tea, some extra meditation time, or a jaunt to the dog park with your best friend.
In her best seller, ‘Better than Before,’ the American author, Gretchen Rubin, proposes the ‘treats strategy’ as an effective and most fun way for changing behavior. Besides, science has consistently linked reward to behavior reinforcement. Giving yourself a treat gets rid of your foul mood, just like rewarding yourself to celebrate a good mood will sustain it. Self-rewarding relies on self-knowledge, you know what makes you happy.A persistent good mood has health-related benefits. It reflects how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. If you ask any person what they want most in life, they will readily list possessions and experiences associated with happiness. Good mood is the emotional version of existential happiness. Pay any price to practice these golden tricks to a happy mood consistently.