Tag Archives: Mood

The Mood in the Music… How Your Spiritual Intent is Affected

headphone

It’s a nice day outside… the sun is bright, a few billowy clouds in the sky, a slightly warm but yet refreshing breeze caresses you, birds are singing, not a lot of extraneous noise… in short, a perfectly beautiful day is before you as you step into your patio to enjoy the morning’s moment and sip that first and best cup of coffee. Ahhh, it’s great to be alive and to be able to have this brief but important time to reflect spiritually and to cleanse your mind.

Then it starts. Not real close or real loud, but it’s enough to break the solitude you were basking in and to distract you from what God had just so perfectly served up. You don’t recognize the song or the artist… nor do you really care right then… but it’s raucous and harsh music and it just ruins everything! You pick yourself up out of your ever so comfortable cushioned patio chair and go in the house… firmly closing the French door behind you to shut out the sound… and go back to the kitchen for more coffee, a little disgruntled.

That ever happen to you?

I think it’s happened to many of us… it certainly has happened to me… and more than once I might add! One could say that’s the price we pay for living close by other folks, in the city or suburbs, where we have stacked ourselves either vertically or sideways next to or on top of each other. So close you can sometimes hear the neighbor sneeze… right? (I’m speaking from personal experience here…). Why does that seem to happen so often, that “the mood” was shattered usually by some noise… sometimes loud music… that is discordant to that moment, that perfect setting? You may have had a little Mozart spinning on the CD player helping you relax, to ponder the upcoming day… or not. Doesn’t matter. That moment’s light mood is gone forever, replaced by a somewhat darker mood. You’ll get over it for sure but you won’t forget it. And the reason you won’t forget it is because moods in life are somewhat like negative and positive numbers in mathematics… with some emotion thrown in for good measure. It’s a fascinating study in the physics of life.

Connecting oneself to the pluses and minuses of life starts out as an automatic function of daily routine. You awake, you arise… you go through your little ritual to get yourself ready to meet the day… and the one thing you present to the world every day is your mood. How that mood comes to be is a combination of often complex circumstances and conditions, some of which you have no control over. Others you DO control: Continue reading

Better Than Before: How Diet Effects Mood with Elizabeth Somer

Elizabeth SomerQuite frankly, with the type of winter we have had so far in New York – and continuing to have, now into March – I sometimes think that only a trip to a Caribbean island will make me feel better! Thoughts of a swim in the warm ocean, lying around the sun-drenched white sand, and having one (or ten) of those drinks with the little umbrellas will undoubtedly do the trick. But obviously most of us can’t hop right on a plane to a tropical island. And, snow and cold aside, why aren’t we enjoying winter, anyway? Sledding, skiing, skating aren’t just for watching during the Olympics! And after all, being Better Than Before is all about living in the moment.

I took my query to Elizabeth Somer, author of the bestselling Eat Your Way to Happiness, and highly sought-after and respected source of nutritional information and lifestyle changes. I was hoping she could share some good news on how to keep in a good mood – not to mention not gain twenty pounds from all those hot chocolates with mini marshmallows – while we wait and wait…and wait, for spring.

JWM: Let’s start with the obvious basic question: Why does our mood often plummet during the winter?

ES: At its foundation, it’s biological. The seasonal drop in sunlight throws brain chemistry out of whack, making some of us more anxious, depressed, and tired this time of year. We snap at the kids, sleep more, crave sweets, and as a result, gain weight.

JWM: Can depression, mood swings, and chronic irritability be symptoms of more serious problems than just winter blues? Other than PMS or menopause, that is.

ES:. Yes, it could be Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. The winter blues and SAD rest on the same continuum, differing only in their degree of severity. In other words, a person suffering from winter blues might feel grumpy and tired, while someone with SAD suffers serious depression, with feelings of desperation, anxiety, and exhaustion. If your depression interferes with important aspects of your life, such as your job or relationships, or if you have feelings of hopelessness, these are possible symptoms of SAD that should be discussed with a physician.

JWM: Who suffers from it? Other than we confirmed hypochondriacs, of course.

ES: Approximately 10 to 20 percent of Americans battle the winter blues. The reasons why our moods slip and our appetites take over by mid-winter could be simply that we’re cooped up, bored, and restless; or it could have a deeper cause, resulting from a drop in serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates mood and hunger. Whatever the reason, most people have some kind of behavior change in the winter. Children and teens can suffer from the winter blues, too.

JWM: What could be some of the signs?

ES: The main ones are obvious – depression and fatigue that lingers. Or, ask yourself the following: Has your mood plummeted along with the temperature? While you stare forlornly out the window at another bleak, winter day, is your spouse dozing rather than playing with the kids? Do you find yourself power snacking on Skittles by the 5th day of rainstorms. If so, you could be battling winter blues or SAD.

JWM: Are there foods and activities — other than Skittles– that you recommend that can boost our mood in these darkened days?

ES: Absolutely. First of all, you might consider finding more light. If your mood improves while vacationing down South, for example, it’s probably more the sunshine than the trip. [Or the drinks with umbrellas.] The researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, are among those who have linked dark winter skies to low levels of serotonin, which makes some people drowsy and more prone to depression. Ample sunshine hitting the retina of our eyes triggers a cascade of events in the brain that raises serotonin levels. Voila! Moods improve! Up to 80% of SAD and winter blues sufferers report at least some relief when exposed for 30 minutes to 1 1 /2 hours daily to sunlight or a specialized light box that emits light 5- to 20-times brighter than typical indoor light. Check out the internet for a local resource for these lights.

JWM: How about diet? Any suggestions?

ES: Eat Regularly: Don’t attempt to skip breakfast in an effort to cut calories. You’ll overeat later in the day, struggle more with mood swings and fatigue, and battle a weight problem in the long run. Be sure to eat breakfast, but make it light and include some carbohydrates, such as cereal, fruit, and milk. Then have lunch. Something as simple as a sandwich, nonfat milk, and a piece of fruit will fuel your brain, body, and mood.

JWM: One way a lot of us make the cold hours pass better is with something to nibble on. What about snacks?

ES: Snack, but not on sweets. A voracious sweet tooth during the winter months also might stem from low serotonin levels. Chowing down on sweets works temporarily – serotonin levels rise and we feel better. But that high is followed by a crash, setting up a roller coaster of highs and lows that causes overeating and weight gain. Replace these foods with more nutritious sweet treats, such as fresh-sliced kiwi mixed with nonfat strawberry-kiwi yogurt, a half papaya filled with lemon yogurt, fresh fruit layered in a parfait glass and topped with a dollop of low-fat whipped cream, or nonfat milk whipped in a blender with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

JWM: But how about people who have a sweet tooth? As you said, sugar is counter-effective in the long run. What should they do?

ES: One way to sooth your mood and save your waistline is to switch from fatty sweets to high-quality carbs, such as whole grain breads and crackers, brown rice, oatmeal, or starchy vegetables like corn or potatoes. Plan a mid-afternoon all-carb snack, such as half a whole wheat English muffin with jam, 3 fig bars, or drizzle honey over a toasted cinnamon bagel to counteract the desire to eat sweets at this crave-prone time of day. Also include carb-rich foods in your meals, such as pasta primavera or marinara, whole wheat couscous, or yams cut into strips and baked on a cookie sheet to make ‘French fries.’ (Serotonin also improves sleep, so a serotonin-boosting evening snack, such as air-popped popcorn or a scoop of sorbet, will help you sleep better, too!)

JWM: There is a lot that has been written about omega-3 fat DHA elevating your mood. How do you feel about that?

ES: You can definitely boost your spirits by taking either omega-3 fat DHA supplements of food rich in it. Research shows that this fat helps boost mood all year long, especially in the winter. In fact, DHA curbs depression by up to 50% in people who are the most difficult to treat; and even helps those who just battle a bit of grumpiness. Interestingly, researchers have found that people who are depressed have much lower levels of omega-3 fats in their blood, fat tissues, and brains — up to 36% lower than happy people. In fact, as omega-3 levels drop, so do levels of serotonin, leaving people grumpy, blue, and downright depressed. If your DHA levels are low, you have a 2.6 times greater risk of getting really crabby and blue compared to someone who keeps those levels high. On the other hand, up your intake of omega-3 fat DHA and serotonin levels rise and mood improves. The evidence is so overwhelming that the American Psychiatric Association in 2006 recommended omega-3s be included in any treatment for depression.

JWM: What are the best foods for omega-3 fat?

ES: You can get all the omega-3 fat you need from flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, leafy greens or soy to help lower your risk for heart disease, but those foods will do nothing for your mood or memory. That’s because there are three omega-3 fats, and they are not all created equal. It is only the omega-3s in fish, especially DHA, which will boost your mood. Aim for 2 servings of omega-3-rich fish such as salmon every week, choose foods fortified with DHA, and/or take a daily supplement that contains at least 220 milligrams of DHA.

JWM: If we don’t see any improvement in our mood or appetite after a few weeks on a high-carb menu, what should we do?

ES: Try substituting some of those carbs for more protein. New research from the National Institute of Mental Health shows that some people don’t experience a mood boost when they eat high-carb diets. So, if you still feel grumpy after a week’s worth of the high-carb choices, try cutting back on the carbohydrates and  increasing protein intake by adding a slice of turkey or a glass of milk to the meal. Protein has a satiating effect that keeps you full longer and curbs cravings in some people.

JWM: A lot of people drink coffee to improve their mood. But for some, like me, it has the opposite effect. What are your thoughts about this?

ES: It’s better to limit coffee. While caffeine is a great pick-me-up, if you are drinking more than 3 small cups a day, it could be fueling fatigue. For the person who is sensitive to sugar or caffeine, simply removing these substances from the diet may be all it takes to reduce or even eliminate depression, according to research from the University of South Alabama. How coffee affects mood is unclear, although caffeine is a drug that affects the nervous system. Cut back or eliminate coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, colas, and caffeine-containing medications, such as Excedrin, Dristan, and Dexatrim.

JWM: We spend so much time in heated rooms in the winter, leading to not only dry skin, but dry everything. Is that a factor?

ES: Absolutely. Actually, the first sign of dehydration is fatigue, which is the stepping stone for depression. Many of us are mildly dehydrated, because thirst is a poor indicator of your body’s need for water. Drink twice as much water as it takes to quench your thirst, or at least 8 glasses daily. Drink even more water if you exercise intensely or drink a lot of coffee and tea.

JWM: Are there any other supplements that you recommend that can affect our moods?

ES: It is difficult in winter to constantly keep up the proper quantities of fresh vegetables and fruit. So several nutrient deficiencies, including the B vitamins, are more common in the winter that indicate a link to impaired mental ability and mood swings. More than one in four patients with depression is deficient in vitamins B2, B6, and B12, and folic acid. B-rich foods include chicken, legumes, fish, bananas, avocados, and dark green leafy vegetables. A moderate-dose multiple vitamin and mineral, supplies these B vitamins and can fill in the nutritional gaps on those days when you don’t eat perfectly. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that low vitamin D levels, which can occur due to lack of exposure to sunlight, might contribute to winter blues. So make sure your supplement has at least 1000IU of this important nutrient.

JWM: What about exercise? Please don’t say to take a spin class or use the elliptical machines, my two fitness nemeses in any season!

ES: Any kind of exercise is good. It’s well proven that people who are vigorously active almost every day are at much lower risk for developing any form of depression, including winter blues.

Now if I can get my husband, The Lawyer, to sprint to take omega-3 supplements while drinking a gallon of water, I might have some peace around here before springtime!

What Are Your Jewelry Stones Saying About You?

jewelryBy Linda Lauren

Not long ago, I found myself standing in line behind a woman at the pharmacy who was speaking very loud.  Not many people were in the store at that time, so it was impossible not to eavesdrop on her conversation.  Attractive and dressed in impeccable corporate attire, she was leaning in toward the pharmacist with excitement.

“I’m amazed at how grounded I am,”  she said. “I just don’t know why today is so different.”

I did a very quick inventory of the jewelry she was wearing and immediately discovered why she felt so good. Dangling from each ear was a Hematite earring. Hematite is a dark gray stone with a shiny finish and is known for its grounding of our energy to the reality of our daily routine.  In fact, every piece of jewelry you wear carries a vibration. That vibration is enhanced by the energetic properties of the stone, the color, and the setting. A diamond ring set in gold represents innocent power and purity of heart, and it will ground us to being powerful on a more practical level. However, when set in silver it works with that the energy of silver and will allow more power in communication. By learning the general meanings of the colors and gemstones of the jewelry you choose, you will be able to direct your energy to choose gemstones that embrace positive intention.

Here is a list of Birthstones and their meaning. This list of will help you choose gemstone combinations that can be applied by month, by birthstone energy, or by color.  Nothing is etched in “stone” here. Have fun and experiment.

BIRTHSTONES (Traditional)

January/Garnet: Promotes friendship and trust.

February/Amethyst: Connects you to the intuitive energy within you

March/Aquamarine: Eases our travels for a safe voyage.

April/Diamond: Helps with clarity of vision and clear thinking.

May/Emerald: Embraces new beginnings and helps us start over.

June/Pearl: Allows you to be in tune with emotion.

July/Ruby: Offers us love and a boost to our physical energy.

August/Peridot: Assists in mending relationships and moving forward.

September/Sapphire: Inspires spirituality and devotion.

October/Opal: Creates spontaneity and helps with emotional states.

November/Yellow Topaz: Instills confidence and good health.

December/Blue Topaz: Offers creative expression and help inspire compassion.

Before you put your next piece of jewelry on, give yourself a moment to reflect on how it makes you feel. Sit quietly for a few moments and let the energy speak to you. Then choose gemstones and colors that embrace feelings that are positive, happy and protective.  With experience, you will learn to enhance and embrace a personal vibration that makes you feel complete and at peace.

***

Linda Lauren is a fourth-generation psychic medium, Color & Energy Consultant, Author and Reiki Practitioner, who connects with people who come to her for guidance through the color and energy she senses around them.  Linda, known as the ‘Travel Psychic™’, also uses that energy to guide her clients with their travel plans.

How Light Affects Our Sleep (And Overall Happiness)

moring in prague

Anyone who has ever experienced insomnia can tell you that lack of sleep is one of the cruelest barriers to happiness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25% of the U.S. population reports not getting enough sleep, and a whopping 10% reports chronic insomnia! Not only are we stressed, sick, and overweight in this country, but we are dangerously under-slept – and all of these circumstances undoubtedly have something to do with one another.

In addition to temperature, stress, and other factors, light has been shown to have a major effect on the circadian rhythm. Timing, intensity, and quality of light all play into either promoting or detracting from healthy sleep patterns. Imagine the difficulty night shift workers have to establish their sleep cycles! But even those of us who work regular hours and expect our sleep time to comfortably overlap with the dark hours can be negatively impacted by a disturbance in our light exposure. Think: computer and cellphone screens, artificial light, television, and the like.

Doctors and scientists in recent decades have developed light therapy treatment for various issues, including sleep disorders, and their results are promising. One study published in the American Psychological Association journal reported patients’ improvement in circadian rhythms after two hours of bright light exposure in the morning in conjunction with light restriction around bedtime. Another study published in Biological Psychiatry reported that bright light therapy can reduce the incidence of relapse in patients after other forms of sleep therapy – the results of which, by the way, may have a major affect of reducing depressive symptoms in patients with depression. The future looks bright, indeed.

Bright light therapy has also been shown to help treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), as well as reduce the incidence of behavioral disorders in patients suffering from dementia. All evidence points to the fact that light gravely affects not only our sleep patterns, but also our minds, emotions, and overall pursuit of happiness. With that in mind, it’s heartening to know that there may be measures we can take, which include light therapy, to increase overall health and wellness.

 Here are some tips on promoting sleep health with light therapy:

  1. Put your phone, computer, and television away after dark, or at least close to bedtime. Those moments right before bed might seem like the perfect time to catch up on email or your favorite show, but doing so may inhibit your ability to fall asleep. So save it for the morning, and pick up a book or sketch pad, instead.
  2. Go to sleep a bit earlier to align your sleep rhythm more closely with the day. This is hard to do, especially if you’re a parent, student, or busy professional. But going to sleep earlier might just allow you to wake up a bit earlier, too, and not lose an inch of productivity!
  3. Try using candlelight and natural light as much as possible. Artificial light has been implicated in the growth of sleep disorders – and again, much of this has to do with laptops and television screens. Turn it off, unplug, and opt for natural light.
  4. Make sure your bedroom is lit (and unlit) as much as possible by natural light. For instance, keep it dark after dark and around bedtime, but be sure the morning sunlight makes it in, as well. Exposure to bright light upon awakening, as we mentioned, can help promote healthy circadian rhythms. So let the light in!

* * *

18154748891333272199Are you ready for a healthy Vegas vacation?

The first of their kind in the world, Stay Well Rooms at the MGM Grand in Vegas are furnished with a number of amenities designed to maximize health, wellness, and relaxation. From dawn simulator alarm clocks, to state-of-the-art air and water purification systems, to aromatherapy, Stay Well rooms provide an unprecedented opportunity to have a healthy travel experience — even in Las Vegas. Designed by real-estate pioneer Delos Living, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra, Stay Well will change the way you think about travel and hotel rooms. Learn more or book your reservation here.

5 Ways Your Smartphone Can Improve Your Mood

You pick up a cell phone several times a day, but can you imagine a cell phone picking you up? Well, they do it all the time. We all know your cell phone makes your life easier. You can order pizza, get directions, chat with friends and even send photos when you feel like doing so, but this little device can also make you feel better when you feel blue. There’s truly no limit to what technology can do these days. Next time you feel down, pick up your cell phone. It will return the favor.

Hunt for Feel Good Music

Music - an art for itself - Headphones and music notes / musical notation system

If you are feeling low, the easiest way to pick yourself up is to play a song. With Music Hunt, an app for smartphones, you can find the right song to pick you up. Search for an old favorite, such as a hit from the 80s, or surf through a variety of recent hip-hop hits. Satisfy your craving for some feel good rock ‘n roll, sure to blow your blues away in a heartbeat.

This app is perfect for rainy day blues. Add this to all of your work phones and give your crew something to smile about on those long flights. You can do this in a few clicks (or taps) with using just your tablet or smartphone.

Stream a Video, Enjoy a River of Laughter

Streaming videos on your phone is a great way to improve your mood. With today’s phones, you have hundreds of video apps to choose from. Open the YouTube app and search for funny, short videos for a quick laugh to lighten your mood. It’s also free, which will make you smile.

Hulu Plus is also available on select smartphones. You can immediately brighten your mood by watching your favorite sitcom on your phone. You can also download and watch comedies on your phone for a minimal price of around $7.99.

Crack a Joke a Day

laughter

Many apps feature jokes to force you to look at life from a different perspective. Try YoMama Jokes or go for quantity with the app 5000 Jokes, or Best Bar Jokes. All of these apps will make your mood improve immediately.

Chat With a Friend

Another mood-booster is to have a chat with a friend. Open up your favorite messaging app and send a quick note to a friend, or repair a damaged relationship with a nice text. It’s a little easier to start a conversation using texts.

Relive Feel Good Moments

Grand Cayman Vacation

Load your phone with your favorite pictures of friends, family, and great moments. Put them in a folder called “fun photos” or something similar and browse photos when a blue mood strikes. You’ll start thinking about all the fun times in your life.

You always have your phone with you. When you feel blue, use these suggestions and add a little creativity to turn your smartphone into your personal mood-booster.

 

Image Via Flickr by photosteve101

Image Via Flickr by gagilas

Image Via Flickr by c&rdunn

Your Words Can Improve Your Mood

You’re literally as good as your word. Words create your reality. They also hold clues to your deepest feelings like when you are surprised by an unintended pun. Being aware of imagery, pronouns and conjunctions you regularly use can provide important insight into your state of mind. The words people say are like “fingerprints that can reveal their relationships, honesty, or their status in a group” according to research by University of Texas at Austin social psychologist James W. Pennebaker.

This simple conscious observation of word choice can serve as a clear lens of self- awareness which inevitably leads to change: Words are the real SELF-HELP. When you communicate to others your feelings, you are communicating to yourself as well, often reinforcing those feelings. It’s time to fortify what’s right with your world by using quality words. You will learn to tolerate yourself.

5 questions to help you find the good word

* What words do you use to describe yourself? Instead of focusing on words like fat, flabby, diet, use words like, healthy lifestyle, improving body composition and quality food. To me skinny implies having no substance and lean suggests that I can’t stand on my own two feet. The words healthy and fit keep me motivated.

* Have you inherited your word choice? Do you often use “ought to or should”? These words can create conflict in your spirit compromising your individual identity. Switch to words that resonate for you. Reevaluate beliefs and proverbs that were handed down to you and sound contradictory: Don’t be a quitter and Quit while you are ahead. Therefore if life gives you lemons, throw them away and do something more meaningful instead of making lemonade.

* Do you generally criticize people and things, or use “but” to qualify positive statements? Most likely you are not in a good zone emotionally. Happy people tend to see the world with upbeat descriptions. Try using affirming words to improve your mood. For example, instead of describing yourself as frazzled, try “calmly active.” When you compliment someone, a smile and thank you will rebound to you – a circle of good energy. Studies show that happiness is contagious. Spread good cheer.

* Do you speak quickly, pushing your ideas on the listener as opposed to pausing? Use words which emphasize your personal empowerment. Count your words and make them count. When you listen carefully, you will hear what is said and what is not said.

* Do you suppress your true feelings saying everything is FINE when it isn’t? This kind of self-suppression/silencing can affect your heart and make you sick. Aim for honest self-expression and then use good words to seek an optimistic solution. Announcing a painful thought into an objective reality allows you to find the resiliency to move on.

Words form your life story. Make it a good story.
 

5 Masterful Ways to Improve Your Mood Fast!

Stuck on:  a long line, in traffic, a rude remark, it’s time to change the unpleasant mental movie to a calmer, more enjoyable one. The problem with the initial plot is that deep down you believe there are winners and losers and now you identify with the losers. This makes you feel disconnected. Also, since you expect things to happen in a certain way in your story, when they don’t, you feel upset. This hurls you into a stress cycle which saps your energy and distorts your focus.

Here’s how to quickly become the hero of your life story:

* The brain does not perform well on empty. It needs glucose as energy when it is trying to control impulsive reactions like anger. For a quick infusion of calmer thinking try a quality fruit juice with fiber and then follow it up with a protein snack like a handful of nuts to stabilize the mood. (Be prepared and carry it with you)

* When you feel like you have no control, just give it up and flow with others; you will feel connected and tap into group synergy. Stuck on a long line? Start chatting with someone else or make a joke out loud and others will join laughter and start talking to you. Suddenly, waiting on line has created a bond. You never know who you might meet while waiting on line.


* Carry a fragrance (like an essential oil) that you have a history with – a scent associated with a positive memory.
For example, I love honeysuckle, a positive association from childhood in the Catskill Mountains. Honeysuckle, a fragrance from the past, makes me feel happy for no reason and in the moment, instead of making everything worse than it is.

* Wherever you are stuck, go the opposite route and move, even if you are behind the wheel in a traffic jam. You can tighten and release abdominals for a core workout; place your car in park and do a palm press overhead, gently stretch your neck from side to side; do side laterals and then hold your arms out in an iron cross position for ten seconds. If you are on a line, you can do calf raises, side and rear leg lifts a few inches off the ground (be careful of kicking others), tightening and releasing abdominals, or glutes. A few minutes of exercise is a potent anti-depressant, brain balancer and mood lifter.

* Use a negative experience as a rung on the ladder of success in your story. A rude remark or a barb? Become the winner by taking the high road and reinterpreting it with compassion. Or, let “So what!” become your new mantra. One woman in my stress management group tried it out at home. She kept saying “So what!” to her husband who was criticizing her that day. He asked, “What’s with this, ‘So what!’?” She laughed, eyes twinkling.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / Shutter Daddy
 

Shifting the Mood: Attitude Follows Perspective

When we feel supported, it is easier to open our heart and minds when needing to look at a situation differently.

We all have days when we are faced with chores, errands, or responsibilities that we don’t want to do. At times like these, it’s easy to get into a bad mood and stay in one as we tackle these tasks. However, given the fact that our bad mood will not change the fact that we have to do these things, and will most likely make things worse, we could also try to shift our attitude. Many wise people have pointed out that it is not so much what we do as it is how we do it that makes the difference in our lives.

It’s important when we’re facing something that’s really hard for us, whether it’s doing taxes, paying bills, or visiting a challenging relative, that we lovingly support ourselves through the process. The more supported we feel, the easier it is to open our minds to the idea that we could change our way of looking at the situation. In truth, most of the chores we don’t like doing are intimately intertwined with our blessings. When we remember this, we feel gratitude, which makes it hard to stay in a dark mood.

We can shift our attitude by considering how much we love our home as we clean it and how lucky we are to have a roof over our head. Any task can be transformed from a burden to a necessary aspect of caring for something we love. All we have to do is shift our perspective, and our attitude follows shortly behind.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / jasmine blu

6 Ways to Kick That Sour Mood

Without going too much into detail, I’ll say that I have been having a rough week. Maybe it is the eclipse or maybe something is in retrograde but there has been some serious bad karma this week. So what do you do when your stars seem to be playing football, instead of being aligned? Here are 6 mood brightening ideas that work for me


1.) Indulge in Your Favorite Comfort Food

People will tell you that food isn’t happiness or that it can’t fill any sort of a void in your life, but it can sure as hell make you happy. Indulge in the food that makes you happy, even if you have to then spend an additional hour in the gym making up for all the unecessary calories you ate. For me it is mint chocolate chip ice cream or cake or chocolate — actually any kind of dessert. One heavenly bite and my frown is automatically turned upside down.

2.) Organize

When bad things happen, even for a little bit, it seems like your world has gone topsy turvy. It is easy to feel out of control when external factors are causing problems. What can you do? Organize your life in some way. Whether it is balancing your checkbook, clearing your inbox, cleaning out the refrigerator or straightening up your bedroom, organizing will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you regain control of your life and that is a good feeling!

3.) Let Go of the Stress

When I am piping mad, my first instinct is wanting to break or punch something. I know, violence isn’t a very intentful way of living but sometimes you need that release. When you cannot take your anger out on the cop that gave you that ridiculous ticket, go home, close your doors and windows and scream at the top of your lungs. Jump on your bed, punch your pillow or even break something useless. Get rid of all that negative energy that is filling you up.

4.) Escape Somewhere

When you have those days, your life is the last one you want to be living at that time. So pause your life for a moment and escape into some other world. Watch your favorite movie or read a great book. It can be something that will make you laugh or you can even experience a whole new world: travel with Frodo and the hobbits as they try to save Middle Earth or take a jourey to ancient rome into a world of Gladiators and Caesars. Even if it just makes you stop thinking for a while, it is worth it.

5.) Exercise

The last thing you are going to want to do when you are pissed off is go to the gym. But exercise is the best natural way to improve your mood. When you work out, your body releases endorphins – which are your body’s natural pain killers and mood improvers. So when you are in a terrible mood, go out for a run or swim a few laps or spend some time in the gym. It will help your mood and the accomplishment will be an added bonus.

6.) Help Someone Else

No matter how terrible things are in your life, there is someone somewhere who is worse off. So if you can’t fix your life, try lending someone else a helping hand. Go volunteer at a local soup kitchen or help clean the beach or make a microloan to someone in need. When I was feeling terrible, I decided to make a loan through Kiva.org. The feeling of fulfilling my lendee‘s loan is honestly one of the best. Knowing that my little bit helped make a huge difference in somebody’s life, fixed my bad mood in no time. Helping someone else can help you too.

So next time you are in a sour mood, try one of these and hope you feel better 🙂

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...