With all of the demands that come from juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities at home and work, it's only natural to feel stressed from time to time. Many people turn to medications such as antidepressants to lift their mood and energy levels.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), antidepressant use in the United States has increased over 400% since 1988. One in 10 persons over the age of 12 now takes a prescription antidepressant. Unfortunately, many antidepressants can be expensive and also have serious potential side effects!
The good news is that there are chemical-free ways to naturally boost your energy levels and mood!
Try one of these strategies to boost your mood when you're feeling down:
1. Establish a regular exercise routine. According to researchers at the renowned Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity such as a hearty walk or workout at your local gym causes your brain to release various chemicals that boost your mood, release stress, and help you relax.
For best results, choose an activity that will raise your heart rate for at least 30 minutes each day.
Regular exercise will also help you to control your weight and condition your muscles. You'll not only look and feel better, but you'll increase your endurance and energy levels as you tone your muscles.
2. Change your diet. As reported by CNN and the Daily Mail, our brains need 20% of our total calorie intake each day in order to function properly.
The brain also needs certain chemical precursors in order to create and maintain optimum levels of mood lifting compounds such as dopamine and serotonin. Without the correct mix of calories and chemicals, we're left feeling sluggish and depressed.
Good food choices to boost these compounds include fish, nuts, eggs, and meats. Chocolate is also a huge serotonin booster, and dark chocolate has been proven to relax blood vessels and decrease blood pressure.
3. Laughter really is the best medicine. Seek ways to take a break and incorporate humor into your daily life. A genuine laugh instantly increases the oxygen levels in your blood, making you feel instantly recharged.
Laughter also causes your body to release endorphins, your body's natural pain killer and mood booster.
4. Perform a good deed or random act of kindness. Whenever we help someone, whether it's a large or small deed, we stop focusing on our feelings and concentrate on meeting the needs of another individual. This helps us by giving us a break from thoughts that have brought our mood down.
Helping someone can boost your self-esteem and instantly lift your mood.
5. Reach out to your family or friends. The next time that you feel your spirits lagging, confide in a close friend or relative.
Sharing your burden can help release your tension. Your loved one can assist you in either resolving your issue or at least trying to cheer you up while you're working on a solution.
Our busy lives make it easy to feel isolated, overwhelmed, drained, and even depressed. These simple, chemical-free strategies can lift your mood and increase your energy level every day.