12 Surprising Things That Can Affect Your Mood
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1. Spending too much time with negative people
Negative people are exhausting and they will drain you. Whether it’s a coworker, family member or friend, spending time with them can have a negative influence on your mood. Re-evaluate your relationships and distance yourself from anyone who is sucking up your time and energy.
Depending on what you are listening to, music can affect your mood positively or negatively. There’s a reason they have created music-based therapy programs. It only takes a moment of listening before you can feel your mood shift. So if you’re in a crappy mood, sad or happy, pay attention to what you have been listening to. And if you want to feel good, put on playlist of your favorite songs or play some music that takes you back to a time you were really happy.
3. Social Media
Instagram envy is real. You can go from innocently scrolling your feed to feeling like crap because everyone else’s life appears to be perfect while yours sucks. And those feelings of inadequacy can lead to stress and anxiety. Modify your habits and improve your mood by limiting the amount of time you spend on social media, going offline at least 30 minutes before bedtime and making an effort to meet up with friends in person—with appropriate social distancing, of course.
4. News Updates
It’s becoming harder and harder to strike a balance between staying informed and becoming upset and overwhelmed by media reports on current events. Most days, I can’t watch the news without wanting to throw a shoe at the TV. While it’s important to know what’s going on in the world, over-consumption of the 24-hour news cycle can take a toll on you mentally and emotionally. Take control of your media exposure by limiting the amount of news you consume daily, turning off news notifications on your phone and practicing deep breathing exercises when you see or hear a troubling news story.
Scents can have positive effects on mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement and self-confidence. Becoming aware of which scents affect your mood can enhance your health and well-being. Are there any scents that you love? Find an essential oil, candle or home fragrances mist with a scent that evokes pleasant memories and positive vibes.
- Citrus scents like orange and lemon can help you feel more awake and productive.
- Vanilla can help curb sweet cravings and enhance sexual arousal.
- Lavender can decrease your heart rate and help you relax. It can also help you sleep.
- Peppermint can boost your mood, reduce stress and relieve headaches (which I was overjoyed to discover).
- Jasmine can increase chances of a restful night’s sleep.
A nice sunny day can lift your mood. A dark, rainy day can drag it down. A hot, humid can make you feel irritable, tired or even aggressive. While you can’t control the weather, you can control your reaction to it. Take a minute to do something boost your mood like listening to music, watching something funny or doing a quick exercise routine.
If you have children, you know what they’re like when sleep-deprived. You’re not much better! Make sure that you’re getting enough sleep so that you don’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
Studies have shown that slouching results in more negative thoughts, while standing or sitting up straight results in greater confidence and self-esteem. Paying a little more attention to your posture can help you feel better about yourself and put you in a better mood.
Cutting entire food groups, skipping meals and eating too many refined carbs are just a few ways that food can affect your mood. Maintaining healthy eat habits and good nutrition can boost your energy and help you feel better mentally and physically.
Oddly, when you least feel like exercising is when you need to push through and do it anyway. It doesn’t take much to make a difference. A brisk walk is all you need to release endorphins and boost your mood.
If you’re feeling sluggish or irritable, you might just need a drink of water. Staying hydrated is important whether you are working at your desk all day or just walked 5 miles on a treadmill. In addition to affecting your mood, being dehydrated can also cause headaches, fatigue and lack of concentration. Having a glass of water every few hours could improve your mood considerably.
Varying levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can have your mood swinging all over the place. Between menstruation, perimenopause and menopause, it can feel impossible to manage your mood no matter what stage you are in. But there are many small changes that can make a big difference.
- PMS: Limit caffeine and salt, cut sugar, increase your intake of B6 (with supplements or by eating more legumes, beans and nuts) and get some exercise. Birth control pills may also help stabilize your hormone levels.
- Perimenopause: In addition to mood swings, you might experience night sweats and hot flashes (emo). Cut salt, sugar, and white flour. Limit caffeine, stress and wine (I know, I know!). Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids (by eating flaxseed, walnuts and eggs) and exercise regularly. A low dose birth control pill or natural progesterone supplement may also help balance your hormones.
- Menopause: Hot flashes may still be present. Try a natural herbs and supplements like black cohosh and red clover. Low doses of testosterone can also help manage symptoms.
Whatever path you take to manage your mood and your hormone levels, make sure you do your own research and talk to your doctor to create a plan that’s best for you and your overall health.
Becoming aware of small things that enhance or detract from your mood can help significantly strengthen your emotional and physical health.