January 13, 2008

5 Ways to Change Your Mood Instantly

How often do we find ourselves in a bad mood, seemingly for no reason? How many times do we have a pretty decent day, but then one little thing ruins the whole thing? The problems we face in this day and age seem more complicated, but in reality, it has more to do with the pace in which we travel through our day.

Here are five tried and true methods of getting out of a bad mood and getting back into the groove.

1. Smile

That’s right, smile! The simple act of smiling has been shown in scientific studies to literally change a person’s mood. We obviously smile when we ARE in a good mood, and it appears that our brain responds in kind to the physical act of changing your facial expression. Try it…it’s pretty amazing!

2. Take a Breather

Deep breathing is stressed in virtually everything, from exercise to meditation. Taking five or six slow, deep breaths, inhaling through the nose, and exhaling slowly through the mouth, is the most common technique taught. Studies have shown a marked increase in Alpha waves (relaxation) and decrease in Beta waves (stress) in the brain when this simple technique is employed. Additionally, deep breathing slows our heart rate and rids the body of excess waste gases.

3. Get Stressed

You read it correct! The proper use of stressing ourselves can actually HELP us relax. Whether you’re sitting at a desk, at home, or in the car, purposefully tighten ALL the muscles in your body for 10 seconds, then release. You’ll be amazed to find your state of relaxation is dramatically increased, while your stress is relieved.

4. Take a Vacation

Not time off, but a “mini-mind” vacation. Here’s how. Close your eyes and place yourself in a setting you find relaxing, such as lying in the sun on a beach. Imagine feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of the waves on the beach, the salt smell of the ocean. In other words, immerse your senses in whatever setting you find has been a relaxing place for you in the past. Even 30 seconds of this technique will work wonders on your mood.

5. Tune In

Music is one of the most powerful stimuli known to humanity. Make a CD of songs you’ve found to be relaxing, positively stimulating, or that otherwise has put you in a good mood, then use it whenever you find yourself stressed out, angry, or down.

Conclusion

The bottom line is this. All of these techniques have been scientifically shown to change our brain function and chemistry. Additionally, the more you practice one, two, or all of the above, the faster the response. In other words, we can literally train our body and mind to respond instantaneously and literally change our mood in a matter of seconds. Give these a try and see what works best for you… you’ll be glad you did!

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