In psychology terms, the mood is an emotional state. The mood is an internal, subjective state which many may refer to as being in a ‘good’ mood or ‘bad’ mood. Any number of factors can influence our moods, such as an exciting Facebook class or sad news.
Personality traits predispose particular moods, for example, someone who is generally optimistic will be a more positive thinker with lighter happier moods. On the other hand, someone thought to have a neuroticism personality are more likely to respond poorly to stressors and have lower moods due to anxiety, anger, or depression.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, a researcher at the University of California, Riverside, reports genetics account for about 50% of mood. An additional 40% of our happiness is influenced by what we do deliberately to make ourselves happy. The final 10% is attributed to life circumstances.
Mood disorders are more complex, involving long term disturbances of mood such as clinical depression and bipolar disorder. Once diagnosed with a mood disorder please keep in mind to always follow your doctor’s advice, and only use alternative therapies if they are appropriate for you.
Exercise: Many studies report exercise is associated with a positive mood boost. There are several reasons for this. One, self-esteem increases as we become more fit. Two, physical activity releases a chemical in the body called endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body leading to an elevated mood.
Cacao: Both cacao and cocoa come from the same plant, however, they are processed differently leading to different end results. Cacao is high in epicatechin, a flavonoid believed to naturally boost mood.
Engage your senses: Simply smile. Smiling can reduce stress and encourage positive thoughts and emotions. Perk up your olfactory nerve, aromatherapy is a well-known method used to invigorate your senses while boosting your mood. Listen to your favourite tune! Music has been associated with dopamine production, which is a feel-good brain chemical in your brain.
Boosting your mood doesn’t have to involve expensive tools or laborious activities. Simply set aside time to do things that you love! Make plans, having something to look forward to can reduce stress.
Don’t let the blues keep you down too long. We’ve all got something to smile about, sometimes we just need a little boost.