21 Ways to Improve Your Mood | Mental Health Awareness Month

Did you know? Moods are not emotions. A mood is defined as a temporary state of mind or feeling. From good to foul and everything in between, we know when we’re experiencing a mood and others can sense it. Unlike emotions, moods are a general feeling, not a strong reaction to a situation. Moods can last for hours or days while emotions normally last a few minutes, although they are more intense.

As a mood-management brand that combines clinic-grade skin care, aromatherapy and edibles, MOOD will be sharing lots of science-backed content on how to feel better - consistently. Be sure to connect with us on Instagram.

21 Ways to Improve Your Mood

Imagine being free from your moods. When "cranky" sneaks up on you, you know exactly how to realign with a better-feeling state of being. If that sounds like freedom, this article is for you!

REMEMBER: Research supports that starting with small, consistent changes is the key to making effective mood management a habit. It is also important to have an arsenal of tools to use because not every tool will work every time. Variety helps with consistent changes.

1. Go for a walk outside.

Just a 10-minute walk around the block can help you. Studies show that being in nature improves your mood almost immediately, while physical movement floods your body with those feel-good endorphins.

2. Buy a plant or flowers.

Retail therapy is real. Do even more for your mood by buying a potted plant that is easy to care for. Besides producing clean air, plants help us have a sense of purpose and make us feel better. Bonus points if it is a plant with aromatherapy benefits such as lavender, which has relaxing properties.

Learn more about lavender's mood and skin benefits in MOOD's CALM Skin Clearing Face Serum +  Lip Balm

3. Snuggle your pet - or visit a cat cafe!

Pets are great emotional support animals. Taking your dog for a walk or taking 10 minutes to play with your cat can help realign your mood quickly. 

No pet? No problem. Visit a local cat cafe, get surrounded by cats and maybe even adopt one! Personally, we love The Cat's Meow Cafe and Lounge in Miami. Visit them if you're ever in the neighborhood. 

4. Listen to your favorite toons. But be selective.

This advice comes with an asterisk. Music is powerful because it associates moments of our lives and reactivates the feelings we had then. 

We recommend making playlists instead so when you need a mood adjustment, you know exactly which list to click "play" on.

5. Smile! Activate the muscle-mind connection.

It can be difficult to turn a frown upside down, but your mood will improve if you hold a smile for as little as 10 seconds. Because your mind only remembers the muscle pattern of your smiling in good moments, it cannot help but fill your body with good-feeling endorphins. In a sense, it's "like riding a bike!"

6. Breathe. Most Americans are shallow breathers.

Shallow breath is associated with stress and restriction. The action of taking a deep breath on the count of 7, holding for a count of 4, and releasing for the count of 8 is an easy, quick and powerful way to manage your mood and stress.

7. Clean and organize. 

De-cluttering your space also helps with the mind-body connection. It activates your muscles - the use of your hands - and focuses the mind on a productive task that does not require a lot of mind power. In a way, it is on autopilot and that allows it to detach, relax and therefore, improve your mood.

(By "productive," we specifically mean a task that creates a difference, not something you feel you have to do such as work.)

8. Do a skin care routine.

The act of taking care of your body is self-empowering and allows you a moment to center yourself. It also reminds you that you are in this body and caring for it is your primary responsibility, making all other problems that may be causing your current mood not as important. 

Your skincare routine doesn't need to have 15 steps. In fact "skinimalism" is your friend.

Use potent, clinic-grade products that require fewer steps and produce better results. Results will prompt you to care for your skin more often.

Make your skin care routine an experience.

MOOD combines clinic-grade skin care with aromatherapy, helping you with mood management and skin goals all in one!

Learn more about lavender's mood and skin benefits in MOOD's CALM Skin Clearing Face Serum +  Lip Balm

9. Write on paper.

The physical act of writing on paper can help you declutter your mind. Unload your worries and thoughts onto the paper. It doesn't have to make sense. It can be poetry, random words or well-formed sentences. 

10. Try appreciation instead of gratitude.

Yes, we know. Gratitude is all the rage. And you should absolutely still say your "thank you's."
But when it comes to mood-management, the state of appreciation puts you more in the moment.

What's the difference? To some, there won't be any. But if making your list of things you are grateful for gives you a sense of fear of losing them, you may want to try appreciation. 

Being appreciative of your current state of being is something no one can take away from you. You have breath in your lungs right now. You have a device to read this on right now. And so on. Nothing can take now away from you.

11. Reach out to a friend. Especially if you want to close down. 

Sure, there are days where being completely with yourself are therapeutic on their own. But if you feel like shutting yourself off from the world in a child-like tantrum, that is when you most need to reach out to a friend.

Select a friend who is usually in a good mood and supportive of you regardless of what you do or say. If you're in a negative mood, you don't really need someone to add to it. 

Remember, you're in control of yourself. If at any point you feel that you need space, you can kindly ask them to continue the conversation another time. 

12. Cook or bake. 

It doesn't have to be a 3-tier cake. You can see what you have in the fridge and have a Chopped session at home! It's another way to care for yourself while activating the mind-body connection.

13. Knit or crochet.

Scientifically proven to improve your mood, reduce anxiety and depression. So head over to Michael's, get some supplies and get going! Remember, it doesn't matter if that scarf takes you 3 years to make or that you only ever create a really long one-stitch string. The point is the journey!

14. Go out of your way to be kind.

Buy someone a coffee. Hold the door for someone. Smile at a stranger. Act of kindness help others and make us feel better. Win-win.

15. Implement aromatherapy.

Various scents have been studied to promote different moods. Lavender, for example, has been well-studied to reduce anxiety and induce calm.

MOOD Skin Care was formulated by skin care experts and Ayurvedic professionals to combine clinic-grade ingredients with aromatherapy.

Face Serums and Lip Balms are available in four different lines:

CALM to reduce inflammation and speed healing while calming the senses with lavender oil.

ELEVATE to detox your skin and reduce signs of aging while uplifting the senses with clementine oil.

DEFEND to protect from UVA, UVB and blue light while instilling confidence with blueberry seed oil.

ILLUMINATE to brighten skin and evens tone while promoting memory recall with turmeric. 

Make your skin care routine an experience.

MOOD combines clinic-grade skin care with aromatherapy, helping you with mood management and skin goals all in one!

16. Be spontaneous - it's good for the brain.

What's good for the brain is good for your mood. When you do something spontaneous - even something small like trying a new coffee shop - your brain has to adjust to the "new." This causes it to create new neural pathways as it records a new experience, and is the basic principle of neuroplasticity. The more we put ourselves into such situations, the more comfortable our brain gets with having to adapt and process new information without generating a big stress response.

17. Reminisce and reflect. 

You have to be careful with this one as it can quickly take you down the opposite path of worsening your mood. But if you focus on the good, the growth and appreciating that you had those times, it can help elevate your mood by reminding you that those great times are a possibility once more.

18. Stretch your body. 

Just like your brain needs a good stretch, your mood can improve from stretching the body. While yoga combines the beneficial actions of breathing, stillness and stretching, you can improve your mood by simply reaching for your toes. When you stretch your muscles, it releases lactic acid stored in them, and has shown to increase serotonin - the happy hormone.

19. Snack on mood-boosting foods.

Chocolate anyone? Dark chocolate, specifically, is one of the many mood-boosting foods that you can enjoy throughout the day. Others include berries, nuts, bananas, and even coffee! Also, eating small portions regularly helps boost your metabolism, which helps you avoid undesired weight gain associated with depression and anxiety.

20. Plan something fun.

Giving yourself something to look forward to is an instant mood-booster. The more detailed your plan is, the more your brain will get on board, sending your body all the signals to get happy about it. It can be something as simple as planning a walk to get some chocolate or as intricate as planning a vacation. The goal is the current state of excitement!

21. Take a nap, mindfully.

While oversleeping is associated with depression, sleep is also a great way to reset your mood. If you're overthinking a situation or having a challenging day, taking a 20-minute nap can stop the momentum of your thoughts and give your mood a reset. 

Managing your mood is an ongoing process. The more tools you have in your pocket, the better you are able to support your mental health!

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*These statements are found to be accurate as of the time this blog is published.

Except where otherwise indicated, statements regarding products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.