November 11, 2011
Happiness is the state in which we were all meant to live. When this state of being eludes you, there are several mood boosting activities you can take part in to ensure low moods are few and far between. Many can even produce identifiable changes in brain chemistry almost instantly.
Get close to the ocean, a waterfall or any moving water
Moving water creates an atmosphere in which it is nearly impossible to feel hopeless and deflated. The 5 great freshwater lakes of the US and the ocean all are bodies of water that are in constant motion. There are two reasons these large bodies of water have a positive impact on our mood.
The first is the power of negative ions that are generated from the movement of the water. Negative ions are very cleansing to the human body. They create a feeling of invigoration by refreshing and oxygenating the cells of the body. They are also antioxidants since they help to counter balance positive ions.
Positive ions are also known as free radicals. In today’s world of “dead air” in which we are subjected to buildings with recycled heat and air conditioning, positive ions are much more abundant. Positive ions damage our healthy cells and create the perfect environment for sickness and disease.
Mow the lawn
Studies have recently shown that the simple act of mowing the lawn lifts the spirits. It helps create a feeling of well being and accomplishment. You are also reaping the benefit of aerobic activity, which in itself elevates mood.
The aroma of cut grass has been shown to lower stress levels and calm the mind. The chemical released by the freshly mown grass directly affects two areas of the brain related to emotions and memory. They are the amygdala and the hippocampus.
These findings may also explain why getting outdoors in general helps to elevate mood and release stress. Studies have also shown that simply inhaling the scent of pine trees and other vegetation has relaxing effects on the brain.
Get a pet if you don’t already have one
Whether you fancy dogs or cats there are several studies that have shown the physical and emotional benefits of having a pet. Research has revealed that stress levels and feelings of contentment in the elderly dramatically improved by owning a pet. Dogs and cats are frequently taken to nursing homes as visiting guests due to their therapeutic value.
Studies have also shown that simply petting an animal lowers the levels of stress hormones in the body as well as blood pressure. Stronger human and pet relationships show greater benefit in mood boosting and stress reduction. The more bonded you are to your animal the greater the benefit.
Eat a banana
Bananas are not just a convenient snack to carry around. They are also one of the top foods that will instantly boost your mood. Their combination of tryptophan, vitamin B6 and complex carbohydrates actually converts to serotonin.
Serotonin is one of the primary neurotransmitters that helps sustain an elevated mood and sense of well being. Deficiencies in this important hormone result in depression, insomnia and mood fluctuations.
Bananas also contain filling fiber, which helps stabilize the blood sugar levels. Dips in blood sugar cause mood swings and can lead to over eating. The iron in bananas also plays an important role in energy production which helps enhance mood and create a sense of well being and empowerment.
This article was posted: Friday, November 11, 2011 at 3:52 am