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Olwen Anderson's Blog

Natural mood boosters

Friday, May 01, 2015
Sometimes life can get you down, it just does. We’ve all been through times when life looks bleak. Maybe work or study has been just a little too busy for just a little too long; or the falling temperatures and shorter sunlight hours of winter dampen your mood. There can be many reasons why your frame of mind could do with a boost; so here are some natural ways to help you get a little happier.

One way to lift your mood is to get out in nature. We’re surrounded by incredible natural beauty here: The national parks threaded with walking tracks; long beaches to stroll along, the ocean to surf in. Once you get moving your brain starts generating mood-boosting endorphins (happiness-generating neurotransmitters) and you’ll notice that your mood has subtly started to lift. Mind you, it’s tough to generate the initial momentum to make this happen when all you want to do is hide under the doona; so you may need to administer some tough love to yourself to get out there. 

Encountering other forms of beauty can be helpful too. You could immerse yourself in some art at a local gallery or select some particularly uplifting music; maybe even dance or sing along.

Another way to help boost your mood is to take the focus off yourself and help out someone or something else. Maybe that’s why volunteering feels so good. If you can’t bear to be around people right now then why not spend some time with animals. Dogs are often employed for therapy for just that reason – they’re always pleased to see you and always ready to play.

Doing things for others should be in balance though: One way people can get down is through doing too much for others and not enough for themselves. Those of us who work caring for the needs of others are particularly vulnerable, as are employees of that relentlessly 24/7 job, parenting. If you suspect this could be the reason your mood is low, then let someone else do something nice for you. Perhaps arrange a professional relaxing massage, or even allow a café to make you a cuppa, which you can enjoy while you watch the world go by.

If you’re feeling seriously low, it’s important to seek out professional help. A multitude of potential options awaits your call; from practitioners (like your local GP, counsellor or psychologist) to organisations (like Lifeline and Beyond Blue). There’s no reason why you should have to do this all on your own.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy "Who's on Your Team" here

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