With the forced measures of self-isolation, it becomes increasingly difficult to remain in high spirits. Monotonous days replace each other, and weeks merge together. And while it’s perfectly normal right now to feel a little strange, anxious, or depressed, you can still fix the situation and lift your spirits.
We’ve prepared some scientifically proven ways to improve your mood so you can feel the positive effects right now.
How To Improve Your Mood?
Here is the list of ways through which you can feel better and improve your mood. These methods are suitable not only for the quarantine period but also for the usual normal life.
1. Go Outside
Be sure to use this tip after the quarantine is over. If you feel uncomfortable – go outside! Walking in fresh air actually helps to relax a person and improve the mood. If you have a park near your home, visit it often.
One study found that visitors to city parks used more happy words and less negativity on the Internet than those who preferred to stay at home. Their heightened mood lasted until 4 hours after the walk. The effect was so strong, according to scientists from the University of Vermont, that it was almost equal to the surge in mood during the New Year’s celebration.
And that’s not all – numerous studies have shown that nature improves mood. And an article in Science Daily proved that walking in the park has psychological benefits for people with depression. Being in nature complements, and sometimes even improves, existing treatments for clinical depression.
2. Stay Away From Alcohol
Many people get depressed during quarantine, and as a result, they start relying on harmful substances such as alcohol to feel better. However, you need to remember that it will not harm your health but will also act as a depressant. Thus, if you are drinking too much alcohol during quarantine, put a stop to it.
But if you already have an addiction to alcohol, then staying alone might increase the craving to consume excessive alcohol. Whatever the case, you need to give up this addiction, or you will continue to feel sad and depressed even after the end of quarantine.
Get help from a professional who can guide you regarding types of treatment programs and their cost. If you do not want to stay at a rehab center, you must go for an outpatient alcohol rehab program for recovery. But remember, with proper treatment, you also need the willpower to give up such an addiction.
3. Change Your Gait
Our mood influences our walking style. Some people believe that we hunch down and lower our heads if we are sad, keep our back straight and walk energetically if we are happy. Some researchers conducted an experiment and founded that people who were forced to walk in a “sad” style, experienced a worse mood than those who were forced to walk more cheerful and more cheerful. So the next time you go for a walk or grocery store, you know what to do.
4. Call Your Friends
According to researchers at the University of Warwick, both good and bad moods can be learned from friends. Scientists found that someone whose friends are mostly sad is more likely to be in a bad mood and not likely to improve it and vice versa.
Professor Frances Griffiths of Warwick Medical School said: “While the primary goal of social interaction is to build friendships that reduce the risk of depression, the secondary goal is to reduce the spread of negative moods.” So talk to your friends who stay positive on Zoom or FaceTime from time to time to lift your mood.
5. Eat More Fruits And Vegetables
Eating a healthy diet can improve your mood and even negate the symptoms of depression. Dr. Joseph Firth, Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, who analyzed data from nearly 46,000 people, said: “Our recent meta-analysis showed that wholesome food improves people’s mood.”
He recommends eating more vegetables and foods high in fiber and nutrients while cutting back on junk food and refined sugars. A separate University of Warwick analysis of the eating habits of 80,000 people living in the UK found that people who ate seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day experienced better mental health. So make sure you include healthy foods on your shopping list.
6. Exercise Daily
Numerous studies have shown that fitness has a positive effect on our mood as well. “If you’re feeling lethargic, do more exercise,” suggest scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They found that increased physical activity was usually accompanied by an increase in mood and energy levels.
Don’t overload yourself. A review of 23 studies on the relationship between happiness and stress by researchers from the University of Michigan found that even small changes in the level of physical activity can affect feelings of happiness. Other scientific papers also revealed that whether people did 150-300 minutes of exercise per week or more than 300 minutes, their levels of happiness were the same.
7. Wish Good For Other People
Instead of focusing on how to improve your well-being, the Iowa State University research team suggests wishing the best for the people around you. The professor of Psychology, Douglas Gentile, found that when a person wishes well for others, his/her own anxiety gets reduced.
It’s a strategy that doesn’t take long and can easily become a part of your daily life. According to him, those who practiced showing concern and kindness towards others felt happier, more connected, caring, empathetic, and less anxious.
It’s as simple as it sounds: look at the person walking by, smile at them, and think to yourself: “I want this person to be happy.” You will notice that such a little thing would help you feel better and also lift your mood.
These science-backed ways to lift a person’s mood can help you feel better during and even after quarantine. So follow these tips to have a healthy quarantine period.