5 Ways to Boost Your Mood Naturally Through Sunshine, Laughter

Being happier is easier than you may think. Experts have five tips to boost your mood naturally and feel more positive.

Get Moving

According to doctors with the University of Maryland, “exercise is found to increase concentrations of norepinephrine, which is the chemical responsible for the brain’s stress response. It also releases those ‘feel good’ happy endorphins, alleviating symptoms such as low self-esteem and depression. Anything that gets your body moving will work!”

Let It Shine

“Exposure to sunlight systemically triggers the production of serotonin, sometimes referred to as the ‘happy hormone,’” says Amanda Hathcock, behavioral health counselor at Purdue’s Center for Healthy Living. To boost your mood, get at least 10 minutes of sun a day if you have a lighter skin tone and 25 for darker complexions.

Sleep Tight

“There is now robust evidence supporting that sleep is critical to not only our physical health but also our mental health,” says E. Blake Zakarin, former clinical director of Columbia’s Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders. “Poor or insufficient sleep has been found to increase negative emotional responses and decrease positive emotions.” Aim for seven to eight hours.

Be More Social

“The way people react to you reminds you of aspects of yourself, aspects that you may forget,” says Dr. Robert Waldinger, director of the Center for Psychodynamic Therapy and Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. “It gets you out of your own head and your worries, and reinforces your sense of being competent. That boosts mood.”

Laugh It Off

Per the Mayo Clinic: “Laughter can help lessen your stress, depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier. Keep funny movies, TV shows, books, magazines on hand for when you need an added boost. Find a way to laugh about your own situations. [And] even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does good.”

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