We all find ourselves out of sorts every now and then. Emotions run wild, wreaking havoc on our mood and ultimately our day. Just a few simple changes can help you feel happier, more peaceful and balanced. It’s all about being mindful, but you already know that my smart, wonderful readers! I think the following four suggestions can help us all keep those moody blues at bay, especially now, when summer is reaching its end and the school year begins.
Let’s talk about diet first. Not that we are overweight, but about what we actually decide to toss down our gullets. It is super important to keep blood sugars stable. Emotions tend to run on sugar, I know, sounds silly, but it’s true. Diets high in simple sugar elevate our mood, and we feel happy, complacent, and peaceful. When we skip meals or OD on candy and refined sugar, that mood swings way to the other side. Like a pendulum, one minute you are feeling great, next you are at an emotional low, and sometimes even volatile. Don’t go hours on end and suddenly realize you’re starving. It makes you eat the equivalent of five meals in one sitting! When you keep your blood sugar levels stable, mentally you feel more stable. Leafy green vegetables are particularly filled with nutrients that can impact our mood—potassium, magnesium, and a host of trace minerals. These vitamins and minerals provide additional energy that sustains us rather than carb-heavy foods that can trigger the blood-sugar blues. So bring on those salad days!
OK, Meditation. You all know by now that I am a student of this amazing science. And it is a science. The effects can be profound. I personally have gone from anxious, blubbery mess, to calm, loving human. It takes only a few minutes. I am still learning, but slow and steady, and I am increasing my time day by day. Studies have shown that people who meditate have lower stress levels, and a deeper resilience to the impacts of their daily grind. (Yeah, pun intended) It doesn’t take long, maybe ten minutes a day, and the best part, no heavy equipment to carry around. Even your emotional baggage will lighten up, promise. Those of you in the know, WHOO HOO! Good job! The rest of you…tsk tsk tsk… let’s get on the bandwagon, OK? It’s slightly addictive, but in a good way, like coffee and chocolate. Start by breathing. I mean, come on, you can do better – just focus on your breathing. Feel it, hear it, and get lost in it. Sit in a comfy spot, wherever that is, and yes, your bed, the couch or upside down on the monkey bars is fine. Whatever floats your boat. Keep your spine strait, and feel the breath going in and out. Feel it through your spine. Now focus on your happy place.
If you are too hyped up and can’t sit still, don’t worry. Exercise is your answer. Anything will do! Just get out there! As long as you are moving, you will lift your spirits. You don’t need to take on a triathlon, but a daily 20-minute walk will impact your mood even more than you can imagine. And I know, we all have some pretty good imaginations. Maybe if you feel like a challenge, try some interval training. Exert yourself like crazy for 30 seconds, then rest for a minute. For example, run or bicycle hard and fast for 30 seconds (ellipticals, treadmills and stationary bikes count) and then walk for a minute, repeat. Twenty five minutes of this and you will notice a change not only in your mind, but in your muscles too.
Of course, I will add this disclaimer. I am not a doctor, but a mindful motivational writer. So please, if you are experiencing mood swings not caused by Aunt Flo, or errant children and agitated spouses, please consult with a professional.
Above all, stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕️
PS. For all of you who caught the intro picture, if it made you start humming, here’s a feel good link from YouTube.