We all know there are just those days when we feel a bit down or we are under a ton of stress and we just need something to lift us back up. Well here are a few tips to help you shift your mood.
HUG A TREE
Yes I do mean literally & physically go put your arms around a tree. Any tree… Just do it! See how this very action can impact your state of mind.
We are energy & so is nature – the very act of connecting with the living powerful tree life force energy can only bring positive energy, the very act itself and absurdity of literally hugging a tree can bring calmness, joy, or insight.
Either way – go try it. I am not suggesting the experience will be profound but it could be. Perhaps you will go do this and it will just make you laugh therefore lifting your spirits. Otherwise the act might allow you a well needed break you might not have had if you had not decided to try it!
In addition it’s been validated by science: Blinded By Science, a book published by Matthew Silverstone, proves that trees can actually impart positive health impacts on things like depression, concentration levels, stress, and some forms of mental illness. He also found that spending time near trees, as well as hugging them, also relieved headaches.
If hugging a tree is just too out there for you maybe take a baby step and go stroke a bush 🙂
FORCE A SMILE
If you are feeling down or in low spirits just forcing yourself to smile can help. It has been scientifically proven that facial expression can impact our emotions. Just try it – how do you feel when you smile? Do you feel happy? Then how do you feel if you are frowning? Do you feel down?
Research from the 1970s and 1980s suggests you do – at least physiologically. In one study, participants who mimicked a fearful expression showed an increase in heart rate and skin temperature. Kleinke, Peterson, and Rutledge (1998) added to this theory by examining how mimicking facial expressions might influence mood.
So if you need an instant way to lift your spirits just turn that frown upside down 🙂
SPEND TIME WITH A PET
Whether its a dog or a cat or even just observing your fish, pets are a great way to lift your spirits!
Multiple studies indicate that pets are great stress relievers, lowering not only blood pressure but also harmful stress hormones like cortisol, and elevates beneficial ones like oxytocin. Some people experienced increased output of endorphins and dopamines after just a few minutes with an animal.
And it’s not just cats & dogs, other pets can help, too. Just watching a fish tank versus a bare wall for 30 minutes lowers blood pressure significantly. Observing an aquarium can be an even more powerful relaxant than several proven meditative techniques.
Sources: Thrive, Quantity 2, Concern 9, July 2008, “A Four-Legged Cure”, Heather Grimshaw; Odenaal, J.S. “Animal assisted therapy: Magic or medicine?” Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Volume 49, Issue 4, 275-280. 2000; Duncan, Susan L. “Loneliness: A Health Hazard of Modern Times.” Interactions. 1995. (May 4, 2009); Lynch, James. “Developing a Physiology of Inclusion: Recognizing the Health Benefits of Animal Companions.” Delta Society
SNIFF YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS
Smell, more than any other sense, is intimately linked to the parts of the brain that process emotion and associative learning. The olfactory bulb in the brain, which sorts sensation into perception, is part of the limbic system — a system with structures vital to our behavior, mood and memory. This link to our brain’s emotional center makes smell a great tool we can use to shift our emotions and lift our spirits.
With all the wonderful aromatherapy products, and fab essential oils available it is so very easy to take advantage of scents to support your well being.
Grab some essential oils known to lift your spirits (lavender, clary sage, jasmine, etc.) and turn on the diffuser. Another alternative just go for a walk in a pine forest or go out and cut your grass – yes researchers in Australia have found that a chemical released by freshly cut grass can cause people to become more relaxed and even feel joy. Or surround yourself with that scent that triggers those personal memories of good times, safety, and calm.
So if you need your spirits lifted let your nose guide you!