Ever feel yourself fall into a funk? Wake up on the wrong side of the bed? React negatively when a text message comes in? Maybe you just need to shake it off and change your perspective. Try these three super easy, yet scientific ways to improve your mood in less than a minute.
1. Take a deep breath.
I know, it sounds super cliché, “just breathe”. But it is actually true. Ever notice how your breathing changes with certain moods. Perhaps short, quick breaths when you are angry or crying. Anxiety may make it feel like you can’t breathe at all. But when you are happy, do you even notice that you are breathing? Take a long, deep slow breath. Breathe in for the count of four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and then breathe out for eight seconds. Do this three times. This slow, methodic breathing helps to trigger the vagus nerve which is in charge several things, like your heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure. So go ahead, take a deeeeeep breathe and you’ll start to relax, automatically.
Bouncing has been shown to increase the amount of oxygen to the cells and tissues in your body. Bouncing up and down stimulates the lymphatic system, improves digestion and elimination by speeding up the metabolism. It’s a very low impact cardiovascular workout. The simple act of bouncing helps to fight fatigue and manage stress. Why wouldn’t you just stand up and bounce up and down on your heels for a minute?
Move your body. Motion affects emotion. Shake your booty. Stand up and shake it off. Put on a fun, dance song and rock out. By just moving your body, it stimulates the nervous system. There is a two-way communication between the brain and the body, both impacting each other. By utilizing some exercise, it makes the sympathetic nervous system less reactive. Less reactivity leads to less anxiety, lower overall heart rate and lower blood pressure. You only have to move for a minute, but if you make it through the whole song, your body will thank you!
Give it a try! The only thing you have to lose is your bad mood.
Have fun on the dance floor! Dr. V