Whether you’re losing motivation at the office or looking for a little inspiration on the weekend, everyone could use a mood boost now and then. Here are some easy, natural ways to pick yourself using the five basic senses.
Taste: We all know our happy foods—chocolate, pizza, coffee—but few of them come close to offering the benefits of a superfood like avocado. Also known as the “alligator pear” because of its bumpy, green skin, avocados are the fruit of the Persea Americana tree.
In addition to providing tons of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, these fruits are recognized for their mood-boosting abilities. This is partially because avocados contain tryptophan, which contributes to the creation of serotonin.
Treat yourself with avocado toast, guacamole, or better yet, this recipe for chocolate avocado mousse. After all, chocolate is another mood booster…
Touch: Have you ever heard the phrase “healing touch”? Basic human contact, like a hug or an arm squeeze, can relieve tension and give us a rush of oxytocin, which makes us happy. Even if you’re flying solo for the day, specialists recommend laying your hand over your heart, or giving yourself a head massage. This can slow the body’s stress response, and put you in a better place.
Sight: The name of Coldplay’s first hit song was no coincidence—the color yellow has been associated with joy and optimism, and is a known attention grabber. It’s also thought to stimulate hunger; joy and hunger make for the perfect love song, no?
Wear a cute, yellow sundress, buy some fresh daisies, or scan the internet for pictures like the ones below to get your yellow on. Just be sure to use yellow in moderation—too much of it can be exhausting to take in.
Scent: It probably won’t surprise you to hear that peppermint and jasmine are among the scents that make us smile, but how about sunscreen? Turns out all those memories of summer days on the beach and in the backyard have created positive associations between our brains and the smell of protective lotion. All the more reason to shield your skin when you head outdoors!
Sound: A lot of us already use music to regulate our emotions, so chances are you have a few songs you’ve identified as happy-makers. In the medical world, music therapy has been used to alleviate worry, enhance memory, and alleviate pain. One study found that patients who listened to music before, during, or after surgery experienced less pain and anxiety.
We recommend checking out Spotify’s Happy Hits playlist for some uplifting beats.
Finally, remember, if all else fails…turn to cat pics.