Whether you’re in an afternoon slump or just got a frustrating email that’s rocked your mood, learning how to quickly elevate your energy to a better mood is an important skill as an entrepreneur or business woman. You also need to be able to make this shift happen quickly and effectively. But don’t worry – shifting to a better mood in under five minutes is not only doable, it’s easy!
I was thinking about this the other afternoon when I found my feet dragging to get back to my desk and answer some emails. I was feeling a bit worn out and irritable seemingly for no reason, but knew I needed to pull myself together to finish out the work day.
I took a quick inventory of how I was feeling and came up with some ideas for shifting to a better mood. For me a funky song and even a one-minute dance party does the trick! While I was thinking about it I wrote down some more ideas for you too.
Here are nine ways to shift to a better mood in under five minutes:
Better Mood Method One: Shake It Out
One of the quickest ways to shift your energy is to turn off the thought loops happening in your brain. An easy way to do this is by getting out of your head and into your body fast.
Shaking it out can be an amazing way to release your thoughts in a physical way. If you can find a private space, try shaking your entire body at once. It’s actually harder than you think! That shaking sensation and the forced attention required to move your entire body at once is the pathway to instant relief.
Even better? Try shaking and dancing to one of your favorite songs.
Method Two: Go for a Walk
Just like the previous idea, getting your body moving can make a huge difference in improving your mood. Take frequent breaks to get up and walk around the house or office. Having a small water bottle or cup can be a good reminder for you to get up and walk to the sink more often.
Even better, take your walk outside as often as you can. A quick stroll around the parking lot with some vitamin D can perk you up in no time.
Better Mood Method Three: Funny Videos
When was the last time you watched baby animals running around in the grass, tripping over their own tiny feet? Or whatever flavor of funny YouTube videos you might be into?
A round of serious laughter releases a happy boost of hormones, called endorphins. At the same time, laughter reduces hormones related to stress, like cortisol. So even a quick one-minute belly laugh can do some great things to shift your mood.
A good trick? Keep a small playlist of videos you know will guarantee a good laugh out of you.
Improving Mood Method Four: Call a Friend
Do you have a friend or loved you that feels like home to you? Why not take a couple of minutes to hear the voice of your best friend or sister when you need a pick-me-up?
Calling someone you’re close to can give you a boost of the connection hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin can help you feel less lonely and hopeless. While a hug in-person can be the quickest way to that boost, phone calls with special people can give you a similar feeling.
Method Five: Meditate
Yep, another classic on the list, but it can’t be missed!
Taking just a couple of moments to step into the present moment through meditation or focused breathing can help clear your mind. Quick meditation ideas include:
- Tuning into your senses: Take 1-2 minutes to make a mental note of everything you see in front of you or close your eyes and focus on all the sounds you can hear.
- Count your breath: You can think, breathing in, 1, 2, 3, 4. Breathing out, 1, 2, 3, 4.
- Guided meditation: The internet is full of guided meditations. A quick google search for “5-minute meditation” will give you plenty of options to choose from.
Better Mood Method Six: Gratitude List
While gratitude journals may be trending at the moment, it’s for good reason. Even Harvard University has given a stamp of approval for gratitude being a gateway to happiness. In research studies people who reflect on what they’re grateful for are more likely to make healthy choices, like working out, and are less likely to visit the doctor.
Taking a couple minutes to jot down a gratitude list can pull you out of a downward spiral. The more specific you are, the most likely you’ll connect to the feeling of gratitude. For example, instead of saying, “I’m grateful for my job,” you can be more specific by saying, “I’m grateful to have a job that I’m passionate about and that allows me such flexibility.”
Method Seven: Drink a Glass of Water
“Am I tired and grumpy… or just dehydrated?” This is a question I would frequently ask myself when I’d hit that mid-afternoon crash.
According to some badass researchers at the University of Connecticut, mild dehydration can negatively affect the mood of otherwise healthy young women. Not drinking enough water can lead to moodiness, trouble focusing, and even higher difficulty in completing tasks.
Drink a glass of water and see how you feel.
Method Eight: Have a Piece of Chocolate
A bar of high-quality chocolate is a consistent must-have in my pantry. Not only is chocolate delicious, but now we have an added benefit to celebrate – it helps mental health.
Studies show that quality cacao can reduce symptoms of depression by increasing our levels of serotonin, helping you to feel more calm and less stressed out. Look for dark chocolate bars that are low sugar and contain polyphenols.
Finally, Read Some Affirmations
Have you jumped on the affirmation bandwagon yet? Science is jumping on too! Researchers at University of Pennsylvania have found that self-affirmations can trigger the reward systems of the brain and create a more positive view of the future.
The key is to find a few affirmations that feel freaking awesome and true that you can say to yourself. If you can say them out loud and with a smile, even better!
This is just a small number of ideas to choose from, but with big impact!
Perhaps you can take a few minutes today to write your own list of ideas. What are activities that you know boost your mood quickly? Can any of these be done in less than five or ten minutes?
Keep your own personal list handy and return to it often as a reminder on how quickly you can shake off a low mood and return to doing what you love. This isn’t a way to avoid negative feelings, but more so to help you elevate your mood when it’s not serving you to dive deeper into your emotions, like in the middle of an important workday task.
Okay, now pass me the chocolate!
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