10 Things You Can Do Today to Feel Better Tomorrow

Rough day? Here’s 10 simple things you can do to unwind, recharge and give yourself a boost!

1. Laugh it Off:
According to experts, laughter really is the best medicine. Not in the mood for a giggle? Consider this: In several studies, laughing – even for a few minutes – can lower stress hormones, boost blood flow, shore up your immune system and even reduce allergy symptoms. Better yet? The effects of a hearty chuckle can last for up to an hour!

2. Belt it Out:
So mad you could scream? Instead try belting out a tune! In addition to giving you something to concentrate on (unless of course you’ve got the words to “I Will Survive” down pat!), singing can boost your mood, reduce stress, boost blood circulation and even tone abdominal muscles!

3. Make it in for a Massage:
Yes, getting a massage is decadent, but it has also been proven to improve mood, reduce anxiety and alleviate some symptoms of non-clinical depression. Specifically, massage can increase dopamine and serotonin, reduce levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and prompt the release of feel-good endorphins. Not into all the hands-on attention? Opt for a manicure, pedicure, a blow out or any other pampering service that will perk up your mood (and your appearance too!)

4. Phone a Friend:
Perhaps the folks on the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” had it right when they offered contestants an opportunity to phone a friend or family member. Sometimes venting to someone, especially an individual who may be somewhat removed from the source of stress, can help you see things from a new perspective. For an extra boost, call someone who, without fail, always makes you smile!

5. Run Away:
Not literally of course! But if you’re feeling low or just in need of a boost, throw on your sneakers, crank up your iPod (extra credit for choosing mood-elevating beats like the Black Eyed Peas) and hit the pavement! Even a quick 20 minute run can kick your body’s natural feel-good hormones into gear, giving you the kick you need to make it through the day.

6. Class it up:
If you’re feeling blue, challenging yourself to take a new class can help boost your mood. Not only will you get the benefits of exercise (see above), you’ll also engage your brain and possibly pick up a new hobby!

7. Vitamin Therapy:
When stress levels are high there are a handful of highly effective all-natural supplements that may fit the bill. Phosphatidyl Serine has been shown to “blunt” cortisol (a hormone released during stress) and also to help improve mood and concentration. L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, is well-documented for its calming, yet non-sedative, effects. And Rhodiola Rosea, an “adaptogen” also known as golden root, has been shown to help promote a sense of well-being. These are just a few of the well-researched stress-fighting superstars that could help turn that “day in the dumps” into something positive. (Check out our product for the perfect blend of these and other stress-beating nutrients.)

8. Clean up your Act:
A stack of mail on the desk, dirty dishes in the sink, a laundry basket filled with smelly socks…it’s no wonder you’re feeling stressed! To restore order in your life (and your home too) make a checklist of all the things you need to do and begin working through them from top to bottom. Not only will you get a sense of accomplishment from checking things off, your newly clean digs will also keep you calm in the days to come. List of things too tough to tackle? Pick one project – such as sorting out a closet – and focus first on making that perfect. Chances are you’ll be so pleased with the results you’ll be motivated to keep cleaning up your act!

9. Kitchen Aid:
Feeling like you’ve got too much on your plate? Add another item, in the form of something tasty! Whether it’s tackling that stir-fry, mastering the Mahi Mahi, or perfecting your poached salmon, whatever you choose to cook, make sure it’s something new and something challenging! Not only will the concentration required to measure out ingredients and follow instructions keep your mind off the source of your stress, you’ll have something (hopefully delicious) to show for it! Extra credit for any dishes that require meat to be tenderized, because really, what could possibly be more stress relieving than whaling on a piece of chicken with the tiniest of hammers?

10. Schedule a Siesta:
Remember when you were knee height to a grasshopper and your parents would put you down for a nap at even the slightest sign of a melt down? Turns out they were on to something! Even hitting the hay for 20 minutes can increase mental alertness, mood and mental performance, especially if the issue at hand compromised your snooze time the night before. In addition, taking a break can give you a new perspective on the problem and may even be the break your need to divvy up a solution!

What do you do to help turn a rough day around? Share your tips and advice!

Georgie Sharp Flickr Photo (CC)

Further Reading:

Worrying is Misplaced Emotion

Living Healthy is Simple, but Not Easy

That’s Fit: Make Your Own Stress Ball

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