Lift your mood

Feeling down? Many simple activities and techniques can help to lift your mood naturally.

Eating chocolate is one. Both raw and dark chocolate contain phytochemicals that play a role in lifting mood. These include theobromine, anandamide, caffeine, and phenylethylamine, which are known to stimulate brain function and pleasure centres in the brain, positively affecting your mood.

Start with 70 percent dark chocolate and work your way up to at least 85 percent cocoa. Chocolate lower than 85 percent is higher in sugar and will give you a very short-lived happy mood followed by a craving for more sugar. If you prefer you can eat cacao in all its forms, beans, nibs, powder, and paste.

Here are other mood enhancing tips:
1. Smile even when you don’t need to. Smile at others, when alone, out walking or at work.
2. Get back to nature. Take a walk in the park, smell the roses, run your fingers through the grass, and enjoy your surroundings. Leave your melancholy behind.
3. Mindfulness and meditation are simple practices that will help to lift your mood, and improve sleep quality.
4. Start a JOURNAL. Expressing yourself on paper (or computer) can help to organise feelings and thoughts, and lead to answers and solutions to questions.
5. Avoid the news. Estimates are that
90 percent of all news headlines are negative, and negativity impacts how we feel. Tune out for a week and see what it feels like in your mind. Relax with a Metropol magazine instead.

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