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Feeling Down? Remedies to Improve Your Mood


by Caitlin H,

Mar 4, 2024

Improve Your Mood

This is often the time of year when many of us are counting down the days until daylight saving brings us longer days and spring brings warmer weather. Sometimes, the wait also brings with it feeling incredibly down, sad, and perhaps even depressed. And that’s more than understandable.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to improve your mood and combat depression. Here are seven effective mood remedies backed by science.

 

1) Go for a jog.


Whether you run, jog, power walk, or simply walk, getting outside is an excellent way to combat feelings of hopelessness or depression. A 2023 study found that running is as effective as anti-depressant drugs in treating depression and anxiety.

“Treating anxiety and depression with drugs and psychotherapy is more effective than doing nothing,” wrote radio host and sports medicine doctor Dr. Gabe Mirkin. “Adding a group exercise program to existing treatments with medications and psychotherapy will provide socialization and health benefits that may improve the patient’s outcome.”

 

2) Take 10 minutes to meditate.


Meditation takes many forms, but one of the most straightforward ways to do it simply involves taking deep breaths, clearing your mind, and focusing on the space around you rather than the turmoil that may be going on in your mind.

Like running, John Hopkins researchers found that regular meditation is as effective in treating depression and anxiety as any other method. If you’re unsure where to begin, try downloading a mindfulness app that provides guided sessions.

 

3) Create a Gratitude Journal.


Sometimes, the best way to combat negative feelings is to focus on the positive. Building a Gratitude Journal that you commit to writing in several times a week is one way to do this. A 2022 study that followed 131 women found that those with a grateful disposition were also more likely to have increased well-being.

While feeling down can make it challenging to find the good in life, journaling a few things you’re grateful for each day is a straightforward way to find gratitude and improve your mental health as a result.

 

4) Eat a balanced diet.


The age-old adage, “You are what you eat,” may seem silly, but it, too, is rooted in science. Several studies have found a positive correlation between eating healthy foods and your mental well-being. For example, a 2017 study found that people who ate higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to struggle with anxiety and depression compared to those with lower levels. An analysis of several studies found that people who ate a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy, and olive oil were at lower risk of having depression.

Choosing well-rounded, nutritious diets with meals like the ones delivered right to your door in our Balance or Mediterranean plans can go a long way toward helping you feel better.

 

5) Get a furry friend (or at least play with one).


If you’ve ever felt even a bit better after petting a dog, you’re not alone. Several studies show that dogs can improve your mental health by reducing stress, encouraging you to exercise, improving loneliness, and combatting depression.

If you can’t commit to adopting a full-time companion, ask a friend or family member with a dog if you can pet it, or consider volunteering at an animal shelter to make interacting with dogs a more regular part of your routine.

 

6) Schedule get-togethers with friends or family.


Humans aren’t built to spend too much time alone. Many studies have shown how essential quality relationships are in reducing the chance of developing depression and supporting someone who is struggling with it. For example, experts say healthy friendships can be just as crucial as medication and exercise in maintaining a positive state of well-being.

 

7) Get regular massages.


When you’re feeling anxious or down, it can be challenging to feel calm. An expert masseuse can help alleviate that with a professional massage to lower your stress and relax your body.

One study’s participants reported that twice-weekly massage therapy provided an effective remedy for depressive symptoms. Book your own as often as possible.

 

The Bottom Line


If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, consider contacting an expert for additional support. In addition, giving these seven remedies a try may be a great way to improve your mood naturally.

 

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Author: Caitlin H

Diet-to-Go Community Manager

Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.

 




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