Regents Park FC
Nov 17, 2020
All our girls and Women at the club are getting ready for us all coming back
A bit of Fresh air and positive energy is the answer. Get the heart rate up and spend time smiling, filled with gratitude. I know we say it a lot, but if you’re not feeling good PLEASE get your body moving! You get that blood flowing and it just changes the way you interface with the world. That change could make a big difference in how you approach things, and that could make a big difference in your future going forward. It’s all connected.
Whether you’re having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day or you’re struggling with a more serious mood disorder, such as anxiety or depression, you know all you really want is to feel a little happier.
So next time you feel like curling up into a ball, pulling the covers over your head, and hiding from the world because everything in life sucks, force yourself to roll out of bed and try a few of the natural mood enhancers on this list.
You may be surprised how much better you feel once you start moving.
#1. Head Outside for a Morning Walk
Grab your morning cup of joe and head outside for a low-key walk. Natural sunlight and exposure to green spaces has been clinically proven to elevate mood and improve self-esteem.
In fact, in 2010 researchers at the University of Essex in England performed a meta-analysis of their own “green exercise” studies (that’s exercise performed outdoors) and found that just five minutes is enough to increase feelings of well-being.
The exercise doesn’t even have to be intense – walking, gardening and even fishing were all effective ways to “self-medicate” a little happiness.
#2. Meditate on Gratitude
Both meditation and gratitude can pay off big time when it comes to naturally boosting mood and improving mental health, so why not combine the two?
According to a 2014 review and meta-analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine that looked at 47 studies and more than 3,500 study participants, meditation proved effective at improving anxiety, depression and pain, especially when practiced for eight weeks or longer.
The trick here is that the study showed no direct evidence of improved mood, which is where the addition of gratitude comes in.
In a 2003 article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers looked at the results of three separate studies that asked participants to track their mood, behaviours and physical symptoms after being placed into one of several groups.
The specific groups varied between studies, but each of them included a “gratitude” group, in which participants were asked to concentrate on the blessings in their lives.
The results were significant – individuals who focused on their blessings, rather than their burdens or neutral life experiences, exhibited heightened well-being and positive affect. In other words, they were happier.
So next time you take a 10-minute breather to sit and meditate, focus on the good things in your life – the roof over your head, the food in your belly, the people in your life who love you? You’ll probably end up feeling a little less anxious and a lot more happy.
#3. Break a Sweat
To quote Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”
But if you don’t trust a character from a cheesy Reese Witherspoon movie, how ‘bout an article from Harvard Health Publications? The quick review of studies dating back to 1981 pretty much came to the same conclusion as Elle Woods, “Regular exercise can improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression.
It also may play a supporting role in treating severe depression.” In fact, the article even cited studies that found regular exercise was as beneficial as prescription drugs when treating mild to moderate depression, and its effects lasted longer.
Even if you’re not depressed, the bump in endorphins you receive from a good sweat session can leave you feeling better about life. And in this case, more exercise and more intense exercise do seem to add up to increased benefits.
While even moderate-intensity walking can help improve mood, longer bouts of more than 30 minutes at a higher intensity add up to a greater improvement.
#4. Focus on Eating Whole Foods
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that what you eat can affect how you feel. While a greasy burger and fries may give you a feeling of deep satisfaction while you’re eating them, you’re likely to feel heavy, bloated and sluggish shortly thereafter. And I don’t know about you, but I’m never very happy when I’m feeling bloated and sluggish.
When you focus instead on eating a steady diet of whole, unprocessed foods, you end up not just satisfying your hunger, but delivering key nutrients to your system that keep your brain and body firing on all cylinders. The result is that you feel better mentally and physically.
It’s not just conjecture – a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry looked at the depression rates of middle aged men and women in relation to their self-reported food consumption.
After adjusting for confounding factors, hose who ate the highest levels of whole foods were the least likely to report symptoms of depression, while those who ate the highest levels of highly processed foods were most likely to report depression.
If you’re looking to amp up your whole food intake, start with fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, folate and B vitamins, as well as fatty fish packed with omega-3s. These compounds appear to have a protective affect against depression.
Our Women's team is getting stronger and better every week and they are all working hard during the new lockdown...
Apr 26, 2021