I am in the business of health. Sometimes people perceive this to be all about lifting weights and sweating. Sure, physical heath is important, but its nothing without your mental health. Here are some things that are actually scientifically proven to make you feel better on those days when its just not happening for you. If you feel down in the dumps some day, why not give one or all of them a try and see what happens!

1. Water

This study right here shows that with dehydration comes degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, lower concentration levels, and even headaches! It stands to reason then that if you are feeling low, get the H20 into you to kick start the natural processes that will make you feel cool again!

 

2. Sleep

Here Harvard University make the case that if you feel depressed, anxious, or less emotionally responsive, then improving your sleep habits should be one of the first ports of call. Another study showed conclusively that having a nap during the day will also improve your mood. Here is a good place to start to improve your sleep habits.

 

3. Chocolate

We all love a bit of chocolate from time to time, and now we even have scientific research to justify our occasional break out! Macht and Mueller (2007) concluded that consuming small amounts of the good stuff can blast away your negativity in one fowl swoop! The ACLAÍ recommendation is to go with high quality chocolate with 75% or more cocoa solids for added health benefits, but if you find yourself feeling pants, and have a healthy overall diet the there’s nothing wrong with picking your own fav to give you a little mood boost!

 

4. Breathing Exercises

Wood in 1992 showed that breathing along with some stretching can have an invigorating affect on physical and mental perception of vitality. There is a lot to be said for taking a 5 minute timeout each day to practice your deep breathing.

 

5. Sex

Its not often we talk about having sex on our blog, but this is a research based article, and the science doesn’t lie! Some one on one time with your better half has been show to elicit a whole host of good feelings including reducing stress! Now get to it!

 

6. Exercise

This is no surprise im sure, but exercise is consistenly show to have an anti-depressant/ anti-anxiety effect. A research paper right here supports this. If you are feeling blue, get on out the door and do some exercise. Even better go kick a ball around with your friends, walk, throw a Frisbee, or go for a jog.  Whats the worst that could happen?!

 

7. Laughing

 

A good laugh decreases stress hormones and inflammatory hormones. So if you are feeling under the pump, stick on your favorite comedy or hang our with your friends and have a good laugh. Remember to talk to your friends  and family often as well, as its always good to get your worries out in the open!

 

8.  Listening to Music

The Mozart effect has been known to improve peoples short term abilities in mental tasks, and has also been linked with improved mood states. Getting the headphones on and listening to your old classics can be very stress relieving, and if you stick a bit of Mozart on, you might be expanding your mind into the bargain!

 

What do you when you’ve got the blues?! Let us know below!

 

This Article is By Ainle Ó Cairealláin MSc CSCS

Ainle is Owner of ACLAÍ Health and Performance, and  strength and conditioning coach for the Cork Senior Football team. In the past he has worked with Adelaide Crows Football Club in Australia, lectured in the University of Limerick PE and Sports Science Department, has contributed to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and also works as a tutor with Strength and Conditioning Institute, Setanta College.

 

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