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Six Ways to Instantly Improve Your Day

Some days everything just seems to go wrong – your alarm doesn’t go off; you spill your coffee in the car; and maybe your son or daughter forgets their homework on the bus. Alone, these events are manageable. But together, they can set you up to have a pretty grumpy day. To bounce back from a crabby attitude and help improve your day quickly, add these easy mood enhancing activities to your daily routine.

  1. Play your favorite song. “Music has a powerful influence over state-of-mind,” says Alice Domar, PhD and director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Waltham, Massachusetts. It triggers the part of your brain that’s hardwired for pleasure!
  1. Sniff a lemon. Japanese researchers have found that linalool, a substance found in lemons, may stop your “flight or fight” stress response, as reported by Web MD. The scent of basil, juniper, or lavender could also help as well; the site writes that these are all smells that have been found to lower stress.
  1. Get some sun. A study by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University suggested that exposure to sunlight positively impacted the moods of and reduced the need for pain medication in patients who had undergone surgery. They also found that even indirect sunlight (like through a window) can improve your mood. Imagine what those rays can do for you!
  1. Flip through old photos. Looking at a picture that reminds you of a happy moment can improve your mood more than eating a piece of chocolate, reported the United Kingdom’s Open University on Prevention.com. Next time you’re feeling down, scroll through pictures of your favorite vacation or whip out your kids’ baby albums. For a constant mood booster, put a happy picture next to the kitchen sink or on your bathroom mirror. That way when you’re doing mundane tasks, like brushing your teeth or doing the dishes, you can get a quick mood booster!
  1. Exercise outdoors. We all know that there are health perks associated with physical activity, but what about the mental benefits? After reviewing a number of studies published in Environmental Science & Technology,com reported that people who exercise outdoors feel more energetic, have a “clearer mind,” feel more energized, and are more inclined to keep at it. So when you feel negative emotions starting to bubble up, take a walk around the block or building, rake the yard, throw the football around, or get the family together and go ice skating!
  1. Touch your toes. This one sounds too simple to be true, but Dr. Oz says that reaching down towards your toes, holding the position for one minute, and slowing rolling up will help release tension and lift your  mood: “It opens up your hip joints, which is where most people store tension,” he says on WomansDay.com.

What do you think about these quick pick-me-ups? What helps turn your mood from sour to super duper? Let us know with a comment below!