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How to Boost Your Mood Naturally: Finding Ways to Lift Your Spirits Doesn’t Have to Be a Pill

Sep. 22 2023, Published 4:33 p.m. ET

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How do you boost your mood naturally? There are ways to lift your spirits that don't involve taking a pill, although medication is a very valid option.

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Stay connected.

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“Face-to-face contact releases a whole cascade of neurotransmitters, and, like a vaccine, they protect you now, in the present, as well into the future,” explains psychologist Susan Pinker, author of The Village Effect. As a result of social interactions, “[the chemical] dopamine is generated, which gives us a little high and it kills pain. “

Be mindful.

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“Meditation appeared to provide as much relief from some depression symptoms as other studies have found with antidepressants,” explains Johns Hopkins expert Madhav Goyal, M.D. “One way [such] mindfulness may help is by causing you to pause and react less to whatever is bothering you.”

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Stay active.

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According to a Harvard study, people who Moved more were less depressed. You can run for 15 minutes or walk for an hour, but the study’s author, Karmel Choi, says, “[Physical activity] can include taking the stairs or walking to the store or putting away laundry, things that people may not recognize as being active but may add up.”

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Try chocolate.

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Per the Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon, the cacao in chocolate “has a positive effect on mood due to its flavanols, which convert chemicals into the natural mood stabilizer serotonin. It also contains theobromine, which reduces anxiety.”

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Lighten up.

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Winter's lack of daylight can affect your body's chemistry … and hence how you feel. So, says the Cleveland Clinic, “Sun lamps [can] positively impact your body's regulation of serotonin, which helps regulate your mood by relaying signals in your brain.”


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