Tie up a loose end
Taking care of some undone task that’s been hanging over your head can soothe difficult emotions and boost your mood, according to psychologist, Dr Alice Boyes. Loose ends create a sense of disarray and as they pile up, they become demoralising. “Addressing a problem that has been hanging around forever can help you feel more in control and confident,” writes Boyes. “Identify a task you started, but didn’t finish, one which could be completed in less than 30 minutes – ideally, less than 15,” then handle it. Ah, near-instant relief.
Try progressive muscle relaxation
Stress and anxiety create tension in your muscles. One way to break that tension and improve your mood quickly is a strategy called progressive muscle relaxation. The way it works: simply tense one group of muscles – such as those in your face or hands– as you inhale, then relax them as you exhale. Then move on to the next group.
Take a coffee break
For coffee-lovers, sometimes all it takes to feel instantly better is walking in the door of a café, and getting hit in the face by that warm scent of java. It’s not just the pleasurable smell and taste of coffee that makes folks feel good – caffeine is a powerful mood-booster. A study of more than 50,000 women by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that caffeine acts as a mild antidepressant by increasing production of feel-good brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine.