Mental health is an important, if overlooked, component of living a healthy, vibrant life. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that 1-in-5 U.S. adults experience poor mental wellness each year.
When you’re feeling happy, motivated, and fulfilled, eating right, sticking to your workout plan, and getting enough quality sleep feels effortless. On the flip side, being stressed and overwhelmed makes it tough to stay on track with your diet and training program (we’ve all been there before…).
Certain lifestyle habits can also contribute to feelings of poor mood, including staying indoors excessively, binging various streaming shows, and navigating the pitfalls and follies of relationships.
No matter if you’re regularly feeling on top of the world or experiencing transient periods of being down in the doldrums, here are the quickest ways to naturally boost your mood.
#1 Exercise Regularly
Physical activity, be it walking, running, resistance training, interval training, etc., offers numerous benefits -- building muscle, losing fat, improving cardiovascular health, etc. In addition to the other benefits of regular physical activity, it also improves mental health and cognitive function.
Exercise releases a flood of feel-good neurochemicals (“neurotransmitters”) that improve mood and support long-term mental health. Moreover, inactivity can lead to feelings of depression which is known to disrupt various critical regions of the brain, including the reduction of cerebral blood flow and decreased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) -- which is key for the growth, development and maintenance of brain cells.[2,3]
On the flip side, exercising regularly improves feelings of well-being, reduces feelings of stress, and enhances sleep quality. In fact, research states that:
“Fit and trained people show resistance against depression and other psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and stress.”
The bottom line here is that physical activity (“exercise”) no matter what you enjoy is paramount to improving your mood and supporting health and wellness. If you’re not sure where to begin, the 1UP Fitness App provides FREE exercise recommendations and training programs based on your preferences, lifestyle, equipment availability, and much more!
#2 Prioritize Sleep
Few lifestyle habits are as powerful as getting a good night’s sleep. With a full doctor-recommended 7-9 hours of sleep, numerous facets of daily living improve, including:
- Natural energy
- Feelings of well-being
- Hormone production
- Muscle recovery
- Appetite control
Even your daily mood improves when you get enough sleep (to be honest, with poor sleep we all feel a little bit grouchy and irritated). As such, if you’re serious about improving your mood quickly, then start making sleep a priority each and every day. That means:
- Restricting caffeine/alcohol before bed
- Limiting acute stressors before bed (e.g. work emails, social media, news outlets, etc.)
- Minimize blue light exposure (e.g. tablets, computers, TVs, LEDs, smartphones, etc.)
To improve your sleep quality (and mood), keep your room cool & dark, wear comfortable clothes, use your bed for only sleep and intimacy, maintain a consistent bedtime/nighttime ritual, and exercise daily (see tip #1).
For added support, consider a nighttime recovery and sleep-promoting supplement, such as 1UP Beauty Dream PM or Recharge PM which includes natural ingredients to support feelings of calmness and promote deeper, more restorative sleep.
#3 Spend Time Outdoors
There’s no way around it -- human beings are meant to move and spend time outdoors. Being in nature offers a variety of benefits, including reductions in stress and providing a natural source of Vitamin D (sunshine).
Quite simply, we are social creatures, meant to spend time with nature and engage with other individuals…yep, even for those of us that are introverts. Moreover, research notes that spending even just a little bit of time outdoors each day improves mood and reduces cortisol -- the body’s primary “stress” hormone.[5,6]
Essentially, try to spend some time outdoors each day -- it will improve your mood, increase your energy expenditure, and boost vitamin D levels. Keep in mind that vitamin D is known to improve immune support, hormone production, mood, and numerous other facets of daily living.
Naturally improving mood entails a combination of factors, including sleep, physical activity, nutrition, and certain lifestyle habits. In addition to those elements, it may also be helpful to consider certain supplements, such as L-Theanine, ashwagandha, and/or rhodiola, which have a proven track-record of improving feelings of mood and reducing feelings of stress.
1UP RELAX supplies a premium cocktail of transparently-dosed natural agents (backed by research and in-person testing) to quickly support a healthy mood, reduce feelings of stress, and improve sleep quality.
- Codella R, Chirico A. Physical Inactivity and Depression: The Gloomy Dual with Rising Costs in a Large-Scale Emergency. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Jan 16;20(2):1603. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20021603. PMID: 36674363; PMCID: PMC9862474.
- Greenwood B.N., Fleshner M. Exercise, Stress Resistance, and Central Serotonergic Systems. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev. 2011;39:140–149. doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e31821f7e45.
- Simone Kühn, Anna Mascherek, Elisa Filevich, Nina Lisofsky, Maxi Becker, Oisin Butler, Martyna Lochstet, Johan Mårtensson, Elisabeth Wenger, Ulman Lindenberger, Jürgen Gallinat. Spend time outdoors for your brain – an in-depth longitudinal MRI study. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 2021; 1 DOI: 10.1080/15622975.2021.1938670
- Burns, A. C., Saxena, R., Vetter, C., Phillips, A. J. K., Lane, J. M., & Cain, S. W. (2021). Time spent in outdoor light is associated with mood, sleep, and circadian rhythm-related outcomes: A cross-sectional and longitudinal study in over 400,000 UK Biobank participants. Journal of Affective Disorders, 295, 347–352.https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.08.056