Update on Movement Based Mood Boosters

Update on Movement Based Mood Boosters

This week I smiled ear to ear every chance I got and skipped down the street and I am now gleefully happy.

Just kidding. I am two toddler meltdowns away from a mommy timeout in the bathroom with a pint of ice cream and some thrash metal. Just head-banging my way to peace.

But it could be worse. I could easily have descended into something more serious than mere grouchiness. I’ve had my share of battles with depression and anxiety, so I will gladly take some standard bad mood. And I actually think my focus on “movement” is to thank for keeping my bad mood from descending into something else and maybe even leveling it out.

What worked:

  • Smiling! I felt like an idiot when I forced a smile around my house, but that sort of helped too. It made me realize if a smile was ridiculous so was my bad mood in the grand scheme of things. It also confused my kids when they were freaking out and I was smiling – which was a nice added bonus. We actually talked through it and they were intrigued. My son even tried it out a few times – with vasty differing opinions of whether he liked it or not. Also, it did make me realize that when I go to work and get into the work zone (even when I’m grouchy) I end up feeling better. I should try it out at home more often.
  • Dancing. I love dancing. I actually do random dance moves all the time, but sometimes it feels so good to come home and blast some music and reeeeally dance. Like get all sweaty and out of breath dancing. Science even has my back on this one and this week I made it actually happen. Note to self: hard-core dance more!
  • Releasing tension my jaw. I was in my 30s before I actually realized how much tension I hold in my jaw and how it affects how I feel. This week I paid more attention to that and just dropped my jaw at random times and took a breath. It actually felt really good.
  • Exercising. Believe it or not, I exercised this week. All the focus on the small movements of my day made me crave something bigger. And it felt good. I didn’t feel like I “had to” exercise instead I kind of craved it.

What didn’t like or what I didn’t accomplish:

  • Hugging myself is too weird. One of the other articles I read suggested hugging yourself. Maybe there is a scientific basis here, but it was too weird for me.
  • Laughing. I love to laugh, but this week there wasn’t much that made me chuckle. Of course kid comments can make me smile or giggle, but lately I have to hide those reactions because they’re caused by naughtiness. I need something funny to watch, but I’m stumped. Any suggestions?
  • Getting outside. The older I get the more I enjoy being outdoors, however, my mood plus the heat of August and the busyness of this week caused me to inside more and if I was out – I wasn’t really paying attention and using it as a way to “boost my mood”. Although angry weeding is kind of therapeutic.

That’s what worked for me this week. What about you — did/will you try anything of these? What’s your favorite way to bust a move and boost a mood?

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