Have you ever found yourself in a bad mood that you couldn’t shake off? You’re not alone. At a recent heartspark Connections we talked about how to snap out of a funk when you need to. There’s a chemical explanation behind our moods, so understanding what affects us is a good place to start.
Funk #1: listless, out of control or overly emotional
Whether from being around a toxic person or feeling overwhelmed with work – serotonin can help. Serotonin is a molecule that helps us feel balanced and contributes to our well-being or state of calm. Of your 40 million brain cells, most are influenced by serotonin. When your serotonin is out of whack, it feels like everything is out of whack.
Snap out of it with Serotonin boosters: One of the best ways to increase your sense of calm is to reminisce about happy times. Simply reflecting on past achievements or thinking about positive memories produces serotonin. Look through your photo albums on your phone or scroll through old Facebook pictures. At home, I keep a “feel good” file of happy memorabilia. You’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll begin to feel calmer and more in control.
Funk #2: drained, bored or simply “blah”
That “blah” mood is a lack of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released when we feel pleasure, get a reward or receive a gift. Dopamine engages our brain to spot potential rewards and to take action to move toward them. In other words, dopamine is our biggest motivator for fighting bad moods.
Snap out of it with Dopamine Boosters: There are lots of ways to create pleasure for your mind and body. Piquing curiosity, hope and pleasure are key. Mary Cecchini knows how better than most, which is why she plans our heartspark Adventures – surefire dopamine boosters.
Trying something new is a great way to boost your dopamine levels and simply making a list gets it started. What might be on yours? [Mine: 1) take an art class and 2) dance in a flash mob]
Funk #3: powerless and lethargic
For both men and women, testosterone is the hormone of power, strength and capability. When playing sports, a winner’s testosterone levels increase – and fans’ hormone levels also get a boost! In a group of 21 men watching a Brazil vs. Italy World Cup match, the Brazil fans’ testosterone levels increased after their team won, but the Italy fans’ testosterone fell.
Snap out of it with Testosterone Boosters: If you can’t go out and watch or play a winning game, you can still feel like a superhero by power-posing for 2-minutes. It pumps testosterone, which makes you feel great.
Funk #4: unloved or disconnected
Oxytocin is nicknamed the ‘cuddle hormone’ because it makes us feel loved and connected. It plays a major role in helping new parents feel connected to, and therefore responsible for, their babies. It is primarily produced and affected by the people around us. This is why other people can so greatly change our moods–either flipping us into a happy state or spreading toxicity to our mental state.
Snap out of it with Oxytocin Boosters: The best way to increase your oxytocin is to tap into your support system. The moment you are in a bad mood, think about who can boost your oxytocin. Who’s the person who makes you laugh? Who’s the best listener? Call in the team to produce that warm and fuzzy feeling of belonging in you! When all else fails: cuddle!
Funk #5: anxious or blue
Endorphins are released by our body naturally in response to pain and stress. Endorphins are crucial to quelling our anxiety and are our body’s natural way of fighting the blues. The more endorphins we have coursing through us, the less we suffer from pain, the easier we are able to modulate our appetite and the better our immune system. Most importantly, with high endorphin levels, we have fewer negative effects of stress. If you are a runner or athlete, you might be familiar with endorphins because they are pumped during and after a workout – making us feel like we are on a high or a sense of euphoria.
Snap out of it with Endorphin Boosters: Move it! You don’t have to hit the gym–dancing to your favorite music, going on a walk or throwing the Frisbee are all great ways to get your blood and endorphins pumping.
Here’s the Deal: We can’t prevent bad moods from happening, but there are so many ways to change and modify them. Next time you are in a funk or bad mood, try one of these suggestions and see what works best for you.