We all know the quick fixes to boosting your mood (e.g., meditating, daily affirmations, and having that all-important “me” day), but how can we make our good moods sustainable so that they have positive impacts on our lives? I’ve discovered a few useful tips and tricks that have definitely helped me improve my bliss compound in no time!

smiling woman

1. Declutter. A messy, disorganized environment can cause feelings of stress and exhaustion. Find 10-15 minutes of your day to organize one spot. Whether it’s your desk, closet, kitchen or, yes, even your phone, it’s important to keep a clean environment so your mind can register the same feelings of organization and simplicity. My favorite part of decluttering is coming across items I thought I once lost or even makes me reminisce about a happy memory.

2. Eat leafy greens. Mom was right when she said to finish all of your greens! Leafy greens such as spinach are rich in B vitamins, including folate, which helps to produce serotonin and dopamine. If you’re not a fan of just eating spinach alone or in a salad, try mixing it in a smoothie and add a banana to help cut the taste. Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan and vitamin B6, which help to raise serotonin levels. Bonus: B vitamins are known to be excellent for healthy skin and hair nutrition. Eating the right foods is the natural way to feel nourished, sans artificial gummy vitamins.

3. Go outdoors. It’s all about lighting! It’s always best to start your day by opening the blinds and exposing yourself to bright light, but going outside and actually feeling that sunlight on your skin will enhance your vitamin D levels to immediately improve your all-around mood. Studies have shown that it takes just 20 minutes outdoors to make people happier, so why not take a walk to get your morning coffee or eat outside during your lunch break? Take it a step further and make the outdoors into a hobby by turning your sanctuary into an outdoor oasis.

4. Eat chocolate. I mean, doesn’t the thought of dark chocolate just give you a little buzz? (For those who are allergic, brazil nuts are also a great, yummy alternative to provide all the good fats.) Dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, and indulging in a square or two (or three) is a reminder to treat ourselves now and then. Feeling fancy? Incorporate your chocolate into decadent but still healthy desserts for post-dinner treats.

5. Play with your pets. Petting our furry friends releases chemical reactors like serotonin, oxytocin, and prolactin, which help give a sense of comfort and relief to our brains. Some universities even provide students with a “petting zoo” on campus with puppies and kittens to act as emotional support animals to release stress during finals. No pet at home? Try pet-sitting for friends and family to try your hand at being a potential new pet owner, while also receiving that same comfort of cuddling with furry friends.

*Bonus Tip: Smile. It’s as simple as that. Just smile. Going through the physical aspect of smiling reminds your brain (and yourself) to bring a positive vibe to your overall mood.

Want more wellness tips from Lo? Follow along @lovewellness for more. Tweet @BritandCo your suggestions for staying positive.

(Photo via Getty)