You may have received something in the mail from us: a
little magnet that helps you target your mood. We hope that you
like our emoticon magnet, and we would like to provide you with
some tips about what you can do to get into the right mood.
- Surprise your partner with something special! Doing
something nice for your significant other promotes feelings of
gratitude that help strengthen romantic bonds. Algoe (2010)
- Let your affection show! Affection can be a simple,
non-pharmaceutical, cheap way to reduce stress and depression.
Affection expressed to others is associated with numerous
individual and relational benefits, including increased happiness
and self-esteem, decreased fear of intimacy and susceptibility to
depression, and higher relationship satisfaction. Floyd (2002)
- Help someone out and put that halo to use. Doing good deeds for
others promotes a feeling of lasting happiness. Lyubomirsky (2001)
- Keep the good vibes flowing. Take 10 minutes to relax your mind
and body and think of the good in your day.
- Take a hike, or even just a break. Walking/jogging can reduce
feelings of anger and one should always take a moment to themselves
before speaking when angry.
- Play a confrontational game. Angry people perform better at
confrontational games and sports but worse at games involving
cooperation. Tamir (2008) Psychological Science.
- Avoid foods containing soy. Soy protein increases anger and
aggressiveness in male rats and monkeys, who knows what it might do
to you! Simon (2004) Hormone Behavior.
- Exercise to sharpen your thinking! Exercise lowers the
blood/brain barrier allowing vascular endothelial growth factor
(VEGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to stimulate
the growth of new brain neurons. Cotman (2007) Trends in
- Get enough sleep. Sleep enhances prospective memory: the
ability to remember to do something in the future. Scullin
(2010) Psychological Science.
- Eat a steak or enjoy a glass of soy milk. Dietary protein
increases alertness and ability to concentrate by increasing levels
of dopamine and norepinephrine.
- Eat omega-3 fatty acids. The brain needs omega-3 fatty acids
from foods like fish and walnuts to handle sensory input correctly.
Fedorova (2009) Behavioral Neuroscience.
- Disgust is a reaction to things that are found to be
potentially harmful or sickening. Find something pleasant to be
around and get your mind in a better place.
- People who are easily disgusted are more likely to be
conservative thinkers. Pizarro (2009) Cognition &
- Perform random acts of kindness. Put money in someone's meter,
give compliments and hold the door. Little acts can go a long
- Strike up a conversation! Share your friendly mood with family,
friends, or strangers.
- People in a friendly mood are less trusting of suspicious
people. Lount (2010) Journal of Personality and Social
- Take a walk. Over 32 studies have reported that physical
activity elevates mood by causing the brain to release feel-good
chemicals like serotonin.
- Clean out the house. Clearing out the clutter can give you a
sense of accomplishment, keep your mind occupied and allow your
brain time to calm down.
- Surround yourself with yellows and greens. These colors have
been shown to promote happy and calming thoughts.
- Eat fish to be happy. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish and flax are
used to form brain hormone receptors and cell membranes. Freeman
(2006) Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
- To increase happiness, snack on nuts and seeds containing
B-vitamins. B-vitamin deficiencies have been linked with increased
depression. Coppen (2005) Journal of Psychopharmacology. Lawrence
(2006) The Guardian.
- Get enough vitamin D from fortified dairy products, salmon or a
little sun exposure. D deficiency can cause depression. Gloth
(1999) Journal Nutrition Health Aging.
- Do something positive for someone else. The best way to
overcome sadness and depression is to be of service. Serve food to
the homeless, visit shut-ins in your neighborhood or go read to
seniors or children in the hospital. Everyone will benefit from
- Get plenty of exercise. Even if you're not in shape to run a
marathon, taking a walk in the morning or after dinner will help
relieve stress, which also helps you overcome sadness and
- Find something that makes you happy. Watch a funny movie
or visit an upbeat friend. Happy attitude is just as
contagious as sadness.
- Seek Help. If things aren't getting better, talk to your
physician or a mental health professional.
- Give someone a hug! Touching helps people reduce stress by
increasing oxytocin levels. Holt-Lunstad (2008) Psychosomatic
- Improve your time management skills. Set realistic goals, make
a priority list and be protective of your time. Mayo Clinic
- Have an outlet. Make sure to spend time on activities you
enjoy, such as reading, exercising, wood carving, whatever! Mayo
- Lie down. When hearing surprising news, good or bad, your brain
can better process the information if you are lying down.
- Surprise temporarily blinds us to other sensory input. When we
are surprised our brain redirects all of our attention to one thing
making us miss subsequent events. Asplund (2010) Nature
- Crying can strengthen emotional relationships by signaling
distress and a need for help while promoting others to provide
sympathy and mercy. Hasson(2009) Evolutionary
- Do 10 one minute sprints. Intense short exercise spurts rapidly
increase the size and number of mitochondria providing the cell
with energy. Little (2010) The Journal of Physiology.
- If a word is on the tip of your tongue either look it up
or stop trying to retrieve it. Trying to retrieve a forgotten
word reinforces the error loop in your brain, making it more
difficult to retrieve that word in the future. Humphreys (2008) The
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
- Do a downward dog. Yoga elevates mood by increasing GABA,
a neurotransmitter shown to reduce anxiety. Streeter
(2010) The Journal of Alternative and Complementary
- Make more friends. Increased social
support increases brain dopamine receptors. People
with higher levels of dopamine experience life as more rewarding
and stimulating. Martinez (2010) Biological Psychiatry.
- Count your blessings. It is impossible for the brain to
be in a state of anxiety or fearfulness at the same time as a state
of gratitude or compassion. Dan Baker (2003) 'What Happy
Risk Reduction Strategies in the Car #2
To protect yourself, be aware of parking lot surroundings and
when getting in your vehicle, give a brief look into the back seat,
and under your car.