Posted by Nicole on February 18, 2014

Cut Back on Alcohol

You may have heard before that alcohol is a natural depressant. That's true. It's also got lingering side effects which we all know and love as the “hangover.” When a hangover occurs, your body is overwhelmed with a substance called acetaldehyde, which is responsible for the issues that we wrestle with after a night of imbibing.

Simply moderating the amount that you drink (Doctors recommend “2 units,” or 2 beers or shots of liquor, a day) can have a very positive impact on both your mood and your wallet.

Exercise

Another free way to boost your mood is to exercise. By exercising, you help to facilitate the transport of oxygen to the brain, which has a direct impact on your ability to focus. Grogginess and sluggishness can easily lead to feelings of depression, or even anger. On a chemical level, exercise also releases dopamine, which is a pleasurable molecule for the brain. A simple five to ten minutes of activity per hour can do wonders for your mood.

Water

This one may seem simple, but there are millions of people who forgo their daily dose of water in favor of sugary soft drinks, some of which are loaded with agitating caffeine. Too much caffeine in your system can lead to stress and irritation. Likewise, spiking your blood sugar levels with a sugary soda can lead to nervousness and also effect your ability to concentrate. The best way to stay happy is to stay hydrated.

Getting water can help to eliminate fatigue, and can even reduce signs of hunger, which are, in reality, dehydration. Take two-thirds of your body weight, then convert that number to ounces, and you'll have your daily recommended amount. Increase that amount accordingly if you exercise or drink alcohol.

Sleep

Sleep has a huge impact on how you feel, how you do your job, and how you interact with others. If you aren't getting enough sleep, it can make you irritable, cause you to lose your focus, and eventually lead to depression if left unchecked. Scheduling a good night's sleep doesn't always have to mean a solid eight hours, either; some people manage to sleep in sections of 3 hours or so.

If you don't have enough time for that, and are still low on your sleep, try to fit in 30 minute naps wherever you can. You'll be more alert, and you'll be in a much better mood when you wake up.