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How to use wellbeing practices to boost your mood

Our moods can be as unpredictable as the weather – one moment basking in sunshine, the next caught in a downpour of negativity. But what if there were ways to influence these emotional fluctuations? Not by waiting for the storm to pass, but by building an internal weather system that promotes overall wellbeing.

Our mind and body should operate as a finely tuned unit. When we prioritise activities that enhance wellbeing, we send positive signals throughout our system. This translates to increased levels of neurotransmitters – dopamine and serotonin, for example – that play a crucial role in regulating mood.

Regularly engaging in wellbeing-enhancing activities builds resilience against stress and negativity, giving us a more stable emotional foundation. So when a storm does hit? You’re ready for it!

Here’s how to create a powerful link between your wellbeing practices and your emotional state, essentially weatherproofing your emotional landscape.

Your mood-boosting toolkit

The beauty lies in the vast array of wellbeing practices available – explore and experiment to discover the tools that best suit you. Consider these options to get started:

  1. Move your body. The mood-lifting power of physical activity is well-documented. Find an exercise you genuinely enjoy, whether it’s an exercise class, a gym session or simply taking a brisk walk in nature.
  2. Find mindful moments. Mindfulness practices like meditation or breathwork can be great for combatting stress, particularly when you integrate them into your daily routine. Even a few minutes of focusing on your breath each day can bring a sense of peace and clarity.
  3. Make time for creative expression. Unleash your inner artist! Drawing, writing, playing music –
    any form of creative expression allows you to tap into emotions and process them in a healthy way.
  4. Connect with others. Humans are social creatures. Nurturing positive relationships with loved ones provides a sense of belonging and support, which can significantly impact mood. Schedule regular catch-ups with friends, video-call loved ones far away or, if you’re a David Lloyd Clubs member, join our in-club community events.
  5. Give back to the world. Volunteering or helping others can boost feelings of purpose and self-worth, leading to a more positive outlook. Look for volunteer opportunities in your community to donate your time to a cause you care about.

How to turn wellbeing practices into a habit

Like any positive change, consistency is critical. Start small and integrate wellbeing practices into your daily routine. Even short bursts of activity can make a difference. Schedule dedicated time for your chosen practices, and treat them like essential appointments you wouldn’t miss.

Here are some tips to make your practices a habit:

  1. Set realistic goals. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to overhaul your entire routine at once. Start with small, achievable goals, such as meditating for 5 minutes every day or taking a 30-minute walk three times a week. Gradually increase the duration or frequency of your practices as they become more ingrained in your routine.
  2. Find an accountability partner. Enlist a friend or family member as your accountability partner for valuable support. Share your goals with them and check in with each other regularly to stay motivated.
  3. Make it enjoyable. The key to sticking with any habit is to find it enjoyable. If meditation isn’t your cup of tea, explore other mindfulness practices like yoga or mindful colouring. If running is a chore, find an exercise you genuinely enjoy, such as swimming, tennis or exercise classes.

Tracking your journey

Developing self-awareness is crucial. Start a mood tracker or journal to record your emotions and the wellbeing practices you engaged in throughout the day. Over time, you’ll identify patterns and discover which activities have the most significant impact on your mood.

Final thoughts

Individuality is key. What works wonders for one person might not resonate with another. Don’t get discouraged if a specific practice doesn’t click with you – keep exploring and experimenting.

Be kind to yourself. Building a wellbeing routine is a journey, not a destination. There will be days when you struggle to maintain your practices. Be gentle with yourself and get back on track when you’re ready.

And don’t forget to celebrate your wins. Acknowledge and mark your progress. Noticing
positive changes in your mood is a great motivator to continue on your wellbeing journey.

Words by Carlie Barlow

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