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Depressed? Down in the dumps? Not feeling quite yourself? With the internal and external pressures experienced on a daily basis, it comes as no surprise that we tend to get “a little down-and-out” from time to time.

Short of taking a happy pill or flying off to a remote paradise island, here are ten tried, tested, and approved ways of lifting your spirits:

Do Some Entertaining

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Instead of isolating yourself, throwing a little get-together is a great way to eliminate “the blues.” It doesn’t have to be elaborate; just a few friends, simple refreshments, and some indoor or outdoor activities are all it takes to create the perfect mood-enhancing recipe.

Exercise

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Another way to kick-start your natural mood enhancer is to exercise. Endorphins, the same chemical responsible for feelings of euphoria during intimacy, are also released during strenuous activities such as exercise. So grab an exercise buddy and get moving.

Laugh

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Neurologists have concluded that laughter triggers the brain’s “reward center,” the same areas affected by stimulant drugs. Thereby clearing the mind, reducing tension, and lifting the spirits. So watch a comedy or read a comic, and get your laughter on!

Revel In Nature

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In the words of Anne Frank – “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy amidst the simple beauty of nature.” Therefore, garden, explore a nature trail, or visit a botanical garden. Revel in nature and all its glory.

Take A Nap

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Not just for infants and toddlers, taking a nap is a great way to lift your spirits. In addition to keeping us healthy, scientists have found that sleep functions as a great stabilizer for our emotions. So get your favorite blanket and a soft pillow, and lay down in a nice quiet spot. To add some ambiance, dim the lights and listen to nature’s soothing sounds or soft jazz’s intoxicating sounds.

Take Up A Hobby

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Whether painting, drawing, sewing, or crafting, getting a hobby (or resurrecting an old one) is a great way to beat the “blues.” In addition, creating something with your hands and doing something you truly have a passion for is a great boost for anyone feeling down and out.

Use Your Sense Of Smell

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Neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd stated in National Geographic: We think our lives are dominated by our visual sense.” However, the more we go through life, he concluded, “the more (we) realize how much (our) real pleasure in life is tied to smell. Other studies have also shown that there is a strong connection between smells and emotions.

So when you’re feeling down, scents that contain lavender, jasmine, clary sage, and bergamot are great scents to surround yourself with.

Use Your Sense Of Taste

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In addition to smells, foods can affect your mood as well. Dark leafy greens, lentils, and whole grains maintain normal serotonin levels in the brain (the hormone responsible for making you feel happy and relaxed). Even chocolate can provide a mild and temporary effect on your mood (this is undoubtedly why chocolate ranks high on the list of comfort foods).

So when you’re feeling down, try a bowl of spinach, three-bean soup, or a piece of dark chocolate cake (the darker the chocolate, the better).

Volunteer

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There’s nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than volunteering your time and energy to others in need. Focusing on others helps you forget about your problems for a while. The benefits are twofold – someone gets the help they need, and your whole outlook on life changes.

Go For A Walk, A Run, Or A Ride

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Getting some form of exercise will help cool you off. It is a great way to let your problems go and get any aggressions worked out. You can ride your bike until you stop thinking about the bad and focus on the good. Exercising is a great way to release endorphins and help you get to a better place mentally.

Clean Your House

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Cleaning allows you to put your negative energy towards something positive. If something happened at work that got you down, putting some elbow into mopping the floor will help you let it go. You may not get to the whole house before you start feeling better.

Get Out In The Sunlight

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Natural light is another great way to get your endorphins flowing. Whether you just lie out in the sun or go to the park, hanging out in nature makes you relax.

Hang Out With Man’s Best Friend

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Throwing the ball around with your dog will bring a smile to your face. Your dog may not know what is bothering you, but he will be able to bring you up with the love and loyalty he has for you.

Get Together With A Friend

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Your friend or significant other understands you. Not only do they get what makes you tick, but they also know ways to make you feel better. Sometimes, you just want a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, you just need a good laugh.

Take A Bubble Bath

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All you need is soothing music, a warm bubble bath, and maybe even a few candles. As the steam rises from the hot bath, it will help lift the bad away. Just relaxing for a while can leave you feeling better.

Read A Book

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Curling up with a good book will take you into another world. You can let go of your own troubles as you focus on the storyline. It’s also a great way to expand your knowledge of the world around you.

Get A Massage

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Having that extra push to get the negativity out of your body is the best thing you can do. You can relax your muscles and your mind to feel refreshed at the end of it.

Spend Time With Your Children

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Although children may never know that something is wrong, there is something about them that is comforting. Maybe they have a funny joke or story to tell. Maybe they just want to run around and play tag or be goofy. Focus on the laughter and fun that children bring; it will lift your spirits.

Pull Out The Funny Movies

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Everybody has favorite movies. Find your favorites that make you laugh no matter what. Laughter has often been called the best medicine.

There are many ways to lift your mood. Everyone has a bad day now and again, but you don’t have to let a case of the Mondays get you down.

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