It’s a common fact that life isn’t actually like the glossy photos you see on Instagram and Facebook posted every day. People are only posting their best, most perfect selves—and things are always a smidge more messy than that.
It’s perfectly normal to feel stress and unhappiness sometimes. But if you notice it happening more and more often, it may be time to re-evaluate and hit the reset button. These quick tips can help you bust out of a rut next time you’re feeling down.
1. Change your bedtime.
There’s nothing more important than sleeping enough. If you’re not able to give your brain time to fully process the actions of the day, how can you make proper decisions for next time, or even recall necessary information during family gatherings or work meetings? Sleep studies have shown that those who only get a minimal amount of sleep per night exhibit decreases in cognition and overall performance.
2. Sweat it out.
Numerous studies have proven that exercise has a significant mood-enhancing effect, so you know it’s a nice idea to get your sweat on when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Yoga, for instance, can help center the mind and boost your body’s detox functions. How? Yoga does not necessarily ‘detoxify’ the blood directly, but like other exercises, it works to increase activity in your cardiovascular system and thus increase blood flow throughout the body. That not only helps detoxify a major organ of the body—your liver—but it also increases blood flow to the brain, which can improve your mood and enhance mood regulation.
3. Drink water all day.
Forget to down a glass when you woke up this morning? Time to grab one—stat. According to a study from the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory, even mild dehydration can alter a persons’ mood, energy, and ability to think clearly. What exactly is “mild” dehydration, though? The researchers behind the study defined it as an approximate 1.5 percent loss in normal water volume in the body.
4. Take a social media break.
Let’s be honest: Social media can lead to serious FOMO, and that has the ability to crumble one’s self-esteem and cause unnecessary sadness and jealousy. Science proves it, too: One recent study from the University of Pittsburgh found that the greater the reliance on social media, the higher the chances of becoming depressed. There’s also a phenomenon called “Facebook depression,” which is depression that develops from overuse of social media such as Facebook, Snapchat, and other platforms. If you need to, remove your social apps, or at the very least make it a point not to monitor them as soon as you get up.
5. Turn to herbal things.
Herbal tea has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes, and a study from Northumbria University Newcastle reveals that drinking herbal teas like peppermint, chamomile, and rosemary can offer happiness benefits, like a sense of calmness, aroused mood, and enhanced cognition and alertness. Another study has found out that green, black, and oolong teas can lessen your risk of developing chronic diseases, so consider that a bonus every time you sip.
6. Spend more time outside.
The American Psychological Association says green is good for you, as researchers found in a series of field studies conducted at the Human-Environment Research Lab. Not only does nature have the ability to soothe and heal us mentally, but it also allows us to get out of our own heads and connect to something bigger than ourselves. And you don’t have to go for a 12-mile hike or run a marathon—a quiet walk outside or a nap by the pool can help you calm down and hit the reset button.
7. Keep a gratitude journal.
Probably mom may have said it, but science confirms it: It’s all about remembering the little things in life. Research conducted at Harvard Medical School found that giving thanks can actually make you happier, especially when you get into the habit of writing in a gratitude journal. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. It provides an outlet for emotional release, while also setting up an intentional moment to step outside of the chaos that’s involved in everyday life and notice the positives.