Mood Boosters

Does your arthritis have you down? Try these tips for raising your spirits.

1. How to Beat the Blues
Staying upbeat is not always easy. A traffic jam, impossible deadlines at work or the stress of living with a chronic disease can send your mood spiraling. Luckily, we offer you some simple ways to lift your spirits.
2. Get Social
Seek out a friend or family member who is always in a good mood. According to research in Clinical Psychology Science, you can catch a bad mood like you can a cold. So, stick with upbeat people to lift your spirits.
3. Get Up and Move
Research shows that exercise helps ease depression. Try to make it a habit. Exercise moderately five times a week for 30 minutes. You can even break that up into three 10-minute sessions. Not one to head to the gym? Take a walk around your neighborhood or at a nearby park.
4. Feel the Beat
Multiple studies prove that music can lift your spirits. One study found that listening to upbeat music not only improved moods short-term, but boosted overall happiness over a two-week period. Another study found people with fibromyalgia reported lowered pain levels after listening to their favorite music.
5. Fuel Your Mood
Comfort food may make you feel better in the short term. It elevates your blood sugar and triggers pleasure centers in the brain. But those treats can lead to a crash later. So, stick to a well-rounded diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains and protein.
6. Be Grateful
Focusing on gratitude distracts you from the pain you may be feeling from your arthritis. Research says that showing gratitude can ease depression and lower stress levels. Try writing in a journal or practicing a guided meditation focused on gratitude.
7. Give Back
Volunteering and giving to your community can make you feel good in the moment and it may have lasting benefits as well. According to the Mental Health Foundation, evidence shows that helping others boosts your own health and well-being by reducing stress, enhancing your emotional well-being and even improving your physical health.
8. Find a Furry Friend
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, pet owners get more exercise and have more social contact than those without pets. If adopting or visiting someone else’s pet isn’t an option, try watching a dog or cat video. A University of Indiana study showed that people felt more positive after watching cat-related videos.
11. Get Enough Sleep
When you have chronic pain, a good night’s sleep can be hard to come by. Disrupted sleep is linked to bad moods, according to research in the journal Sleep. Try sticking to a regular bedtime; sleeping in a cool, dark room; and stepping away from your screen an hour before bedtime
9. Take a Nature Break
Distract yourself from your thoughts and go outside. Take in the sights and sounds of your neighborhood, chat with your neighbors or pull a few weeds from your garden. Just feeling the wind in your hair and soaking in a little sunshine will help you lift your mood.
10. Smile
It may seem silly to smile if you are in a bad mood, but a study published in Psychological Science suggests that smiling can influence how we feel physically. Smiling during a time of stress can actually help reduce the body’s stress response.

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