1. Exercise is the best
The best way to feel happy, healthy and fit is to exercise. There is no substitute. Research shows that exercise will boost your mood, help you to sleep better and increase your self-esteem. This is partially due to the release of endorphins in your body as you workout. Endorphins decrease our sense of pain and increase our happiness and sense of pleasure.
If you want your mood to go up, increase your exercise. Working out doesn’t mean 60 minutes or 0; all or nothing. Working out to a ten minute app on your phone is still exercise. Start somewhere.
2. Put good food in your stomach
Ninety percent of serotonin is made in your gut. Serotonin is the chemical that makes you happy. That means, whatever you are putting into your body, could impact your mood. Do your best to stay away from frequenting antibiotics, processed foods and high sugar and carb diets. Healthy habits like taking walks, doing yoga, avoiding “toxic” people and eliminating negative self-talk will all help to minimize stress.
3. Find true peace of mind
How do we find true peace of mind? Try making a list of your values and see if you are actually living them. Are you worrying over little things in your life? Are you over scheduled? Your kids over scheduled? Take a look at your day-to-day worries and see if there are a few things you can easily cut out, that will give you more free time (and more peace of time).
4. Don’t compare yourself to others
A great way to feel healthy is to stay in tune with your body and its needs. When we compare ourselves to others, we focus our time and energy on trying to be something that our body and mind might not actually want us to be. As we compare ourselves to others we are giving ourselves a very unrealistic and skewed perception of reality. This can decrease confidence and even lead to depressive symptoms. Instead, work on becoming more self-aware. Reflect on your values, your goals, your current life situation and begin creating a realistic plan to get you where you are trying to go.
5. Dress your mood up
Of course, there are days when you want to cuddle up in yoga pants or sweats and just relax. Quite frankly, I think you should do that. However, don’t let this dress style be your only style. I know that the day-to-day routine can be boring or nothing exciting might be going on, but dress up anyway.
At least twice a week, wear something that makes you feel pretty or handsome. The way we dress and feel in our own skin makes an impact our confidence and our attitude about our day. There is nothing like a new dress, a great hair day, or a nice suit to lift your spirits.
Dress up your body, dress up your mood.
This article originally appeared on MariaShriver.com