There are lots of reasons to be in a less-than-stellar mood. Strained relationships, financial woes and health problems can all conspire to bring down your mental well-being. For factors like these, we have very little control or say over the outcome. But fortunately, there are a few small things you can change in your life to give your mental state a little lift, Huffington Post reports.
Below, some potential hidden reasons for your bad mood (and how to remedy the situation:
1. You’re not getting enough fruits and veggies. Yes, produce is good for your physical health, but it can also have an impact on mental well-being. Researchers from the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College looked at the diets and well-being of 80,000 people in Great Britain and found that people who ate about seven 80-gramme portions of fruits and vegetables a day also had the highest mental well-being, which included factors like happiness, nervousness, feeling “low” and mental disorders. The fix: Thank goodness for the Internet and its virtually boundless trove of fruit-and-vegetable-loaded recipes.
2. You still haven’t seen any sunlight today. Trapped inside all day? That could be contributing to the grumps. In a small study, Zayed University researchers asked 20 people with low vitamin D levels and symptoms of depression to either go spend more time out in the sun, or to see their doctor. After seven weeks, people encouraged to soak up more rays had fewer depressive symptoms compared with the other participants. The fix: Take a walk outside! (And taking a break during your workday could hold other benefits, too.)
3. You’re dehydrated. Being just a little bit dehydrated could lead to fatigue, loss of focus and a worse mood when exercising and resting, according to a small 2012 study in the Journal of Nutrition. (We should maybe coin a term for the hydration form of being “hangry”...thangry?) The fix: Make sure you’re guzzling enough good ol’ H2O. While the oft-heard adage to get eight glasses of water a day is largely considered outdated, the Institute of Medicine does recommend 3.7 litres of total beverage intake each day for men and 2.7 litres each day for women. (And yes, this does include other kinds of beverages, like tea, coffee and juices.)
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