(HappierDaily.com) – If you’ve ever noticed your mood takes a turn for the worse on boring rainy days, you’re not alone. Dreary days can negatively affect your mood. Lack of sunlight can make you sad, and a drop in temperature can make you physically lethargic.
During long summer days, a dreary day or two isn’t so bad, but when fall brings about shorter, cooler days that quickly turn to even shorter, colder winter ones, the doldrums can easily get the better of you. Rather than succumb to the sadness, try any of the four ways below to avoid the blues on dreary days.
1. Diffuse Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils is a great way to lift your spirits naturally. Research suggests that certain scents encourage better health and improve mood. For instance, the smell of fresh-cut grass makes you instantly more joyful. And the scent of pine relieves stress. Other scents that instill feel-good feelings include:
Citrus – Gives you energy
Vanilla – promotes happiness and relaxation
Peppermint & Cinnamon – stimulates the brain
Jasmine – fights depression
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2. Take a Hike
If you find yourself feeling a little blue on a dreary day, get outside and take a walk. Being outside in the fresh air does wonders for your mental health, and studies suggest that a simple daily walk can actually improve your mood immensely over time. You’ll have more energy and mental focus, too.
One way to fight the cabin fever and lift that mood during a dreary time is by baking. People often associate baked goods with comfort, so creating comfort food may help you feel better. Baking is a way of channeling those negative, depressive feelings into something positive and constructive. Bake your favorite dessert, or surprise someone you love with one of theirs for a real pick-me-up.
4. Try Light Therapy
Some people feel the effects of dreary weather more than others. Sometimes their negative moods are actually caused by a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD causes sufferers to feel depressed as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. They often feel better once spring rolls back around.
Experts on the subject say this is because there is a shortage of sunlight during this time. One very effective way to fight SAD is with light therapy, the use of a “light box” outfitted with a UV bulb that mimics the sun at specific times of the day. People who use light therapy feel happier and have more energy even when Mother Nature refuses to cooperate.
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