Friday, May 30, 2014

How To Improve Your Mood FAST by Changing Your Environment

Have you considered how your environment affects your mood?  Consider these factors as part of your overall emotional health:

Light:  If you are feeling down or sluggish, look around and see the lighting, are your curtains open?  Are your windows free of cobwebs and dust?  Could an outside tree be trimmed back to allow for more natural light?  See how it feels to allow more natural light into your living space.  

Fresh air:  Though the pollen is high this time of year, take some time for a short walk, sip some tea in a lawn chair and see who walks by--consider waving and greeting your neighbors.

Organization:  Tackling a cluttered space in your home can bring physical order which may also lead to a sense of calm and satisfaction within yourself.  Just start small… choose your dining room table or a drawer and try tidying up one area.  Step back and see how you feel.

“Green Space”:  All too often we wake up, get in our car or on the metro, walk in to a building to work, back to the car, and in our home.  Consider taking part of your lunch time for a ten minute stroll outside.  Pack a picnic to a local park with your family or plan a bike ride on one of the many trails in the area.  Sounds of nature and physical activity can be a piece to the puzzle of feeling better.  

Music: Music can prompt changes in mood.  For a practical example, take the common event of preparing dinner and having a family meal.  This time of day can seem daunting with small children under foot or children just home from school.  Tempers are short and hunger is setting in.  Try playing some fun, upbeat music or some silly childrens songs while giving each child an important task (taking silverware to the table, choosing cloth napkins and carefully folding them for each family member, or picking a few blooms off an outdoor plant to be placed in water as a centerpiece).  Observe how stress turns into a movement (dance even!), singing, and cooperativeness.  It may take a number of tries, but soon this can be a new habit for your home.

Keep a journal and see for yourself the concrete ways you have taken action to improve your emotional health.    

If these tasks seem too daunting or you are having trouble making changes on your own, consider exploring your mood and personal feelings with a therapist. Together, you can explore different areas of your life where you may wish to change.  For more information about the therapists at our center, contact us at 240-274-5680 or email us at with any questions or to get set up with an initial appointment.

Take Good Care,
Amy Hooper, LCSW-C, CEAP &
Abbie Mortimer, Executive Assistant

Another Look at Healing, LLC - Counseling Center for Women