What's Causing Your Bad Mood? Mood Myths And Facts

Is it the foods you eat? The music you listen to? The people you spend time with? All of the above that’s cuasing your bad mood? Find out for yourself.

mood-myths-and-factsMusic always improves your mood
Music can improve your mood, but it depends on what you’re listening to. In a recent study, volunteers’ moods improved when they listened to Mozart but stayed the same when they heard other instrumental music, and their moods were made worse by music from the Holocaust movie “Schindler’s List.”

Which foods are thought to have positive effects on mood?
A recent study found that people who consume a lot of olive oil are less likely to be depressed. Salmon and walnuts are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and some studies have suggested that these essential fatty acids could have mood-boosting properties. Some research also indicates that eating high-calorie comfort foods, which we typically reach for during times of stress or anxiety, may be a type of “natural reward” that reduces stress responses.

Interacting with strangers is likely to have what effect on your mood?
A University of British Columbia study found that even brief interactions with strangers tended to improve people’s moods. Researchers theorise that people tend to try to impress strangers and act cheerful around them, which has the collateral effect of putting them in a better mood.


You’re more likely to catch someone in a lie if…
Australian researchers studying the effect of mood on skepticism and trust found that people in a good mood are more trusting and people in a bad mood are more skeptical. People in a bad mood were more likely to detect when someone was being deceptive, while people in a good mood were more easily fooled.

Moods are contagious
A recent study found that people can “catch” happiness from happy people around them or become more depressed if they’re around people who are depressed. “People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected,” the authors concluded.

Exercise can improve your mood
Studies have shown that exercise can help create new neurons in the brain, boost blood flow to the brain, and increase levels of key mood-regulating chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin.

As people get older, are they more likely to be in bad moods?
A number of studies have shown that as people grow older, they generally tend to accentuate the positive. Researchers speculate that as people begin to realise that they have a limited number of years left, they make a conscious or subconscious decision to focus more on positive thoughts. Another possibility is physiological: As people age, a part of the brain associated with emotion is more likely to be activated in response to positive images and less activated in response to negative images.

When smokers quit smoking, they suffer from darker moods
Although it’s true that smokers can feedl irritable while they’re trying to quit, a Brown University study found that smokers reported being in much better moods after they had successfully quit smoking. However, if they had been trying to quit but were unable to do so, they reported being in much darker moods.

If you’re in a good mood, you’re more likely to be…
According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people in a good mood are more likely to be superstitious than people in a bad mood. Researchers speculate that happy people are more inclined to “follow their gut” — even if it’s not rational – since what they’ve been doing so far has been making them happy.

A change in the weather can change your mood
Numerous studies confirm that people’s moods can be significantly affected by the weather. Sunshine is associated with good moods, and “spring fever” appears to be a real phenomenon brought on by warmer temperatures at the end of winter.

Seasonal affective disorder is a weather-related mood disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder that most often occurs in winter but can occur any time of year. It appears to be related to the body’s response to varying amounts of sunlight, so it tends to occur when days are shorter in the winter or in other parts of the year when it’s unusually cloudy.

Depression can be distinguished from normal feelings of sadness or pessimism
Depression is differentiated from normal mood changes by the extent of its severity, the symptoms, and the duration of the disorder. Consult a doctor if symptoms persist for more than two weeks or if they significantly impair your normal activities.
(Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD)


Do You Know How to Get in a Good Mood?

Which is more powerful, a smile or a chocolate bar?

Smiles create a lot more happiness than chocolate. Yep, it’s true. To get the same kind of happy feelings in your brain that one smile causes, you’d have to eat a lot of chocolate  2,000 bars! Who knew one smile could be so powerful? Plus, a smile is way better for you than lots of candy. Smiling and laughing make you feel good. Try it!

Yoga is an exercise that can make you feel good. It can help if you’re angry, thired, or stressed. Which country does yoga come from?
Yoga started in India more than 3,000 years ago. When you do yoga, you stretch, hold poses, and take deep breaths. If you’re feeling bad, try reaching up and stretching really big. Gentle exercise like yoga can help your mood. Exercises like swimming or soccer can help, too. Moving helps your brain make chemicals that make you feel good. It doesn’t matter how you move  when you move, it just feels good.

What can help your mood?
What you hear and smell can change your mood. But sleep makes a really big difference. If you don’t get enough sleep just one night a week, it can make it hard to think. Being tired can make you stressed, angry, and sad, too. When you sleep enough, you feel good. When you’re well-rested, you’ll have energy to move, play, or exercise. Until you’re 10 years old, you need 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night. Older? Try to get at least nine hours of sleep a night.

Richer people are happier
Money is not the way to find happiness. As long as people have a home and food, lots of money doesn’t make them happier. What does make people happier? Spending time with other people can help your mood. People who spend time with friends, family, and teammates are happier. Feeling blue? Try hanging out with a friend or talking to a family member to feel better.

Which is the best food to help put you in a good mood?
The green avocado has good mood powers. Its secret is its omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats can help keep your heart healthy and boost your mood. But be careful of eating to try to fix a bad mood. Next time you feel down and want to have a snack, figure out if you’re truly hungry. You may just want to eat because you are feeling sad or bored. If that’s the reason you want a snack, make a healthier choice. If you’re sad, try writing down why you are upset to feel better. Bored? Try going for a walk.
(Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD)


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