What Can I Do To Improve My Mood?

  • A medical evaluation is the first step to ensure that there is not a health issue, such as a thyroid problem, or medication causing changes in your mood.
  • Increase your activity level. As people become depressed, they are often less active, which typically increases feelings of depression. Even though you may not feel like being active, research shows that people with depression almost always enjoy activities more than they had anticipated.
  • Learn to accurately monitor and evaluate your thoughts. People who are depressed think more negative thoughts. Often depression causes people to take too much credit for their mistakes and attribute their successes to luck. Learn to recognize when you are doing this. Author David Burns wrote Feeling Good, a book that teaches this skill and many others for improving your mood.
  • Learning to monitor your thoughts can also help to reduce anxiety. People who worry about things often expect the worst to happen and thus avoid situations that make them nervous. This leads to continued avoidance and more anxiety in the future.
  • Exercise. Research shows that staying in shape and eating a healthy diet can result in improved mood.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that targets activity level and addresses distorted thoughts and teaches you to do these things on your own. Learning these skills will lead to lasting improvements in mood.