When you have Fibromyalgia, you tend to notice how big things affect you, your mood and flares. Taking a vacation to Hawaii, marriage, divorce, death, and serious financial issues are a few of the big items. However, small things can also impact your mood and flares in a big way, and the small things happen more frequently. We all know it’s the small things that add up over time and become big things. Understanding the small, day-to-day experiences that impact your mood is important.
Many of the smaller things in life can affect your mood:
1. Dehydration. If you’re feeling sluggish, irritable or pained, you might need a drink of water. Some people don’t have the benefit of good thirst mechanisms. Have a glass of water at least every few hours. Your mood and pain levels might improve considerably.
2. Music. There are at least a few songs that impact your mood in a positive way. It only takes a moment of listening before you can feel your mood shift. Try to listen to a few songs you love each day. Upload them to your smart phone so they’re always handy. Not only should you listen to them, but you should also sing them at the top of your lungs. It’s the perfect thing to activate your vagus nerve and calm you down.
3. Scents. Certain smells can alter your mood. Your smelly cubical mate has one effect. A scent that reminds you of your all-time best date has a different effect.
Are there any scents that you love? Find a candle or air freshener that mimics a smell you enjoy.
Some essential oil fragrances have been proven to help easy pain, lighten depression or make you feel more energized.
4. Weather. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, or just right. A nice day lifts your mood. A dark, rainy day can drag it down. It doesn’t help when the barometer shifts causing you to feel flare ups as well. Relish in the beautiful days and have a plan of attack for the days when the weather causes a flare up.
5. Compliments. Receiving a compliment is sure to enhance your mood. Just a few kind words can have a big impact. Giving compliments can have a positive effect on your mood, too. The opposite is also true. A few unkind words can result in a bad mood. It is thought that compliments release the neurotransmitter dopamine which is associated with motivation, focus, and positivity.
6. Sleep. If you have children, you know what they’re like when sleep-deprived. You’re not much better! Ensure that you’re getting enough sleep that your mood isn’t being affected negatively. Sleep is one of the most important things you need to reduce your pain levels and increase your mood. During sleep, the brain is able to repair and grow cells, tissue, and nerves that regenerate and boost the hormone and immune system. During sleep is when you rest and digest so your small intestine can make the neurotransmitters to keep you healthy and reduce pain.
7. Your posture. Studies have shown that slouching results in more negative thoughts, and standing or sitting up straight results in more positive thinking. Not only that, it changes the tilt of your head, which puts pressure on your vagus nerve which will affect digestion and how well you process your food.
8. The food you consume. It’s common to have a mild (or major) reaction to certain foods and not even be aware of it. Try eliminating certain foods from your diet for a couple of days and see if it changes how you feel. Eliminate one at a time or you won’t be sure which food causes issues. The most common culprits are:
Peanuts, which aren’t actually a nut.
Anything with a high sugar content.
9. Financial issues. You might not consider financial issues to be a “small thing,” but even small financial issues can harm your mood. For example, one unexpected bill can create a lot of emotional turmoil.
10. Spending a lot of time with negative people. Whether it’s a coworker, family member, or friend, spending time with a very negative person can sour your mood. Being around negative people can make you depressed. Also, constantly being around the complainers, victims and venters in our lives trigger these same patterns in our own lives.
11. Exercise. Interestingly, when you least feel like exercising, doing so seems to have the biggest positive influence on your mood. A brisk walk is all you need to boost your mood. It doesn’t take much to make a difference.
You don’t need to purchase a sports car or vacation if you’re looking to boost your mood. There are plenty of smaller things that can change your mood significantly. These small things can occur on a daily basis and are well worth the effort to either seek or avoid. Focus on the small things that enhance or detract from your mood and you’ll enjoy pleasant moods more often.