Improve your mood in order to improve your creative productivity:
These tips may or may not work for you
Our mood is generally something fickle and changing like the sea, but there are some small and practical things which can improve your mood. Here is a list of things which help me instantly improve my mood:
- Drink a cup of 100% cocoa powder (hot chocolate with 0 sugar).
- Eat a handful of cocoa nibs (0 sugar)
- Have (another) cup of black coffee (no cream or sugar)
- Go to the gym and do “one rep max” styled powerlifting: Deadlift, squat, dumbbell press (I prefer dumbbell press over bench press, because you don’t need a spotter).
- Hot sauna (dry or steam). Use this time to close your eyes, relax, think, and zen out.
- Go to a place with bright lights: If you are feeling depressed from lack of sunlight (especially during the winter), go to a place with bright lights. This can be the mall, shopping center, movie theater, or even see if you can get a UV tan. Or buy some brighter lights for your home.
- Get a massage (I find Chinese massages are the best bang for the buck). Ask them to massage you really hard– massages are best when they are intense!
- Go for a walk around the block: Don’t bring your phone or headphones. Use this time to think, reflect, and digest your thoughts.
- Take an icy cold shower (if you can survive an icy cold shower, you can survive anything).
- Listen to a song, musical album, playlist which pumps you up (I love Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, JAY Z, Meek Mill, Eminem).
- Look at your old photos which put a smile on your face
- Tell a loved one that you love them, and why you appreciate them
- Fast during the day (you have a delicious dinner you’re looking forward to in the evening!)
- Book a flight or travel trip — it is wonderful to have a future adventure to look forward to.
- Publish a blog post or upload a video to YouTube (I think when we publish things that we create, we feel happiness through a sense of progress)
- Watch a film which inspires you (in praise of biography-documentaries). My favorite films which improve my mood: John Wick (1 and 2) — for some reason watching action films give me a huge adrenaline rush, and improve my mood.
- Watch a stand-up comedy show (in-person, or on Netflix). Laughter is a good tonic for the soul.
- Read a book or some poetry you love (reading philosophy improves my mood, especially reading Nietzsche, or reading the poetry of Horace).
- Dance: Put on some music you like, and feel free to dance by yourself! Or go to a dance club, and get your wiggle on. There is something incredible about our ability to dance which improves our mood.
- Sing: Karaoke with some friends, or feel free to sing in the shower! Or make up your own freestyle raps for fun.
- Write: When you’re writing something (on the laptop, your phone, tablet, paper)– it gives you a chance to distill your thoughts and ideas. Write for yourself, and it will bring you great joy.
- Give a stranger a high-five or a fist-bump, or give a stranger a compliment.
- Hug a loved one for at least 10 seconds
- Come up with new epic ideas and goals for you to achieve in the future (never stop dreaming, never stop aspiring, and never stop striving!)
- Get rid of stuff, throw away old things, give away things, or delete old things: A huge breath of relief by physically and mentally unburdening yourself with superfluous things and stuff.
Of course these things may or may not work for you. I encourage you to experiment, seek to better know yourself, and better understand what improves your own mood.
And when in doubt,