5 Ways to Boost Your Mood Right Before Writing

Filed in Boost Creativity by on January 16, 2018 • views: 655

~Writing Well Wednesday Tip~

Most writers are sensitive creatures.

That’s good when it comes to imagining how our characters feel in various scenes. But it’s not so good when it comes to managing our moods.

If you find that you’re feeling irritable, sad, or out of it lately, you may have a hard time sticking with your writing commitments. Studies have found that a positive mood is best for creativity.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina reported that creativity was both a cause and a result of positive thinking and emotions. Another study found similar results, with participants who were in a happy mood performing better on a creativity test.

Of course, you can’t be happy all the time. So what do you do then? Here are some tips to help you boost your mood so your writing session goes a little more smoothly.

1. Listen to some upbeat music.

Music affects mood, so choose something that gets you happy and dancing. Try listening to it for just 5 minutes before you start writing, and see if your session doesn’t go better than you thought it would.

2. Eat some dark chocolate.

Chocolate is good for you, and studies have also found that it can boost levels of the good-mood neurotransmitter, “serotonin,” in your brain. It also boosts dopamine levels, which will give you more energy. As if you needed another excuse to eat some chocolate! Just try to be sure it has at least 70 percent cocoa.

3. Give someone a hug.

A loved one, friend, pet—give someone a quick hug before you start writing. It lowers stress and stimulates the release of oxytocin, which helps boost mood.

If you want to make it even better, do something nice for that person before you give them a hug. Bring them a cup of coffee or tea, genuinely compliment them, or offer to take them out to lunch later. You’ll be doing something nice for someone else, and that’s also a guaranteed mood booster.

4. Dress up.

This can be particularly helpful if you’ve been in sweats all day. Put on something you like and that you think makes you look good. Studies have found that clothes really can affect our mood! (Read more about that here: “What Are You Wearing? Why Writers Should Care”)

Better yet, choose something colorful. Green and yellow are associated with happiness, red with energy, and blue with calm.

5. Review some images of nature—and make sure they contain some green.

Studies have found that simply looking at pictures of nature can help relieve stress and put you in a better mood. If you want to boost creativity too, make sure the pictures have some green in them. (In other words, no winter pictures!) Studies have found that green helps stimulate creativity.

In one experiment, for example, cyclists felt happier and less tired when watching a video filtered in green (as opposed to red or gray). And in a second study, subjects exposed to the color green performed better on a subsequent creativity test than those exposed to blue, white, or gray.

How do you boost mood quickly before writing?

“The Latest Research on Creativity and the Arts,” American Psychological Association, June 2014; 45(6):58, http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/06/arts-creativity.aspx.

“A Positive Mood Allows You to Think Creatively,” Association for Psychological Science, December 5, 2010, http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/06/arts-creativity.aspx.

Adam Akers, et al., “Visual Color Perception in Green Exercise: Positive Effects on Mood and Perceived Exertion,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2012; 46(16):8661-8666, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es301685g?prevSearch=%255BAbstract%253A%2Bexercise%255D&searchHistoryKey=&.

Stephanie Lichtenfeld, et al., “Fertile Green: Green Facilitates Creative Performance,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, March 16, 2012; 38(6):784-797, http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167212436611.


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