1. Music and mood: Music can have either a positive or negative effect on our mood. It is partly related to memories, associations, and how much we like or dislike the music.
2. Food and mood: Studies have revealed that people who consume a large amount of olive oil have lower levels of depression. Also, salmon and walnuts (which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids) have mood-boosting properties. High-carbohydrate comfort foods stimulate the reward centre in the brain, and help to reduce stress levels.
3. Interactions with strangers and mood: Even brief interactions tend to have a positive effect on mood. This may be because we act cheerful – and that, in turn, affects how we feel.
4. Skepticism and mood: We are more skeptical of others’ intentions, and are more likely to catch them lying to us, when we’re in a negative frame of mind. In contrast, happy people tend to be overly trusting, optimistic, and blind to other peoples’ character flaws.
5. Exercise and mood: Numerous studies have confirmed that exercise can increase blood flow to the brain, help create new neurons, and stimulate the release of mood-regulating chemicals (specifically, dopamine and serotonin.)
6. Age and mood: As people age, they tend to focus more on the positives – which leads to higher levels of subjective happiness.
7. Intuition and mood: When we feel happy, we’re more likely to trust our gut reactions than we are when we’re feeling negative and down.
8. Weather and mood: Many peoples’ moods are significantly affected by weather. That is, we feel down and blah on cold, grey days … and energetic and happy on bright sunny days. This is most marked in people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder.