Do you feel down in the dumps from time-to-time? Feel anxious or nervous? If so, you’re not alone.

Thousands of Americans face the same struggles – especially when the pressures of life become too much. Luckily, there are a number of coping techniques and mood boosters that can leave you feeling full of energy again.

Here are three easy ways to improve your mood.

1. Change your diet

Feeling grumpy? Lethargic? Unproductive? Mood-boosting superfoods can increase the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain.

Foods like oysters, octopus, banana, plums and turkey – to name just a few – can increase serotonin levels according to research from a 1998 study, definitely something to think about if your current diet is influencing your mood.

If you think chocolate is bad for you, think again! Although this delicious treat can have an effect on your waistline, eating more of the stuff could generate serotonin in your brain according to researchers. Definitely food for thought! Serotonin has an anti-depressant effect and can create a sense of well-being – ideal if you are feeling stressed.

2. Go to the gym

Most people associate going to the gym with losing weight but did you know that working out could have a positive effect on your mood?

Regular exercise can have a massive effect on your brain and release chemicals called endorphins – which can improve your mood and increase well-being. Don’t just take our word for it – there’s science to back it up too!

In fact, research has suggested that exercise can improve memory and fight against depression. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do. Pilates? Cardio? Kickboxing? You choose! Just make sure you get into a regular workout pattern to see results. If you’ve been putting off the gym for a while, team up with a friend or colleague and encourage each other to train harder. A little motivation will go a long way!

3. Meditate

If you live a busy life, you might not have much time for yourself – especially if you have children to look after or work deadlines to meet. However, studies show that mindful meditation can keep you from feeling stressed and impact your mind in a beneficial way.

Dr. Elizabeth Hope – an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital – has said that mindfulness meditation can be beneficial for treating anxiety. You don’t have to join a meditation class to see results; you can practice meditation in the comfort of your own home – just make sure you are free from distractions.

If meditation is not for you, taking five minutes every morning to be alone with your thoughts might help you, especially if you set goals for the day ahead. Positive thinking could work wonders!

When life gets too much, making some small changes to your daily routine could help beat the blues.

Regular exercise, meditation, and healthy food options could have a positive effect on your mood and attitude – and making these changes could be a lot easier than you think.

Positive thinking and the right attitude can lower stress levels, give you more energy and leave you feeling calm and wonderful!