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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
10 ways to boost your happiness
Happiness tip 1: Watch a comedy movie
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and if you’re feeling down in the dumps then this is definitely true. Laughter can not only release pent-up emotions, but it also produces endorphins to boost your mood. Furthermore, research has found that laughing burns calories and boosts heart health too. To get your happiness levels up and boost your wellbeing too, pop in a comedy DVD next time you’re feeling down.
Get outdoors for a happiness boost
Happiness tip 2: Eat yourself happy
While our outlook often changes based on external factors, if your mood is often low it may be that you are suffering from a nutrient deficiency. Research has found that having low levels of omega-3 fatty acids (which are essential for good brain health) increases risk of depression and negativity, while research by Kuopio University in Finland found that taking B vitamin supplements could help treat depression. Try choosing foods rich in these nutrients to eat away the blues.
Happiness tip 3: Get outdoors
Research has shown that low levels of vitamin D can contribute to mood disorders and depression. While vitamin D can be found in some foods or taken as supplement, one of the best sources of the mood-boosting vitamin is sunshine, which helps the body to create vitamin D. To boost your supplies of vitamin D, try to spend 10 to 15 minutes outdoors two to three times a week during the summer months.
Happiness tip 4: Have a workout
For an instant happiness boost when you’re feeling blue, try hitting the gym or heading out for a brisk walk or run. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain such as endorphins and anandamide which can boost your mood and leave you feeling great. Not only that, exercise is also good for boosting confidence levels and increasing self-esteem.
Happiness tip 5: Try aromatherapy
While many of us think of aromatherapy as an aid to relaxation, there are also many oils you can use to boost your happiness and help alleviate depression. Good aromatherapy oils to leave you uplifted include bergamot, geranium, neroli and jasmine. To lift your mood, try adding a few drops of these oils to water and burning on an oil burner, or create or purchase a room spray containing these essential oils.
Happiness tip 6: Take a risk
To get the endorphins going and give your confidence a boost, try challenging yourself on a regular basis. While we don’t advise you to put yourself in any danger, if there is something you have been putting off for a while out of fear, now is the time to bite the bullet and see it through. Whatever your fear – be it asking out that special someone, joining a gym or applying for a job abroad – conquering your fears will leave you feeling great as well as helping you achieve your dreams.
Talking through your problems can help you to feel happier
Happiness tip 7: Talk it out
If you are feeling seriously down and have been feeling low for a while, it is important to seek some help to get through this difficult phase. Seek out a friend or counsellor to listen to your problems, or visit your GP if you think you may be suffering from depression. No matter how bad you feel it is important to remember that you are not alone and there is no shame in seeking help. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved, and even talking through your issues can help them seem less overwhelming.
Happiness tip 8: Schedule in regular treats
To boost your happiness and satisfaction of life, it is important to make the most of those little things that boost your mood. Make a list of the day-to-day things that make you happy – such as having a catch-up with a friend, drinking hot chocolate in bed, or listening to your favourite song –and make sure you schedule one of these treats into every day. Planning regular treats not only gives you something to look forward to, but it can also subtly improve each day.
Happiness tip 9: Do something selfless
It is easy to get bogged down in our own problems, so every once in a while it is good to put our issues to one side and help someone else feel happy instead. Whether you want to take on a long-term volunteering role, make a donation to charity, or improve the happiness of someone you know with a thoughtful note or gift, making an effort to make someone else smile is a great way to get some perspective, take your mind off your problems and increase your sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Happiness tip 10: Set yourself a goal
Whether you aspire to get fit, obtain that dream job or learn how to cook something other than toast, most of us have something we long to achieve during our lifetime. Rather than putting off your dreams until a perfect moment which may never come, take some positive action and make a plan of how you will achieve your goal starting today. Having something to work towards will not only distract you from your problems, it will also reignite your passion for life and increase your excitement for the future.