What should we do when life throws us lemons? Do we throw them back or ask for tequila and salt?
Honestly, it doesn't matter what we do as long as we do something. When life throws a curveball, here's what you should do:
1. Eat some carbs. I know carbs are considered to be satanic in the weight-loss world, but did you know that your brain can't produce serotonin without carbs? Serotonin helps to regulate sleep, moods and suppresses appetite. Without it, prepare to feel depressed, tired and hungrier. Some healthy carbohydrates to incorporate into your diet are quinoa, whole wheat and oatmeal.
2. Exercise. Even if it is just a 10-minute run around the block, it counts for something. When you exercise, you release endorphins. Spicy food and sex also release endorphins, so engaging in any of these will help you handle any “lemons” in your life.
3. Listen to music if you feel like you're in a rut. Some studies suggest that listening to a favorite song can dramatically change your mood. Make happy playlist. Think of songs that transport you to a particular time or remind you of a specific memory and belt it in the shower.
4. Do a good deed. A five-year multi-institutional study proved that altruistic practices elongate life and decrease stress. Why not volunteer at an animal shelter, fulfill a favor or give up your seat on the bus? Even the smallest act of kindness can lift your mood dramatically (while obviously benefiting something beyond you).
5. Take a vacation. Apparently, vacationing is good for health, as men who skip vacations for a few years are 30 times more likely to suffer from heart disease. Just planning a vacation is said to lift our moods since it facilitates anticipatory happiness.
6. Stop and smell the flowers. A study has shown that the smell of flowers promotes happiness, as they help to decrease anxiety and lift one's mood. Who knew scents could be important?
7. Meditate. If you meditate for just 10 minutes per day, you instantly promote your health. Meditation increases positivity, helps with high blood pressure and decreases anxiety. Meditate first thing in the morning to promote positivity and happiness throughout your day.
8. Hang out with your friends. A study found that social relationships are strongly linked to mental health, morbidity and mortality. The study concluded that people who have strong social relationships have "a 50 percent increased likelihood of survival than those with weaker social relationships." Mark up your calendar with plans.
9. Rid yourself of negative thoughts. Sure, easier said than done, but this one is important. Science suggests that even a slight inkling of negativity may affect one's longevity. Don't think of the glass as being half full or half empty anymore — adopt a new perspective on the concept of water in a glass, like this one I found on Tumblr:
10. Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing ourselves to others is easy to do in today's society. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter keep us constantly connected. But it can be unhealthy to be inundated with comparisons like that guy who just got a new Ferrari 458 or the girl who just had an amazing wedding.
Photo credit: Spiderman/Marvel