7 Simple Scientifically Proven Methods To Make You A Happier Person
Ever noticed you’re in a slump that’s lasting weeks, months or even years? Moodiness is common to the 20-something’s life. With all the life changes, long work hours, lack of sleep, poor eating habits and stress, it’s pretty easy to feel out of whack.
If you find yourself struggling with non-clinical moody slumps, it's important to pinpoint an action plan so that you can turn your mood around.
The key is to remember that you are in active control over your life: It is up to you to make positive changes that will make you happier in your daily life. Here are seven ways to do it:
Try this: Smile in the mirror, first thing in the morning, then a couple more times during the day. Does your mood change? As it turns out, moving facial muscles in such a way that mimics smiling has been scientifically proven to boost your mood.
When you smile, there is a physiological response that influences areas of your brain that coincide with feeling happier sensations. So, certain facial expressions literally pinpoint specific portions of your brain. Get smiling, people.
There is much wisdom in eastern medicine, including its focus on treating the whole human body instead of targeting specific parts. The wonderful thing about herbal remedies is that they help your body function at its best so that it can naturally heal itself.
Try maca root or St. John's wort. Maca root is wonderful for combating high stress levels known to throw our bodies out of whack and St. John's wort has been shown to be just as effective as anti-depressants for mild and moderate levels of clinical depression.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea, well known for its soothing and relaxing qualities, has also been shown to improve mood.
A study conducted at Swinburne University investigated brain activity in relation to moods found that participants who consumed green tea showed greater relaxation, attention and higher mood levels.
As you heard from your high school sports coach, dehydration can compromise athletic performances. Not only that, but new studies now show that hydration — or lack thereof — also influences the mood.
In a study, a hydrated group was compared with a dehydrated group and athletes who were dehydrated not only performed worse on athletic activities, but also reported more negative moods.
Exercise And Meditation
There is nothing quite like a runner’s high. Athletes have long noted the amazing benefits associated with working out, such as increased energy, relaxation and higher moods.
Recently, researchers began to investigate the correlation between exercise and mood; however, they are now finding that such a relation exists. Researchers have found that you can begin to feel a "mood-enhancement effect" after as few as five minutes of physical activity.
Similarly, meditation has also been shown to influence mood — studies have shown that meditation lowers cortisol levels, which is a primary instigator of anxiety. Whatever your method of choice may be, either option can be a fantastic tool to improve your mood.
Eat Those Veggies
Take if from Popeye, who is famously known for chugging a can of spinach prior to exerting his physical strength: Eat those greens! Recent research suggests that diets high in fruits and vegetables make people calmer, more energetic and happier.
Try Some Positive Thinking
Whether or not you agree with the positive thinking phenomenon, there is a lot of wisdom to be gained from focusing on your thoughts. As Henry Ford so wisely said,
The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can't are both right. Which one are you?
If you focus all of your energy on negativity or what you can't do, you won't do it. But, if you instead focus on what you can do, you will find a way to do it.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It