When it comes to being happy, there are some simple tricks to lift your mood. Read on, and smile!
1. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can make you less patient and just plain crabby. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood.
Getting a good night’s rest can dramatically improve your functioning skills and make you more alert to deal with everyday without being irritable.
2. Let The Sun Shine In
It’s no wonder that we are typically in a worse mood in winter. A type of depression called seasonal affective disorder affects some people during the winter when they don’t get enough sunlight. Lack of natural sunlight can lead to vitamin D deficiency and reduced production of the “happy” hormone serotonin. Experts recommend that you go outside and enjoy natural light for at least 30 minutes per day. Added benefit: Taking a brisk walk outside can help you take the focus off your own problems and instead you’ll be stimulated by fresh air and interesting surroundings
3. Munch on Nuts
Nuts are packed with Omega 3 fatty acids which makes you less prone to depression and easier to get along with. So take a break to snack or eat your way to a better mood.
4. Play With Pets
Research has found that petting a dog for 15 minutes does wonders for releasing natural happy chemicals in our bodies, such as serotonin and dopamine. Seeing a cute dog or cat releases progesterone, the chemical in our bodies that make us go “awwww” whenever we see something cute.
5. Clean Up Your Room
We know how we feel when our house is dirty and there’s tons of laundry to do and a pile of dishes in the sink. Bummed. Depressed even. But a clean house that smells fresh? Somehow our mood changes to the better. Organizing and keeping organized will help you feel a greater sense of control over your immediate surroundings, thus increasing your personal sense of security and confidence.
6. Smile, Even If You Don’t Want to
Make yourself smile even when you don’t feel like it. The simple act of smiling will activate the happiness centers in your brain and you’ll start to feel better almost immediately.
7. Put Some Music On
If you’ve ever found that listening to music elevates your mood, you’re right. New research found that feelings of happiness increased when participants in the study listened to upbeat music.
7. Eat Chocolate
There’s something special about biting into a nice chunk of chocolate. And there’s good reason we crave it when we’re feeling down – it boosts the mood-lifting serotonin in our brains. Just the taste, smell and texture alone is enough to make us happy.
With all that happy-making chocolate, it may be time for some exercise. In fact, working out can do wonders for increasing your energy and mood. Getting 30 minutes of exercise a day can lower symptoms of depression while increasing your mood for up to 12 hours.
9. Cuddle Up
Cuddling, hugging and holding hands does wonders for our happiness. Human touch releases endorphins and reduces blood pressure and heart rate.
10. Call Your Friends
Well, we hope you have some, because studies have shown that spending regular time with friends is more effective in coping with depression than antidepressant medications and psychotherapy.
Bonus: Six Serotonin, Dopamine and Progesterone Inducing Images to Make You Happy Right Now