2 Minutes to a Happier You
Next time you need a pick-me-up, try one of these little instant mood-lifting tricks
Little Ways to Lift Your Mood
Add a few of these instant get-happy tricks to your arsenal, so you can whip them out whenever you need a burst of bliss.
Experts say you won’t find true joy in a paycheck or miracle wrinkle-remover. According to happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, of the University of California, Riverside, life circumstances account for only 10% of happiness. Half depends on our genetic “set point,” which is kind of like the weight our body bounces back to after that crash diet. And about 40% of our happiness is influenced by what we do deliberately to make ourselves happy. Next time you need to turn around a hellish day at work or brighten up a draggy afternoon, try one of these proven tips to lift your mood and make you smile.
1. Flip through Old Photos
When you’re feeling down, break out your kids’ baby albums or pics from your favorite vacation.
It may actually make you feel happier than a square of Godiva chocolate would! That’s what researchers at the United Kingdom’s Open University found after they examined how much people’s moods rose after eating a chocolate snack, sipping an alcoholic drink, watching TV, listening to music, or looking at personal photos.
The music and chocolate left most people’s moods unchanged; alcohol and TV gave a slight lift (1%), but the winner by a long shot was viewing pictures, which made people feel 11% better. To keep your spirits high at work, upload your favorite pics to your computer and set them as a rotating screen saver. Or splurge on a frame that flips through digital photos; amazon.com has plenty of options at a wide range of prices.
2. Munch on Nuts
For a mood-lifting snack, stash walnuts in your desk drawer.
Or sneak salmon into your salad for lunch. They’re both packed with omega-3 fats, which may make people less prone to depression, and easier to get along with, say researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. They measured the blood levels of omega-3 fats (a reliable indicator of consumption) of 106 healthy adults and gave them psychological tests. Those with the highest omega-3 blood levels scored 49 to 58% better on the tests than those with the lowest blood levels.
Source: January 2012, Prevention
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