I wanted to share some great tips I came across in Oprah’s newsletter: 31 Days to Waking Up Happy for Life. There are some great tips here, so take a minute & take it in!! Great tips are always a good thing to share. Enjoy!
I just picked out 15 of my favorites—there are 31, so check out the rest at http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Wake-Up-Happy-Happiness-Research
1. Catch Some Zzz;s–the Right Way. Turkish researchers found that people who tend to sleep on their right side have mellower dreams, with themes of relief, joy, peace and love. They also report feeling better rested and less dysfunctional during waking hours.
2. Soak Up Antidepressant Rays. Step outside for a half hour, or so, if you can. The morning light—especially from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.—may be more effective in curing the winter blues than late-afternoon or evening light.
3. …Just Don’t Forget One Thing. On the sunniest days, we squint; and squinting can make us angry, explains Daniele Marzoli, PhD, a psychologist at Italy’s University of Chieti-Pescara. Since mood and facial muscles are linked, your face signals to your brain that you’re irritated (even if you weren’t…initially). To make matters worse, the tetchiness flares up almost instantly, explains Dr. Marzoli. Luckily, this one has a simple, fast-acting and potentially elegant remedy: sunglasses.
4. Remember to Just Say Hello. It’s a simple greeting, but science reveals that social interaction can help us live healthier, happier and longer lives. Join the campaign that demonstrates how a small gesture can make a big difference.
5. Get your heart racing…and his, too. Schedule an a.m. tryst, and you’ll not only feel more vital and alive but also more bonded to your partner for the rest of the day. Testosterone levels are highest in the morning. Having sex then also boosts your levels of the love hormone, oxytocin.
6. Don’t Stoop Around. Depression is a slump—literally and figuratively. Erik Peper, PhD, a professor at San Francisco State University, found that bad posture may only strengthen a vicious cycle of sadness and depression. It’s another artifact of the brain-body link:We act how we feel…and we feel how we act.
7. I am going to call this—THE HAPPY WALK. Put One Foot in Front of the Other—in a brand new way. Researchers found that people who strode down the street (long steps, arms bouncing) for three minutes felt “significantly happier” than those who shuffled (small steps, slumped shoulders, looking down).
8. YIKES. Don’t take your Drink Lite. Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, may kill “friendly” gut flora associated with better moods. It also blocks the mood-moderating chemical serotonin (although effects were not noticed in people who had not had a history of a mood disorder). Together, these findings might help explain the results of a National Institutes of Health study: People who drank four or more cups daily of diet soda/diet iced tea had a 30 percent increased risk of depression compared to nondrinkers (more aspartame, higher risk).
9. Get Down and give me 20. You’ll likely find that your fitter self is more resilient to slights, pressures and disappointments. Aerobic exercise increases the “fight-or-flight threshold,” says John Ratey, MD, in his exercise science book, Spark—by relaxing muscles, boosting mood-moderating neurotransmitters (like serotonin and dopamine) and reducing the body’s stress response to the hormone cortisol.
10. During Rush Hour–Pop one of these. What helps a frustrated, worn-out driver (besides vanishing traffic, of course)? Researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia found that pumping peppermint-scented air into the cars of ticked-off commuters helped decrease anxiety and fatigue. Stash a bag of peppermint candies in your glove compartment to help you keep your cool during a hectic commute.
11. Give your Mind a Short Leash. “A wandering mind is an unhappy mind,” wrote Harvard University psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert in their study on mental presence. They found that people arehappiest when their minds are in the present moment (yet another reason to meditate)—but that our minds are only in that state about half of each day. The three times we’re most likely to be “here” and happy: when exercising, in conversation and (especially) when having sex.
12. Busy something for someone else. Researchers at the Harvard Business School, the University of British Columbia and the University of Liège found that purchasing anything for someone else—as long as it’s within the very affordable price range of $5 to $20—makes you happier than buying the same item for yourself.
13. Find your Flow. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, reminds us of the reason to keep knitting scarves or writing short stories. His research has shown that immersing yourself in an activity (especially one you find pleasurable) can trigger a state calledflow. “The more flow you bring into your life,” Csikszentmihalyi says, “the happier you’ll be.”
14. Open one of these before bed. What do happy people do? Read! But really, really happy people read these books that open their minds—and lives.
15. Dangle a Week-Carrot. Look, the world of happy moments doesn’t have to end just because the workweek must be spent wearing real clothes. Happiness doyenne Gretchen Rubin, creator of the Happiness Project and author of bestsellers Happier at Home and The Happiness Project, says, “Give yourself a reason to anticipate the coming week: Plan lunch with a friend, or a movie outing, or a trip to an office-supply store—or am I the only one who loves to go to office-supply stores?—and when the Sunday blues hit, remind yourself of everything fun that will happen.”
Hope these tips send you on your way to a little more HAPPINESS. Make sure you check out the other suggestions. They are all great. Peace to you. -H