Halfpoint / Shutterstock
Studies have shown that Vitamin D can chase bad moods away. Your skin can produce large amounts of this vital nutrient if you expose it to the sun. Go for a walk during your lunch break; sit by the window when you get a chance; open the curtains in your home. Morning sunlight has been praised as the “most beneficial.” Walk to the office. More light exposure means fewer sleep issues, better work performance and lower risk of depression.
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock
Science says that being nice to people is key to being relaxed and happy. Think of your grandparents and what they may need help with. Don’t be too busy like their kids (your parents) and make their lives easier. Donate blood. An estimated 38 percent of Americans is eligible to donate but less than 10 percent actually do. Every two seconds someone in the country needs blood, according to the American Red Cross. Wouldn’t you be glad if you knew you saved someone’s life? You are doing well by doing good, according to a 2008 research. Go on a charity walk or help a community project. Volunteering increases empathy, boosting happiness.
It’s a well-known fact that taking care of pets helps keep elderly people stay healthier. Research shows that the fury animals can also help them, and younger people as well, feel much happier. Social support doesn’t have to come from other humans only. Cuddling and playing with your pet for a few minutes releases serotonin and oxytocin, which are famous “feel happy” hormones, and lowers the level or cortisol, which is a stress hormone. The highest serotonin content was found in chocolate with a cocoa content of 85 percent.
qanatstudio / Shutterstock
We don’t need science to know that chocolate simply makes everything better. Nevertheless, there is a logical explanation for why this sweet stuff makes people happier. Dark chocolate contains tryptophan, which increases the level of serotonin in the brain. The hormone stimulates the release of endorphins, which make you feel joyous.
Nesolenaya Alexandra / Shutterstock
Human touch reduces stress hormones and stimulates oxytocin, which is the hormone the brain releases when people feel in love. National Hug Day, which is on January 21, should not be just once a year. Hug a dog if you don’t want to hug other people. Cuddles make people feel good, comfortable, loved, safe, and they lower blood pressure. Touching wakes up pressure receptors called Pacinian corpuscles. They signal the vagus nerve, which plays a role in controlling blood pressure.
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock
Go to bed early. Sleep directly affects mood. Getting enough rest can ensure that you won’t be grumpy all day. Poor sleep patterns can lead to stress and, eventually, depression. Healthy sleep improves your overall well-being. Evidence shows that people with insomnia have a 10-fold risk of developing depression compared with those who sleep well.
BlueSkyImage / Shutterstock
A messy home is a reminder of an unfinished job. That can make many people anxious. Clutter can be associated with letdown. Do the dishes, clean the coffee table, and dust off windows and the TV set. Make the task enjoyable by putting on happy songs. This will help you improve your mood, according to a recent study. Music will distract you so you don’t think too much about work or other problems.
VikaGeyder / Shutterstock
Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fats, which are known to ease depression. The best choice is salmon and sardines. Eat walnuts if you really hate fish. Cook with olive oil to increase the amount of these good fats in your diet. People with low levels of Omega-3s are more likely to be depressed, according to a study. You must eat foods that contain a lot of these essential fats because the body can’t make them from other raw materials, unlike many other types of fat.
Dirima / Shutterstock
Even a short exercise program stimulates the brain to produce endorphins that make people feel happy and content. These hormones are what cause a “runner’s high,” which many active athletes speak of. Plus, a 30-minute walk helps increase oxygen flow to the brain. Other research has shown that even a quick workout can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.
Alcohol is a depressant and it slows your central nervous system. Drinking affects the brain chemistry. (You’ve heard of people “who are not themselves” when they drink, right?) Overindulging can cause all kinds of health problems in the long-run. You become more irritated and less interested in the usual things you enjoy. A couple of glasses of wine a week won’t affect your health badly, but the general advice is to avoid booze when you feel unhappy.
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock
Get a quick rubdown to relax the muscles in your neck, shoulders and lower back. This will definitely help relieve some of the anxiety that has built up in you. Massage therapy can be effective for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, lower back pain, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, circulatory problems, and recovery from a sports injury. You can use your own hands to at least massage your feet if you can’t get to a professional.
Milica Nistoran / Shutterstock
Get whatever is bothering you off your chest. Call a friend of yours, who is a good listener, and spill it out. You don’t know if he or she has been through the same. Call another friend, who is always cheerful and smiling. Surround yourself with happy people so they can make you just as happy. This is a fact of life, according to professionals. They recommend venting because, among other things, it helps restore equilibrium.
Artyom Baranov / Shutterstock
You don’t have to eat or even lick lemons or oranges to benefit from them. Don’t underestimate the power of your sense of smell. An Austrian study has shown that inhaling the scent of orange of lavender help people feel happier and more relaxed. Scenting lemon can boost your alertness and reduce stress. Some experts have even suggested rubbing lemon balm inside your wrist to improve cognitive performance.
Ollyy / Shutterstock
Be a rock star even if no one will see it. Science has not thoroughly explained why singing in the shower is so satisfying, but who cares? Think about it. Are people sad when they sing? The opposite is often true. They write songs to release and deal with their emotions. The warm water relaxes you and you feel in a safe environment. In a way, you are literally washing the stress off. You breathe differently when you sing. More oxygen gets into your blood. Better circulation means better health and mood.
bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock
Change your everyday environment. Move furniture around and discover the many other ways your home can look refreshing and welcoming. Take your bad mood out on the house. Experiment with different arrangements to create a feel-good focal point and some space in the living room, so you don’t feel stuck. Realize your biggest house-related fantasy at last.