Ever find yourself wishing for a happy pill to regain your sunny disposition as you deal with work deadlines, boring meetings, exhausting diets and punishing workouts? Well, we haven’t invented that pill yet. But these proven, easy pick-me-ups can help transform your mood almost instantly.
Make It A Happy Day
Don’t wait to receive kindness: Be the kind one. It’s the little things that count such as holding the elevator door open, making a colleague a cuppa, smiling at a stranger or surprising a friend with a card telling them how special they are.
Stay connected: Although you also need time alone from time to time, you will be happier if you spend more time with your friends and family. Make a habit of hanging out with your friends and family regularly and staying connected through phone calls, texts and emails.
Attitude of gratitude: Make a list of five things you are grateful for every day. This will open your eyes to positive things in your life that you didn’t realise you had and attract even more things to be grateful for.
Laugh: The simple act of laughing is a great mood and energy booster. When you are feeling stressed, just go to YouTube for some funny clips.
Pet your dog: Your pet not only gives you unconditional love but is also good for your health. Just a few minutes petting or cuddling with your dog (or any other pet), makes your body release feel-good hormones like serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin. It also reduces the level of stress hormones released in your body.
Eat oats: Oats have Vitamin B that helps boost brain activity and break down carbohydrates into glucose to fuel the body. Incorporate oats into your diet with a morning bowl of porridge or a few oatcakes. Indulge in some chocolate: Studies say that chocolate boosts the mood…and who are we to argue? Chocolate is high in energy-boosting chemicals such as theobromine and caffeine. It also contains minerals such as magnesium and chromium, both of which play a role in energy production.
Chug some water: Even mild dehydration can lead to sleepiness, headache, sluggishness and grouchiness. Consider taking a glass of water when you feel sluggishor just aim to stay well hydrated throughout the day.
Have a coffee: In moderation, caffeine is a great pickme- up. A study found that taking a single cup of coffee was enough to keep long-distance drivers alert on a long haul.
Drink some orange juice: Include a glass of juice in your breakfast. Research has shown that Vitamin C may help people manage stress more effectively, in part by lowering the levels of stress hormone cortisol in the body. In addition, Vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, tangerines and strawberries also help to boost the immune system.
Enjoy Working Out
Workout in the A.M.: By putting in your workout in the morning, you jumpstart your metabolism and keep it high throughout the day, ultimately burning more calories. Studies show that exercise boosts mental acuity for up to ten hours; don’t waste that sleeping! Working out in the morning will also boost your exercise consistency; your gym-time won’t be affected by schedule changes later in the day.
Do yoga: Yoga is a super-relaxing workout which alleviates symptoms of depression and anxiety. According to a study by the Boston University School of Medicine, yoga practitioners have higher levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a chemical that helps relax the mind.
Get a runner’s high: Besides generally boosting your health and wellbeing, running can leave you feeling euphoric. This is because of the endorphins released during a run.
Exercise outdoors: Exercising outdoors in nature will instantly make you happier and healthier. Even a 20-minute walk outdoors is enough to make you feel more energised. Also, bring the outdoors indoors with houseplants, open windows or an indoor aquarium.
Find Joy At Work
In boring meetings: Instead of nodding off during boring meetings, eat a small piece of candy or sugarfree chewing gum. A study found that chewing gum can increase alertness and improve mood.
Think fast: Making the brain work faster will instantly boost your alertness and increase productivity. Challenge your brain with mind games, puzzles and new concepts to feel more energised at work.
Straighten up: Slouching over your computer could be causing you to be fatigued earlier in the day… and lead to health problems in the long term. Boost your mood by sitting up straight – shoulders back, eyes straight ahead and lower back slightly arched.
Leave the desk: Don’t sit on your desk all day; take breaks from time to time to refresh your mind and reenergise. Take walks, go out for lunch, or walk out to take calls. Those emails can wait for a few minutes. Really.
Clear your desk: Sitting in a cluttered space can bring down your mood and reduce your productivity. Organise your space and remove all clutter for a more efficient working day.
Instant Internet Happiness
Humans of New York: Go to the Humans of New York Facebook page to enjoy pictures of people sharing their inspiring, funny, sad, real stories.
Pinterest: Search for boards titled “Happiness” to find a cornucopia of inspiring and mood-boosting images.
Tiny Buddha: This website is a great resource for when you feel unhappy, uninspired or bored.
See red: Studies show that the colour red is associated with confidence and winning. Try looking at or wearing something red to boost your mood.
Sniff some lemon: Certain scents, such as lemon are said to boost moods. In a study, the scent of lemons significantly improved the subjects’ mood.
Sing along: Put on your favourite song and sing along; singing requires breath control which calms you down and uplifts your spirit.