Got a case of the winter blues? It’s now officially spring, so hopefully as the weather warms up, so will your mood. But in the meantime, there are things you can do to boost your happiness levels and reduce stress so we’ve put together some ideas to get you started.
1. Get those endorphins going!
Exercise will do the trick. Endorphins are chemicals produced by your brain that can put you in a good mood, so go for a run, a bike ride… something – anything – that will get your blood pumping.
2. Dance and sing like you’re at a nightclub
Put on some upbeat music and get your groove on! Singing and dancing will relieve stress. If you’re shy, you don’t have to do it in front of someone else. Draw the blinds, make sure the house is clear of other people, put your fave CD on and crank that stereo up! (Just make sure your neighbours don’t call noise control….)
3. Think positive thoughts
Being optimistic can actually turn your day around and improve your mood. High self-esteem is also good, so make a list of 10 reasons why you’re fabulous and put it somewhere you’ll see it regularly to remind you of how great you are.
4. Make sure you’ve had your beauty sleep
Getting a good night’s rest is very important. If you’re not sleeping enough, you’ll feel more stressed, lethargic and your mental alertness will be affected. Try to get around seven to eight hours each night. Just make sure you don’t oversleep because that can cause similar problems!
5. Have an invigorating smoothie
Pop some chunks of your fave fruits into a blender along with a few ice cubes, a few tablespoons of yoghurt and a tablespoon of bran to make yourself a great smoothie. The fibre from the fruit helps aid digestion while also giving you a burst of energy from the natural sugar.
6. Pamper yourself for an evening
Find yourself a hair mask and facial mud mask that suit you and apply them at home. Prepare a hot bath and add several drops of your favourite essential oil or bubble bath. Soak and relax until you feel the tension disappear, then after you dry off, give yourself a manicure, pedicure and moisturise your skin from head to toe. It will leave you feeling invigorated, you’ll likely have a great sleep and then there’s the bonus of waking up feeling like a million bucks!
7. Laugh out loud
Turns out ‘laughter is the best medicine’ isn’t just a saying. It may seem a pretty simple thing to do, but laughing’s actually good for your health. Not only does it boost those lovely endorphins, but it also exercises your lungs and can act
as stress relief. Some studies have indicated that just thinking about laughing may make you happy! If you’re feeling blue, swap jokes with your friends or sit down in front of your fave comedy TV show/film for a quick happiness fix.
8. Get a pet (or borrow one!)
Research has shown that interacting with pets can actually make you feel happier. The affection and companionship of animals such as dogs and cats is a mood booster, so find a pet to pat pronto!
9. Ditch the technology
Yes, it sounds scary. But set aside 24 hours (longer if you can!) to turn off your cellphone, ignore your computer/inbox, ditch the television, avoid distractions and just relax. This may make some people more stressed at the prospect of feeling like you’re missing out on something – but humans were fine before these technological gadgets were invented and you may end up liking the feeling of being ‘switched off’.
10. Challenge yourself
Make yourself an actual written list of goals and work towards achieving them. The closer you get to your goals, the better you’ll feel. When (not if!) you manage to achieve a goal, you’ll feel fantastic. These can be short-term easily achievable goals like tidying your house, finishing a uni assignment early or joining a gym. Then you can form some long-term goals like training to run a marathon, getting a job promotion or learning how to rollerblade.
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