By Kath Webb
You are designed to be happy. But anxiety, stress, anger and frustration can often throw us off course. Fortunately, there are simple habits which are proven to significantly reduce the impact of those tough feelings. Here are 5 to get you started:
- Work out more. Exercise has such a powerful effect on our bodies and minds you’d be crazy to keep putting it off. Aside from releasing endorphins and proteins that make us feel happier, it also reduces levels of our bodies stress hormones. For the best benefits, try group exercise or HIIT.
- Give. Being generous to others is an inbuilt source of human happiness. Simple things like helping at a school fete, spending money on someone or giving a spontaneous hug is all it takes to feel better about yourself.
- Be social. Our relationships with others is proven to be one of the most important factors in our happiness now and throughout our lives. Not spending enough time with family and friends is apparently one of life’s top 5 regrets. Surround yourself with happy people to catch the happy bug yourself.
- Sleep more. We know sleep is important for regulating our mood. But beware of sleep deprivation. It has been shown that losing even an hour’s sleep boosts the part of the brain linked to depression and anxiety and other mood disorders.
- Meditate. Just 10 minutes of meditation each day is enough bring big differences to your well-being. Headspace is a great place to start. Want to see some science? One study has shown that daily practice by anyone thickens the brain cortex – the part which processes emotions. As an added bonus, meditation can even help you train better too!
Make the choice to improve your day-to-day happiness by following these simple steps, your mind and body will thank you. Get a head start on step 1 by choosing a workout that you really enjoy and get ready for a welcome endorphin rush.
Still feeling blue - these smiling animals should help with that!