Want to feel happier? Do these three things now.
Some days are just tougher than others aren’t they? But did you know there are a few tricks you can keep up your sleeve to help you feel happier on those days?
Happy people tend to achieve more, procrastinate less and move on from disappointments quicker. Of course, if you’re naturally a glass half full type of person, simply deciding to be happier, is not easy. While there are lots of long-term changes you can make to help you cultivate a more optimistic outlook, there are also some quick things you can do right now to give your mood an instant lift.
Sounds daft doesn’t it? If you’re feeling a bit flat, the last thing you want to do is force a smile. But studies have shown time and again, the very act of smiling tricks our brain into producing happy hormones. And it’s especially effective if your smile is accompanied with positive thoughts. Of course it’s important to work on smiling more naturally, rather than always having to fake it. But getting into the habit of smiling more can help us improve not only our outlook, but our attention span and concentration.
- Power nap
Now sadly for me, this trick is one that’s going to be more difficult to pull off. As a busy working Mum of three crazy boys, power naps are few and far between and reserved only for days when I’m severely hungover and my husband takes pity on me. But scientists have discovered that regular power naps could be the key to happiness (or nappiness as they coined the term). Apparently they’re way more effective at boosting your mood than a longer sleep would be. Professor Richard Wiseman of Hertfordshire University states that as well as making us happier, naps make us ‘more focused, productive and creative.’ Pass me a pillow… I feel happier already.
- Exercise for a short sharp blast
Lots of people assume that the feel-good factor of exercise comes after the event. And while this is true to a point, studies show that when you begin exercising, your brain starts to produce a heady cocktail of dopamine, serotonin and adrenalin within the first five minutes! So instead of making the excuse that you don’t have time to exercise, commit to a five-to-ten minute blast and observe what that does to your mood. My top exercise tip to help you feel happier, would be a power-walk round the block on a sunny day… and a bop around the kitchen to Take That songs (other artists are available) on a rainy day.