By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters
Happiness comes from within. Rather than blame others for how we feel, look to your own devices to shift your mood. The following quick mood boosters will get you out of your head and into your heart where happiness dwells.
1. Smile. Smiling gives you a boost of oxytocin and makes you feel better. There is scientific evidence that proves smiling makes us feel better and lowers stress. 25 women were studied in Cardiff Wales and recorded in The Association For Psychological Science magazine, after botox treatments. Women who can't frown are happier than those who express negative emotions.
Expressing negative emotions works the opposite way. In a study recorded in May 2008, Journal of Pain, 29 participants had head applied to their forearms. Those that were asked to resist expressing the pain in their faces, experienced less discomfort. When you express fear, worry and negativity on your face, you experience those negative emotions more deeply in the hypothalamus and amygdala.
Crinkling your eyes deepens the feeling of happiness. An authentic smile has a bigger impact on the way you feel than a fake one. Meditate with a Mona Lisa smile and you will feel better doing it!
2. Call A Friend. Calling someone who will lift your mood can shift you quickly. If your friends love to commiserate with you, get some new friends. Talking about negativity will keep you stuck in a pattern of a downward spiral and keep you there.
3. Get Out In Nature. Walking outside in the woods, or a park will help you feel better and even alleviates depression. Nature is our best quick fix, better than a pill and has no side effects.
Sit down on the ground against a tree and ask the tree to take away your sorrow, pain, and suffering. It is amazing what you will feel. C'mon, try it, you'll like it! It has been scientifically proven that those who live in urban environments away from nature suffer more depression than those who live in a rural environment.
Living in a rural environment isn't enough, however, it is how you use the environment that matters. You have to get outside and experience the beauty!
4. Get a hug from someone you love. A hug helps us to feel loved, relieves stress and releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone into our bloodstream. Hugs also prevent us from getting sick. What's not to love?
5. Spend time with friends who love you. Friends that have known us a long time understand us and love us the way we are. These are some of my friends from my Air Canada days, forty years ago. My friends and I pick up like no time has passed at all when we see each other.
5. Get off social media. FaceBook is fine and dandy for some things but can frustrate and annoy you as well. Turning off electronics for an hour or two can refresh your body and brain. Sitting in front of your computer all day clicking the like button can drain you and make you feel empty.
6. Take a walk. Walking outside can clear your head and help your body feel renewed. Sitting all day every day causes stagnation of our cells and muscles. Walking can give us a feeling of exhilaration, relieve stress and get our heart rate up so that we increase oxygen, a much-needed ingredient for good health in our body-mind.
7. Pet a dog or cat. Petting a dog makes the dog feel happy and releases oxytocin in our body as well as reducing stress and heart rate. Pets can be a great source of levity and happiness keeping us company and greeting us when we get home. I highly recommend having a pet to increase happiness in your life.
8. Watch some funny animal cat videos. If you are feeling down, cute furry kittens can bring you up quickly boosting your mood and making you smile. There are thousands on the web that will get you laughing and feeling happy in no time at all. Did you know that cats are afraid of cucumbers?
9. Watch goats who scream like humans. I promise you that you won't be able to stop laughing. Animals are more like humans than we think.
Happiness is an inside job. What we do has 50% to do with how we feel. Doing the same thing over and over the same way can lead to boredom. Change the way you do the routine things in your life. Take a different route home. Skip instead of walk down the sidewalk. Talk to a stranger. Smile to yourself. Enjoy the mundane, and before you know it, you'll be laughing inside and outside!
Okay, now back to work! Enough of the funny animal videos!
Jennifer is the author of the forthcoming book:
Happy Here, Happy Anywhere
The Guide For Overcoming Anxiety, Depression and Unhappiness Without a Prescription!
E-mail Jennifer here for a private 30-minute discovery session or to set up your private session. She is an intuitive healer and certified hypnotherapist and life coach.