Do you remember the last time you were really happy? The last time you were completely stress-free? Chances are that you either don’t remember or that it was so long ago that it feels like a blurry memory. So our question is this: what are we doing? Ultimately, we’re not as happy as we should and can be. Are we willing to do something about this?
If you are, keep reading to discover simple methods to make happiness a conscious choice!
Research on positive affect – being in a good mood – shows that when people do small things that lift their mood, it creates an 'upward spiral' of positive feelings that lead to an increased resilience toward stress. So doing one small thing each day can create something much larger that helps you to overcome stress and keep a smile on your face at the same time.
Being stressed is now a big, unwanted, part of our life. But fret not, while it is omnipresent, science has provided us ways to help keep stress at bay. Here are the 12 things the happiest, heartiest, healthiest people do on a regular basis:
- Take a 10 min walk: A quiet, relaxing stroll can do wonders to your body and mind, preferably in a park or an open green space, which can put your body into a state of harmony.
- Take a snack break: Treat yourself to something sweet- a candy or chocolate or a drink. It will soothe your senses resulting in the secretion of a stress hormone called glucocorticoid.
- Take a nap: Napping has been found to help stressed-out people relieve their anxiety and lower blood pressure.
- Chew a gum: Sure, chewing gum freshens up your breath; but studies have also suggested that the act of chewing gum reduces stress and anxiety by reducing the cortisol levels!
- Have a good hearty laugh: Do anything that can make you laugh out loud, even better if you ROFL. Anything, like a viral video, or a cat-dog video, watch a sit-com show or a movie. A good laugh is a lighter relaxation technique.
- Buy a pot plant or two: Apart from being beautiful air purifiers, plants can actually help you calm down and boost your mood.
- Enjoy the Little Things: Life gets busy and sometimes we get so caught up in our day-to-day routines that we fail to appreciate the little things. Whether it’s a meaningful conversation, a good meal or even a breath of fresh air, happy people know how important it is to stop and savor each and every moment.
- Carefully Select Your ‘Friend’ Group: There’s nothing worse than being around a negative person because their negativity is contagious. Hanging around positive people has the opposite effect. Not only do they help build our confidence, but being around them is a heck of a lot more fun.
- Help Others: Serving others not only makes the people we’re helping happy, but it makes us happy, as well.
- Dance those worries away: Whether it’s the chicken dance or a routine you have with your sibling, dance in any form can help you smile, laugh, and be in the moment. And what’s more--- you won’t have to worry about exercising if you dance vigorously and get enough movement!
- Cry: Crying is a natural and healthy way to relieve stress. Research suggests that crying literally flushes negative chemicals out of the body. So, a good cry can be both cathartic and healthy.
- Breathe: Did you know there’s a better way to breathe? Studies have shown that slower and deeper breathing slows down heart rate, stabilizes blood pressure, relaxes muscles, and increases blood flow to the brain.
We do realise that all of this is easier said than done. It becomes difficult to consciously practice happy habits when stress becomes an inherent part of our daily lives. But here’s the thing: nothing matters as much when you aren’t happy, and everything matters so much more when you receive it with a happy mind. So in a way, all those stresses will seem like little hurdles when you’re in a good space mentally. Start with a few minutes of inculcating these habits and increase the time as you go; and we promise you’ll be better for it!