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Tips for a happier you

  •   by Medihelp
  •   17 March 2016
  •   854 view(s)
Do you know how to be happy or are you waiting for happiness to find you? Despite what the fairy tales depict, happiness doesn't appear by magic. It's not even something that happens to you, but it’s something you can cultivate. Here are seven proven ways to make you happier in life:

1. Spend time outdoors
Living near green spaces is associated with better mental health, and even just looking at images of nature scenes can stimulate the parts of your brain associated with happiness, positivity, and emotional stability. Spending time in the great outdoors also exposes us to sunlight, which can help our bodies produce vitamin D. Since low levels of this nutrient have been linked to depression, soaking up a bit of sun (for as little as 15 minutes per day) may lift your spirits.

2. Sweat it out
Making time for a regular fitness session does more than just sculpt a strong physique. Physical activity helps our bodies produce disease-fighting proteins – called antibodies – and our brains release endorphins. While antibodies boost happiness by keeping illness at bay, endorphins are feel-good chemicals that improve your mood by promoting feelings of euphoria. It’s no surprise, then, that research suggests regular activity may lead to lasting happiness.

3. Load up on nutrients
The nutrients you consume improve your mental health as much as your physical well-being. Research has found that happiness and mental well-being are highest among people who eat lots of fruit and vegetables daily. So, fill up your plate with the good stuff and start the healthy journey to a happier you.

4. Start a new hobby
Not only is it mentally stimulating and fun, but challenging yourself to learn a new skill can also lead to greater happiness, experts say. That’s thanks to the feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence that often come with gaining new expertise. This should convince you to sign up for those French lessons you’ve always wanted to take, or to practise playing a musical instrument.

5. Trash your negative thoughts
Some people are overwhelmed by their negative thoughts and they really struggle to get rid of them. Recent studies have shown that by actually writing these thoughts down on a piece of paper and then destroying it, you trash your negative thoughts. It is recommended that you tear up the piece of paper, throw it in the trash or burn it. The act of discarding your thoughts physically helps to reduce their toxic effects. Psychologists suggest doing this on a regular basis.

6. Don’t forget your beauty sleep
When you do not get enough sleep, you become more negative. This was the conclusion researchers came to after several experiments. In one such experiment, researchers homed in on the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that processes our positive thoughts. When we are sleep deprived, this function starts to creak and negative thoughts muscle in much more than before.

7. Be grateful everyday
Feeling and thinking about the things you are grateful for when you wake up is a great way to build more happiness. Research on the brain shows that we tend to focus on the negative things in life: worries, tragedies, failures, and discontent. Negativity is our default position, which is why we need to focus on positive things and things for which we should be grateful.

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