Let’s be merry
Election season is finally over and has left its fair share of stress and we are swiftly approaching the festive season. Don’t you find it sometimes difficult to say: Oh great, let’s be merry and pretend nothing has happened? I must say with the ever-growing influx of negative social media and news, emails and other sources of information, I do struggle to keep my calm and relaxed happy self. And quite honestly, after a year of working hard, I am just exhausted. How about you?
It takes a conscious effort to be happy. Did you know that only 10% of our happiness is contributed to life events and 50% is based on our genes. The remaining 40% can be actively and consciously improved by working on it. There are many ways of actively increasing our happiness. Here I share with you a few simple tips to get ready for the festive season and be merry.
Hugging someone will release the feel-good brain chemical oxytocin and at the same time decrease the stress hormones in your body. The trick is to hug 6 seconds or more for the best emotional connection.
A 15-minute walk in nature is so distracting (and in many cases, beautiful and peaceful) that it’s quite difficult to hold onto negative thoughts. While walking be present and feel, hear, smell, touch, enjoy the surroundings. A morning walk will help you also to increase your cortisol which helps to boost your energy and an added benefit of a walk is to increase your Vitamin D levels.
Dress to Impress
It sounds silly but putting on your favorite pretty dress does improve your happiness levels, especially for women. Try it for an instant happiness booster.
Smile and the world will smile back to you….
Fake it till you make it….
Those sound cliché but they really work. Just make a conscious effort to smile at the shop assistant, your neighbor or even your image in the mirror. It’s proven that the activation of the smile muscles will send happiness signals to your brain. J
By listening to uplifting music, such as Pharrell’s famous song “Happy” and a conscious effort to be happy while listening, your mood is enhanced. You can increase this even more by dancing. I put earphones on and just dance in front of a mirror during some mornings (Yes I may be a bit crazy)
One of the most powerful happiness boosters is to help others and do good. Just a small act of selflessness and kindness can have a positive effect on your happiness. Try buying a cup of coffee for a stranger or your colleague, let someone pass in front of you or give some food to the poor.
Social interaction is important. Especially in this era where we hide behind our screens, remember to try spending quality time with people. Even starting a conversation with the postman can have a positive effect.
I invite you to try one of the above each day during 7 days and then repeat for 3 weeks for a long-term happiness boost. Merry Christmas!
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By: Andrea Caprio, CTNC, CCWC