Eight Easy Ways to Feel Happier

Author: JD Hopoes

Feeling happy doesn't require a lot of money or a drastic change in your life style. There are several simple tips from realsimple.com that can lift your spirits easier than you might imagine. Try them and see!

Remember your roots- Reminiscing about the past and the people in it can be a powerful thing. When you swap stories about the 'worst blind date of your life' or the amazing cross-country trip with others, you see yourself in a more positive light and form tighter bonds. And go ahead and hold on to some of those treasures you've acquired from grandparents and old aunts that remind you of where you came from.

Cool down - "Most people equate happiness with a sultry Caribbean beach, but a snowy mountain in Colorado may be more accurate. It turns out that cold temperatures can improve your mood. (Good news at this time of year.) Researchers at the University of Michigan discovered that blowing cold air up participants' noses put them in a better frame of mind than did blasts of hot air. So if you need a boost, dial down the thermostat."

Don't dwell - Pondering past failures can be tempting if you feel you're gaining insights or finding answers, but over time this behavior may lead to feelings of helplessness. As a result of obsessing, you lose confidence and feel unhappy. So instead of going over something again and again, distract yourself with a puzzle, a good book, or a game.

Spread the wealth - Studies show that giving away money can make you happier than spending it on yourself. The same may also be true of buying things for others rather than yourself. Try picking up a treat for a friend that you would normally buy for yourself. At a restaurant, tip generously if you can. The payoff will stay with you.

Snack time, 2:00 p.m. - That's the time when levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates moods, can take a nosedive, according to Eric Braverman, a physician in New York City and the author of The Edge Effect (Sterling, $13, amazon.com). Ideally, choose something that contains mood-boosting nutritionals, like B vitamins and complex carbohydrates (try whole grains).

Get a move on - For some people, high-intensity exercise three times a week for 30 minutes can provide amazing benefits. Try signing up for a gym membership to help you get in the routine of working out. Research suggests that during that half hour of exercise, the human body can increase the production of a protein factor which can have an antidepressant effect. Yoga seems to have additional calming and contented effects on both the brain and the parasympathetic nervous system.

Start baking - Or learn to hula. Or join a quilting bee. Find something that requires 100 percent of your attention while you're engaged in it. You'll be motivated and focused, feelings that promote happiness.

Make your bed - "When I was researching my book on happiness, this was the number one most impactful change that people brought up over and over," says author Gretchen Rubin. It turns out that people are happier when everyday tasks in their lives are completed routinely. If hospital corners don't do it for you, look for other small ways to make your life more efficient and pleasant. Do something that will stay with you: hanging a key hook in your entryway, finally moving your banking online, putting a halt to your persistent tardiness.

There are many ways to let more happiness into your life. Try them out - you'll be happy you did!


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