We’re all susceptible to bouts of misery or times where we just don’t feel our best. This is especially the case in midlife, where the ‘happiness U-curve’ reaches it’s plateau and the menopause begins. But there are some pretty easy ways we can boost happiness, see below our top tips!
1. Cuddles with a furry friend
If you have a pet, you will be able to tell those who don’t how lovely it feels to receive their unrequested love. Also, it has been scientifically proven that having a pet can increase your overall wellbeing.
2. Take a stroll
Did you know that walking as though you are happy, even though you might not be, can make a huge difference? Next time you’re walking down the street, push your shoulders back, lift your chin up, puff your chest out and see for yourself, whether this type of walking can make a difference.
3. Be thankful
Pay attention to the moment and where you are right now. Give thanks for all that you have in your life today. Is there food in your fridge, is there clothes you can wear, a roof over your head and place to sleep? If so, you’re richer than 75% of this world. Be grateful for all the people and things present in your life and focus on all things positive.
In 2014 the charity, “Action for Happiness” carried out of a survey of 5,000 people in which they discovered that almost half of the people would rate themselves as five or less out of 10 when asked: “How often are you kind to yourself and think you’re fine as you are?” If at any point you find yourself putting yourself down, switch it around and think about something you value about yourself instead.
4. Choose your colours wisely
Particular colours have been known to have varying effects on a individuals mood. While black may influence feelings of sadness and red may suggest a feeling of anger. Furthermore, green has been found to inspire calmness, happiness and comfort.
5. Listen to music
When you listen to music that’s more uptempo. It tends to have a positive correlation with improving a person’s state of mind. In 2013, the University of Missouri carried out a study in which participants who were trying to feel happier stated that their mood had improved after listening to upbeat tunes. So, from now on, when you are feeling down, choose Pharrell Williams over a melody by James Blunt.
6. Surround yourself with appealing aromas
Never misjudge how strong your senses can be. Carefully choosing the fragrances that you want to surround yourself with can have a wow effect on your mood levels. According to research published in the journal “Chemical Senses”, certain aromas have been known to reduce stress and make people feel physically and mentally relaxed.
7. Make time for exercise
Trying to juggle school runs with work and cooking for the family and cleaning at home as well as exercise is no easy task. However, did you know that working out could actually make you feel far happier as your body releases endorphins that trigger positive feelings in the body? However, you don’t need to run marathons to achieve the mental benefits of physical activity. Doing as little as 10 minutes a day or allocating on whole day a week for a solid workout can make a massive difference to your mood.
This may sound obvious, but smiling can actually benefit your mood. Scientists from the University of Kansas conducted a study in which they assessed the impact of smiling on one’s physical and mental state, coming to the conclusion that making yourself smile can help lower your heart rate during stressful activities.
9. Finally, ensure you get enough sleep
Adults typically require 7 to 8 hours of quality rest. If you get less than that or simply get interrupted sleep, both mind and body are affected and memory and good judgement will suffer.
If you’re at a stage where your mood is constantly low and it’s affecting your health, consult your GP.