We can’t control the negative external factors that affect our mood, but we can always strive to look on the positive side and give ourselves a little lovin’ to steer our day back on the right path. Here are 7 easy practices that will give you an instant flurry of joy!
1. Get Some Sunshine
Ever wondered why it feels so good to be bathed under the warmth of sunlight? Well, it’s because sunlight triggers the release of a hormone called Serotonin, associated with uplifting one’s mood and inducing a sense of calm. However, you don’t need to be fully exposed under the glaring sun and heat to feel its benefits. If you’re at work, you can opt to position yourself in an area where there is a lot of natural window light, while still staying comfortably cool from the air-conditioning system. Alternatively, take a 5-minute walk out in the sun to destress or partake in weekly morning walks with these 6 beginner-friendly walking trails. Just remember to lather on some sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and bring along your Thermos® Tumbler for hydration!
2. A Warm Hug
Seriously, we should all have a designated hug buddy. A hug increases the feeling of safety and security, it relaxes tension, lowers stress levels and induces calmness. When we hug someone that we love, the oxytocin level (a warm, fuzzy hormone that promotes the feeling of being loved) rises. You’ll often feel less stressed, less alone and way more relieved than before. So when in doubt, just hug it out!
3. Eating Right
They say you are what you eat - so if you want to be happy (and healthy), you will need to eat food that induces happiness from the inside out! Some of these ingredients are:
Salmon (or other fatty fish). Fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and is said to regulate hormonal stress and ease mood swings. Here are a Smoked Salmon recipe and Salmon and Turnip Milk Stew recipe for you to try.
Mushrooms contain chock full of Vitamin D and are key to converting hormonal chemicals in your body to serotonin (much like what you get from being exposed to sunlight). All will be well with this Sesame Mushroom and Chicken Rice dish or Bacon Shimeji Mushroom Rice.
Dark chocolate of at least 70% cocoa makes not just a delicious treat but is especially helpful with raising your endorphin level as well. Try making a hearty Dark Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl for your breakfast!
4. Instant Gratification
When you are feeling down, you want to find a quick fix. This means that you can treat yourself to your favourite guilty pleasure (eating snacks, having a shopping spree, taking a nap or more). Those might be great but have you experienced the fulfilling gratification of carrying out a selfless act? It can be as simple as donating to charity, buying food for your neighbours, or volunteering. A word of caution: don’t utilise this platform as a one-off thing to feel good about yourself. Instead, we encourage you to incorporate it into your lifestyle and develop genuine happiness through helping others!
5. Work Up A Sweat
Exercising increases your endorphin levels, a naturally-occurring chemical that makes you feel good. It also reduces your hormonal stress levels, while inducing adrenaline to stimulate your body to be more active. You will feel more revitalised, energetic, less tense and ready for the next challenge.
Exercising also comes in many forms, so you can opt for a quick stretch or stroll, one that targets a specific body part (like this tummy-toner workout) or a time-efficient one that you can fit in during your lunch break! Nothing feels better than sweating all the negativity out.
6. Just Laugh
Happiness is contagious, so surround yourself with anything or anyone that brings you joy and positive vibes. It can be hanging out with a particular group of friends, or simply taking the time to make yourself laugh. Read a comic, watch a comedy show (google videos of local comedians like Kumar, Fakkah Fuzz and Jinx Yeo) - show off your pearly whites and immerse yourself with lots of laughter to make your days much more joyful.
It is alright to cry, especially when you are overwhelmed with unpleasant emotions that may have been built up for a while. Sometimes you just need a release from the moment. In fact, crying helps to alleviate stress, balances one’s hormones and is a natural human coping mechanism. It is also known to restore a sense of calmness and boost the mood of oneself. Just remember to pick yourself up, smile and move on with more determination to conquer your present obstacles!