Had a bad day or feel down in the dumps? Tired of trying to think yourself out of your bad mood all to no avail? Check out these 7 scientifically proven ways to be happier.
Although we’ve all heard it a million times, exercise is truly one of the easiest ways to a better mood–even if it’s only temporary. Getting your blood moving and your heart rate up naturally releases loads of endorphins in your brain–triggering chemicals that can’t help but make you happy.
When we’re tired, we can’t think or function properly. Being unable to process emotion in a productive manner prevents us from full enjoyment of life’s activities. Even if we profess not to know the difference, the truth is, at the end of the day, being well rested changes everything. After having enough sleep, we have the energy to attack whatever work or life throws at us.
3. Listen to music
A subconscious mood-shifter, music is often one of the most underrated forms of catharsis we have within reach. When feeling down, put on an upbeat song–ideally one with a cheerful melody in a major key. Your body will naturally tap into the song’s quick rhythm, bouncing along the beat even if you don’t realize it, and your mood will naturally lift.
4. Write it out
Journaling can be one of the most cathartic activities for many people. Sometimes, processing a negative event–or even just a negative feeling–is very difficult without a way to organize your thoughts. Writing them down gives you the space to take care of such compartmentalization on your own when you turn abstract emotion into concrete words.
5. Find someone happy
Scientific studies have shown that surrounding yourself with positive vibes and happy people inevitably lead you to feeling happier yourself. Happiness, as it turns out, is indeed contagious. Take advantage of this fact.
6. Care for yourself
Often, in times of stress or emotional duress, we find it really easy to let ourselves go. Taking 30 minutes to an hour a day just to focus on caring for yourself, in whatever capacity that is, has been proven to do wonders for how you feel about your own body and soul. So, take care of yourself and watch your mood skyrocket.
7. Get outside
Sometimes, returning to our roots is truly all we need to do. It has been proven that living near nature, or even just looking at images of natural scenes, has been associated with overall better health. Placing ourselves in calm, serene places–both mentally and physically–naturally lower stress levels, leaving us more refreshed, calm, and collected than when we began.
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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Published on: Apr 7, 2016