Residents Corner

Chase Away Stress & Get Happy!

Gemeinsamer Sprung im ParkHave the demands of life got you down? No worries! Reducing stress doesn’t have to be just one more item on your to do list. Here are some fun and scientifically proven mood lifters to help you feel great.

5 Easy Mood Lifters

1) Be Grateful

A grateful heart is so powerful, that it just might be the mother of all happiness boosters! People who intentionally cultivate thankfulness are healthier and happier. Gratitude focuses you beyond yourself and causes you to see the importance of others who have blessed your life. Studies seem to indicate that you can raise your happiness set point by forming a habit of thankfulness. One simple way to nurture an attitude of gratitude is by keeping a journal in which you write down at least 3 things for which you are thankful on a daily basis. Read more about the effects of gratefulness here and here.

2) Laugh

Laughing is no joke! Seriously people, make a point of laughing more and you will feel happier. Science shows that when you laugh your body releases all kinds of hormones associated with pleasure and enjoyment and also boosts immunity and other health factors. So go ahead and goof off, see a funny movie, joke around with friends, or watch your favorite comedian! Crack yourself up because laughter really is the best medicine. So laugh long, laugh loud, and laugh often! Read more about this powerhouse of stress reduction here.

3) Smile

As Buddy says in the movie Elf, “Smiling’s my favorite!” Everyone knows that people smile when they’re happy but smiling to feel happy? Strangely, science indicates that intentionally smiling with your whole face with the kind of smile that makes you squint your eyes, during a difficult experience, somehow reduces the stress hormone cortisol and slows down the heartbeat. So next time you’re feeling agitated, try busting a great big grin! This doesn’t imply that you should live life projecting something false. All we’re saying is this – if you fake a smile in a stressful moment, you will feel better. Read more about that here.

4) Play

There’s a reason why kids are overall happier than adults. They haven’t yet forgotten how to play. They do it instinctively. Playfulness involves looking at the world with a curious and lighthearted attitude, spontaneity, doing something for the sole purpose of enjoyment, or just being silly. There’s no better way to unleash your inner child than to play with a baby or kid that you love! You can find a group to play a favorite sport with, play fetch at the park with your dog, or start a regular game night with friends. If you find a way to be more playful you will be happier and healthier and less stressed. Read more about the benefits of play for adults here and find ideas for ways to be playful here.

5) Sing

You may not have a good voice but who cares! Go ahead a belt out your favorite song in the shower, cut loose at a karaoke night with your pals, or perform with your favorite music artist in the car! When you sing, your body reduces stress hormones and releases endorphins resulting in an increase in overall well-being.

“He who sings scares away his woes.” – Miguel de Cervantes

If you can carry a tune or sing well, you might consider joining a choir or singing group. One study showed the maximum benefits are gained when singing in a group. Read about how singing actually changes your brain for the better here.

So there you have it! Cultivate gratitude, laugh, smile, play and sing! Can you think of any easier ways to feel good and increase your happy quotient? No? Didn’t think so!

(Photo Credit: www.robertkneschke.de via Compfight cc)

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