LET’S PLAY THE NAME GAME
Celebs can get a little weird when it comes to baby names. We have the proof!
WHETHER YOU’RE AFTER A QUICK HAPPINESS FIX OR A LONG-TERM ATTITUDE OVERHAUL, THESE TIPS AND TRICKS WILL IMPROVE EVEN THE DARKEST MOOD. BY EDWINA CARR
IF YOU’VE GOT....
...10 SECONDS SNIFF A DUDE
Slightly creepy, don’t you think? Hell yes, but we swear it’s scientifically proven – a US study has shown that a man’s scent can reduce tension and lift a woman’s mood. The active pheromones in his sweat can even boost the hormones responsible for triggering sex drive and ovulation. A sniff of eau de male, anyone?
LOVE THY STRANGER
Next time you’re standing in a line of grumpy people waiting for the bus, smile and acknowledge the person next to you. “When we act in a friendly and positive way, we can’t help but feel positive ourselves,” explains life coach Julie Landers (lifefocusplus.com).
...1 MINUTE GET POSITIVE
Before you start your busy day, look in the mirror and point out the good things
in your life. “Tell yourself a positive affirmation such as, ‘Today is going to be a good day and tomorrow is looking even better’. Positive affirmations can reverse negative self-talk and set you up for a great day,” says Landers.
If your anxiety levels are off the Richter scale, throw a few Brazil nuts in your mouth and get chewing. As well as the yum factor, they provide a huge hit of the micronutrient selenium, which has been shown to improve mood and decrease anxiousness.
...1 HOUR A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
According to Sydney psychologist and yoga teacher Melissa Podmore (vibrantpsychologyandyoga. com.au), we subconsciously breathe shallowly when we’re frantically working at our desks. “Breathing is one thing you can easily work on to help reduce bad mood or stress,” Podmore explains. “Start off by taking three big breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then take 10 big breaths down into your belly rather than your chest, which is where we breathe if we’re anxious. Do this intermittently for an hour to improve your mood.”
Grab a pen and notepad, and start jotting down the things you are grateful for. “The practice of gratitude has been shown to improve happiness and health in many studies. By focusing more on what we have and less on what we don’t have, we’re more appreciative and happier,” says Dr. Timothy Sharp from The Happiness Institute (thehappinessinstitute.com).
...1 DAY BANISH SOCIAL MEDIA
When you’re constantly distracted by emails, texts and social media, it can feel like there’s no time or space to get your work done. Prioritise the work you need to complete and ban distractions for One. Whole. Day. You’ll be amazed by how much you achieve when you’re not aimlessly Face-stalking.
Want to try something new on the weekend? Head to your closest art gallery and check out the works on show. Not only will it give you cultural bragging rights but the smart peeps at University College London found that taking in art is a natural way to de-stress and trigger pleasure responses in your brain.
...1 WEEK WALK YOURSELF HAPPY
Commit to a 30-minute morning walk every day for one week. Not only will you feel fresh and ready to tackle your day afterwards but studies have shown that exercising for half an hour each day can seriously reduce your stress levels. When you’ve completed the week, see if you can continue daily exercise for another!
Take one week to review how you look after your body in terms of nutrition, exercise and stress reduction because the trio can radically affect your mood. “Reduce sugar and alcohol, and be sure to have plenty of complex carbohydrates because carbs keep cortisol – a stress hormone – down,” recommends Podmore. “Add exercise, like walking or swimming, to your routine to help you sleep, and think about the positives in your life. Experiment with this self-care for a week and you’ll see some light in what might be a dark situation.”
...1 MONTH AIM HIGH
Set a goal to achieve. It might be trying a new hairstyle every day or researching and starting a share portfolio – just stick to it. “The process of working on something meaningful is happinessboosting but so is the experience of achievement and accomplishment when we reach that goal,” says Dr. Sharp.
TAKE THE PLUNGE
Been talking about taking dance classes but never game enough to take the risk? It’s time to commit! “Starting a new month by signing up for an activity that has been on your wish list will give you something creative to put your energy into. It’s great for your mood because you’ll be surrounded by positive people sharing your interest,” says Landers. What are you waiting for?