LET’S PLAY THE NAME GAME

CLEO (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

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.

GO BRAZIL­IAN

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.”

BE GRATE­FUL

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.

ART AT­TACK

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!

SELF-CARE CHECK­LIST

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?

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