Friday - - Living -

Sci­en­tists from Mind­lab In­ter­na­tional call it the ‘helper’s halo’ ef­fect – but it doesn’t have to be any­thing big. Treat­ing some­one to a cup of tea, giv­ing up your seat on the Metro, tak­ing an el­derly neigh­bour a home­made pie – they all in­crease pos­i­tiv­ity and re­duce stress lev­els. Want to take it fur­ther? Vol­un­teer­ing boosts hap­pi­ness be­cause it makes us feel em­pa­thy and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what we al­ready have.


Recog­nised as our most pow­er­ful sense, smell evokes mem­o­ries and emo­tions, and good smells lower heart rate and re­duce stress, ac­cord­ing to re­search by Dr Nick La­vidis, a neu­ro­sci­en­tist at the Univer­sity of Queens­land, Aus­tralia. He found that the scent of freshly cut grass can make us feel good, for in­stance, be­cause the odours and chem­i­cals re­leased by crushed plants pos­i­tively af­fect the part of the brain that man­ages stress.


Re­searchers at the UK’s Open Univer­sity found that look­ing at per­sonal photographs made peo­ple feel 11 per cent hap­pier than eat­ing choco­late as com­fort food (hon­estly!), which in com­par­i­son left peo­ple’s mood un­changed. And rather than put all the pho­tos away again, why not cre­ate a screen­saver or a col­lage of your favourite shots, a sim­ple way to lose your­self for a few mo­ments when­ever you need to?


Turn your bed­room into an oa­sis of calm: tidy it up, light a scented can­dle, play calm­ing mu­sic or ‘spa sounds’, and not least, change the bed: fresh, clean sheets give us an enor­mous sense of well-be­ing and com­fort. Fol­low that up with a re­lax­ing bath or shower to

Here are some ways Dubai res­i­dents get over a bad day:

Pree, Dubai Ma­rina

Susie, Ara­bian Ranches

He­len, Jumeirah Beach Res­i­dences


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