Break free from a Scrooge mood—stat!
Is your party schedule making you more meh than merry? Socializing depletes your brain’s stores of calming chemicals. Banish the bah-humbugs by…
Oranges, grapefruits, limes… taking a 20-second break to enjoy the sweet-tart scent of citrus could help you feel 45% calmer, happier and more energized— even if you don’t eat the fruit, suggests research in the journal Physiology & Behavior. Explains study co-author Peter Walla, PH.D., citrus’ aromatic oils boost brain chemicals.
Sipping green tea
Most green tea contains caffeine, so how did it become the go-to brew to cultivate calm? Japanese researchers say green tea brims with a compound that is a key building block of the mood-steadying brain chemical GABA. No wonder studies show sipping three mugs of green tea daily leads to a 53% drop in stress and anxiety in just two days! Don’t love the taste of green tea? You can get the same level of Zen by taking a 500-mg. GABA supplement daily. One to try: Now Foods GABA (Now-2-u.com). Note: Check with your doctor before taking supplements.
Take five minutes three times daily to do relaxing stretches— like toe touches and shoulder shrugs— and you’ll boost your mood by 27% within 48 hours. Boston University researchers say stretching stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system— a branch of nerves that signals your brain to make more calming chemicals.
Cue up Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer— the most popular holiday show of all time!—and your blah mood could disappear before the special is over. University of Pennsylvania researchers say focusing on a classic kick-starts the production of the mood-boosting hormone oxytocin. —Brenda Kearns