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…

Woman's World - - Wise Words -

Sniff­ing citrus

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.

Stretch­ing out

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.

En­joy­ing Ru­dolph

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

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