Feeling a little down of late? Try one tip a day for the week and see how it changes you for the better:
Applaud your efforts
Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson once said that the brain is like Velcro for the negative and Teflon for the positive. Very often, we’re our own toughest critics and we tend to concentrate on our shortcomings – and that creates negative energy. So instead of wallowing in disappointment or a mistake, take a moment to acknowledge how far you’ve come and give yourself a pat on the back once in a while.
Send a love text
Or rather, a love text. It’s important to validate the special people in our lives, and this small act can go a long way to pull you closer as a couple. Share a love quote, send a cute image or even post a #throwback picture of a memorable moment on Instagram. Whichever it is, it’s sure to bring a smile to your loved one’s face and make them happier as well.
Limit email time
Most of us check our email even before we get into the office and also after work, not forgetting sick days and when we’re on leave. What we don’t realise is that very often an email can shift our mood. So here’s a suggestion: deactivate email notifications on your phone, so you won’t get distracted by the all-too-familiar buzz.
“Research shows 85 per cent of the things worriers fret about have a neutral or positive outcome,” says psychologist Dr Robert L. Leahy in his book The Worry Cure. Of course, it’s easier said than done. So, the next time you find yourself getting the jitters or feeling anxious over something, make yourself a hot drink, sit down, and think of similar or worse situations that you’ve managed to overcome.
Eat magnesium-rich foods
Magnesium is very important in the development of serotonin, a major hormone that helps regulate emotions and contribute to feeling happier. Some studies have even linked magnesium to the treatment of depression, as magnesium deficiency can cause irritability, fatigue, mental confusion and a predisposition to stress. So don’t deprive your body – nuts like almonds and cashews, bananas, spinach, and avocados are all great natural sources of magnesium.
Get in the zone
One of the best ways to get into a state of complete immersion is to engage in something that you enjoy, one which requires a degree of skill and concentration. It should be just enough of a challenge so you can feel ‘lost’ in it, losing all sense of time. Such activities include hiking, rock climbing, or even fixing a jigsaw puzzle.
Do something you enjoy every day
This doesn’t have to involve a big gesture. Have fun doing small things such as singing out loud in the car, taking a bubble bath, contributing to a personal project, baking your favourite cake, reading a magazine, or anything else that just makes you happier. Doing something for yourself at least once a day boosts those feel-good hormones regularly.
* This article first appeared in Her World March 2016 and was written by Carmen Chow