by Geri Walton ~ December 13th, 2008
Happiness is a key ingredient to total health. In fact, if you suffer from chronic unhappiness, it can weaken your immune system, reduce your coping skills, and limit your success in life. It can also cut your life short and undermine social relationships. So, if you’ve been getting up on the wrong side of the bed, here’s seven tips to reverse the trend.
- Set the Mood. Before your bare tootsies touch the cold floor, take thirty seconds to center yourself. Do this with a full-body stretch and a great big yawn.
- Be Happy. Happiness is something you choose. So, smile, and then smile once more. Research shows action creates emotion. So, the more you smile, the happier you are, not the other way around as is commonly thought.
- Create Your Day. Spend thirty seconds visualizing your day. See it as a success, see yourself as a success, and see the satisification you achieve from your accomplishments.
- Hydrate. Once your up, drink two glasses of fresh water to hydrate your body. Dehydration can result in fatigue, so stay energized with water.
- Splash Water. When I say splash water, I actually mean plunge your face into ice cold water or if you’re not brave enough to do that splash it on your face for thirty seconds. This was Joan Crawford’s beauty secret, so it won’t t just wake you up, it will prevent sags, get your blood moving, and tone and tighten your skin.
- Exercise. Everyone knows exercise is good for you physically, but it also lifts sagging spirits, reduces tension, and beats fatigue. In fact, it helps achieve Calm Energy according to author and acclaimed mood expert Robert Thayer.
- Show Thanks. According to Todd B. Kashdan, PhD, who directs the Laboratory for the Study of Social Anxiety, Character Strengths, and Related Phenomena at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, doing something nice for a stranger or a friend doesn’t benefit the other person as much as it benefits you. You’ll feel better about yourself, which in turn makes you happier.
For further reading on how to improve your mood, read Ten Ways to Achieve an Attitude Adjustment. If you’re into more intense reading, here’s three great mood lifting books:
- Be Happy Without Being Perfect: How to Break Free from the Perfection Deception. Many people feel if everythings not perfect, the world’s a disaster and they’re unhappy. This book by Alice Domar and Alice Lesch Kelly dispels that myth. The authors offer step-by-step techniques to tame the perfectionist beast, and they offer advice on how to set realistic exercise and eating goals.
- Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise. Robert Thayer offers some cutting-edge theories and describes how you can achieve “calm energy.” He also discusses how physical activity is essential to psychological and physical health, and why people resist it.
- Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think. This hands-on book offers a a simple but powerful approach to happiness and is based on sophisticated strategies for coping with depressed and anxious moods.