Your Guide on How to Feel Happier
Now that spring is well and truly in the air, most of us will feel a lifting of that wintry fug that can envelop our mood and make us feel heavy. Positive thinking not only helps us feel instantly better on a basic level, it’s also important for productivity and energy. Here are a few ways to kickstart your happiness if you need a helping hand.
A cold shower can boost your mood
Most of us aren’t quite tough enough to go, ahem, cold turkey with our hot showers right away but once you are brave enough, you’re certain to reap the mood boosting rewards; according to one US study, cold showers were found to have an anti-depressive effect on participants thanks to the way they stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and promote the increase of happy hormones beta-endorphin and noradrenaline in the brain. Two minutes, if you can manage it, is what you should be aiming for daily.
A steady routine is a great pick-me-up
If you’re constantly waking up feeling foggy headed and lethargic, it might be due in part to inconsistent bedtime and wake time routines. Having set wake times is especially important as your body and brain start preparing to wake up around an hour before you actually do. If you have a fixed wake time, your body and brain can prepare accordingly, and you’ll find you start to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Aim for between 7-9 hours consistent sleep a night and judge your wake-up time based on that.
Thinking happy thoughts really works
In case you needed reminding, your brain is one of the most powerful natural tools at your disposal, which means it’s more than possible to think yourself happy. As with many things, repetition is the key here, so begin by leaving yourself notes around the house with affirming mantras that will boost your confidence and, in turn, your positivity.
Up your fibre intake for a healthier mind
A huge proportion of your body’s serotonin is actually made in your gut, so it stands to reason that a healthy gut leads to a healthy, and happy, mind. As adults, we need 30g of fibre a day, a figure many of us fall short of, so make increasing your intake a daily priority. Fill up on fruit and vegetables in their whole forms (including skins where edible) as well as wholegrains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Workshop’s Gut Cleansing Formula is also a great source of fibre to add to your diet.
Walking more helps improve sleep
As well as being a great way to improve digestion, going for a 10-minute walk after you’ve eaten dinner is a good way for your body to wind down and prepare for sleep, which will in turn help improve your mood. When we consistently get poor quality sleep, our mood deteriorates, our motivation to exercise decreases and our cravings for poor quality foods increases.
Why our brain needs quiet time
Although it might feel like we’re hardwired to our devices all day, our brains crave the opposite; it needs downtime away from technology and distractions. When we can snatch moments of calm, the DMN (default mode network) is activated, which is the area in the brain that enables us to solve problems and flex our creative muscle. Try to build it into your routine with 10 tech-free, quiet moments at the start and end of every day.