come on, get happy!!!!!!

Published August 27, 2007 by sadistickitten

Boost your omega-3 intake
Improving your mood may just be a matter of increasing the omega-3s in your diet, according to research conducted by Ohio State University. The findings indicate that a diet rich in omega-3s reduces inflammation that's thought to be related to depression among older adults. Including foods such as fish, nuts, and seeds in your regular diet might just put a smile on your face.

Turn down the volume
Noise pollution is not believed to cause mental illness, but it may accelerate and intensify its development, according to the Southern Medical Journal's review of studies linking noise exposure to health problems. Noise was found to evoke responses from participants that ranged from anxiety to exhaustion. So, go ahead, demand some quiet time!

Eat prunes
Dried plums, a.k.a. prunes, contain magnesium, which has been shown to improve mental health. Nutritionists recommend eating nine to ten prunes a day (or taking a 100-milligram magnesium supplement) to improve emotional well-being. Bonus: That magnesium can also help prevent osteoporosis!

Stop buying stuff to feel better
Researchers have found that people who run to get the next pair of designer shoes or the latest must-have gadget wear themselves down and distract their focus from things that are ultimately more meaningful. These are short-term pleasures and will never rid you of the actual baggage you're carrying.

Get into bed
Sexual activity provides emotional bonding with your mate as well as exercise. Studies show that people who climax around 100 times a year live longer than those who don't. That's twice a week! Economists estimate increasing the frequency of sex from once a month to at least once a week provides as much happiness as putting an extra $50,000 into the bank.

Savor each moment
According to a study by Fred B. Bryant, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Loyola University Chicago, “savoring”—thoughts or actions aimed at amplifying positive experiences—may help us achieve greater happiness. For example, savor your vacation time by anticipating it, enjoying it in the moment, and reflecting on it favorably afterward.

Choose an attitude of gratitude
A study by psychologists at the University of California, Davis, found that participants who kept a journal recording five things that they were grateful for over the past week were a full 25 percent happier than the participants who noted five hassles that bothered them. Plus, the grateful group reported fewer health complaints, got more sleep and spent more time exercising.

Learn to love yourself
In a Gallup poll, 85 percent of Americans rated “having a good self-image or self-respect” as very important, but how many of us actually do? People who like and accept themselves generally experience more joy. Researchers also found low self-esteem to be a high risk factor for depression.

Get physical
Psychologists at Duke University found that when treating patients with major depression, a regular dose of exercise helped to manage and improve their symptoms. Exercise has been proven to be a super antidepressant both immediately and over the long term. Keep your psyche fit!

Catch some Z's
So stressed out that you can't sleep a wink? If your insomnia lasts for several weeks, it can increase your chances for developing anxiety disorders and depression, according to a recent study in the journal Sleep. Thirty percent of adults have insomnia, and it's more common in women. Discuss your sleep problems with a specialist or your primary care physician before it begins to affect your mental wellness.

Go easy on yourself
When things get tough, do you roll with the punches or beat yourself up? Duke University researchers found that people who cut themselves some slack were better able to handle life events, such as the loss of a job or death of a relative. Feeling particularly distressed by a situation? To take off some of the pressure, try treating yourself with the same kindness you would show a friend.

Take pursuit of a strong suit
Individuals who capitalize on their “signature strengths,” things that they like and are good at doing, experience more positive emotions and contentment, according to studies by the Positive Psychologist Center. At the end of the day, focus on a positive event. Or engage in an activity that embraces your forte. For instance, if you see yourself as highly creative and articulate, join a poetry club.

Check your blood pressure
Low blood pressure has been associated with depression and anxiety in older adults, according to several recent studies. Hypotension was found to produce psychological discomfort and cognitive decline, which predisposed participants to experiencing depressive symptoms. If you have low blood pressure, ask your doctor about dietary changes or medications you may need to take to better stabilize your blood levels.

Find a rewarding career
A new survey links a career helping people and general happiness in life. It was found that jobs with very high social prestige, like being a doctor or lawyer, don't necessarily lead to career bliss. Clergy ranked the highest in the happiness and satisfaction categories, followed by physical therapists and firefighters.

Don't be a worrywart
According to Alan Carr's Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Human Strengths, it is best for chronic worriers to do something to lessen their anxiety. Don't fret! Calling a friend, exercising, or writing negative thoughts down in a diary can help you get a handle on your troubles.

Eat right
According to the Archives of General Psychiatry, obesity increases your risk of having depression and other mood disorders by 25 percent. Indulge in caring for yourself and your body. Eat nourishing foods and take a multivitamin to increase your confidence and well-being.

Simplify your choices
The University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center found that individuals who tend to check out all the options and scenarios before making any choice—a category called “maximizers”—set themselves up to question their choices and regret their decisions. According to their studies, people report higher rates of satisfaction when they have fewer choices. Go ahead and buy those pants you like—you don't have to try on every option in the mall.

Be a lady of leisure
Leisure activities such as relaxing, resting and eating a good meal can make you feel better in the short term. Even pursing recreational activities such as sports, dancing or listening to music may help you recharge and recollect yourself, according to Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths by C.R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez.

Commit to be kind to others
Remembering the nice things you've done for others may elevate your mood, per new research on subjective happiness. By tracking every act of kindness, people produced more positive motivations, thoughts and actions throughout the course of their day.

Get hitched!
Findings in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior suggest that unhappy people benefit from marriage since it may provide the companionship and emotional support they need. Subjects of the study who married over a five-year span scored an average of 7.56 points lower on the depression scale than those who remained unmarried.

Take compliments to heart
A new university-based study states that people with low self-esteem can help themselves by thoroughly reviewing and taking to heart any compliments from their loved ones. The best way to benefit? Restating to yourself the kind words of others helps capture what the compliment ultimately meant to you.

Go to the source
If it feels like there's more misery in people's lives today than 20 years ago, that's because there is, according to a new study from University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center. The study found that illness, the cost of medical care, mounting bills, unemployment and rocky romantic relationships caused the most distress. Once you know what's making you unhappy, it's easier to work to find a solution.

Don't be a control freak
Learn to go with the flow, rather than trying to control every situation's outcome. One study found that by being more flexible, particKeep it positive
According to the Journal of Personal Relationships, gossiping with your friends is alluring because it establishes in-group and out-group boundaries. But speaking highly of others promotes closeness and increases optimism. Plus, you'll be perceived as more upbeat.
ipants boosted their optimism and coping abilities.

Keep it positive
According to the Journal of Personal Relationships, gossiping with your friends is alluring because it establishes in-group and out-group boundaries. But speaking highly of others promotes closeness and increases optimism. Plus, you'll be perceived as more upbeat.

Put in the effort
Get over the idea that your happiness is at a fixed point. Instead of using your energy to complain, channel it into making life more fulfilling. Oftentimes, unhappiness is a sign that you need to make a change. Take charge of making your life better.

Let the sunshine in
Getting outside when the weather is warm and sunny can boost your mood and memory—and promote creative thinking. Aim for at least 30 minutes of sunlight a day.

Nix your negativity
Learn to use positive language rather than negative. Instead of an instinctive negative reaction of “this is bad,” reframe your thoughts by thinking, “this can be good.” For example, instead of kicking yourself for sleeping in too late, modify your thoughts by thinking that extra sleep will help to power you through the day!

Take a vacay!
Women who take frequent vacations are less likely to become tense, depressed or tired, and are more satisfied with their marriages, according to a recent report in the Wisconsin Medical Journal. One in five women recorded taking a vacation only once within a six-year period, even though taking just one vacation a year was found to vastly improve women's mental health.

Cat nap
Taking a short nap was found to truly be a perkup, according to a recent study. By resting their eyes for a few, participants found their moods improved and they felt more relaxed throughout the day. These results suggest that a brief 20-minute snooze may give your mood a lift.

Sip water
Even mild dehydration can affect your mood. Remember to replenish fluids after you exercise and keep liquids at hand for a constant reminder to stay hydrated. Experts recommend drinking at least eight cups of water daily.

Learn to live with OK
Are you a perfectionist? Your unhealthy expectations may leave you with disappointing results. Try to feel satisfied when you find a “good enough” option, rather than the perfect solution, which might not be out there.

Take a breather
Don't stay cooped up in the house or at the office all day. A quick trip down the street or even around the parking lot will lift your spirits and give you a much-needed energy surge.

Find bliss in vitamin B
Finnish researchers found that high to normal blood levels of vitamin B synthesize serotonin, a brain chemical that's linked to happiness and that most antidepressants boost. Find a multivitamin that includes this substance or look for natural sources in fortified breakfast cereals, dark green vegetables or animal sources such as rainbow trout and lean sirloin beef.

Expand your social circle
According to positive psychologists, sharing yourself with others is the single strongest predictor of level of pleasure. Having friends, family members and others who care for us can go a long way in our ability to deal with daily stressors. Not only do they provide emotional sustenance, they contribute to feelings of being valued by others and a sense of belonging.

Expand your social circle
According to positive psychologists, sharing yourself with others is the single strongest predictor of level of pleasure. Having friends, family members and others who care for us can go a long way in our ability to deal with daily stressors. Not only do they provide emotional sustenance, they contribute to feelings of being valued by others and a sense of belonging.

Turn on an upbeat song
A new study shows that music, through its effect on the brain's natural chemistry, can help regulate moods, arousal levels and even concentration levels. Create your own soundtrack at home to match your desired state of mind.

Visit a more contented country
The first ever “world map of happiness” ranked United States as the 23rd happiest place to live in the world. The top five are Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Iceland and the Bahamas. Statistical data concluded that health, wealth, and education levels had a direct effect on a nation's level of happiness. Denmark ranked number one. Why is being Danish more delightful? The country's inhabitants believe they have a pleasant balance between work and family life, as well as a dynamic economy.

Let yourself laugh
Incorporate laughter into your daily routine, just as you do with other healthy activities such as exercising. Read a humorous book or blog, watch a funny movie or get a joke text-messaged to you daily. People with heart disease are 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease, according to a University of Maryland study—which suggests that a sense of humor may ward of disease.

Call up a coach
If going to a therapist just doesn't feel like you, it may be worth looking into getting a certified “life coach” to get that mental makeover, according to a study in the Journal of Positive Psychology. Coaches use techniques like counseling and mentoring to help clients find balance and a more positive mindset.

Find a refuge
A certain setting or environment can improve your mood. It could be a lake, a quiet trail in the woods or a meditation spot in your own home. Wherever it is, find a locale that brings you some peace of mind, and retreat there when you need it the most.

Forgive and forget!
Don't hold an endless grudge. Forgiveness is a powerful tool that can transform anger or bitterness into a more neutral or positive emotion. Try this exercise: Write a forgiveness letter describing how you feel, what went wrong, and pledging to forgive your transgressor.

Create a web of supporters
The American Journal of Public Health reports that mothers of young children who are stressed out and feel they lack emotional support are at more than three times the risk of developing mental health problems than their well-supported peers. Give yourself a well-deserved break by finding a friend, neighbor, or family member to help you out by taking the kids for an afternoon.

Talk it out
A recent study published in Psychological Science suggests discussing bad feelings makes an individual's sadness and anger feel less intense. Labeling and being mindfully aware of your mood, UCLA psychologists reveal, actually helps you to heal by toning down the activity in your amygdala, the region of the brain that controls emotional response.

Beat the winter blues
The winter blues and its more severe counterpart Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affect about four times as many women as men. Catching the morning sun's rays, avoiding high-sugar foods, and exercising may elevate your serotonin levels and improve your mood.

© Comstock
Nurture your spiritual side
People who attend religious services weekly or more are happier (43 percent say they're “very happy”) than those who attend monthly, occasionally, or never, according to the Pew Research Center. Religion and prayer have been found to uplift individuals, strengthen their core beliefs and values, and increase hopefulness

Upgrade your brain
What did you do today? Nothing? Boredom, lack of interest, and a regular case of the “blahs” are all silent signs of depression. Challenge yourself in these moments by asking: What do I see myself achieving in a year? Commit to taking on something new that will pay off big in the future.

Be happy with what you've got
If you believe that you generally have everything you need, you will desire what others have less. If you learn to be happy with what you have, you don't have to be jealous of other people's lives.

Catch yourself smiling
An ordinary event such as watching your children walk to the bus stop or sipping on a nice cup of hot coffee can bring you joy and shouldn't be overlooked in your life. Rate your mood throughout the day to see what moments make you most happy.

Visit your doc
According to a Pew Research study, 55 percent of people who say their health is poor also report that they are “not too happy.” One theory: The wellness tips your primary care provider suggests can also help your emotional and mental health.

Become a better self-helper
Try out a self-help book for some advice, such as Every Day Matters! How You Can Improve Your Life in 7 Weeks or Less by Dr. Agata Dulnik. Or learn more about positive psychology and measure your happiness level at authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu

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