"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."
-Henry David Thoreau
- Be Curious - The key is to engage in activities outside your comfort zone.
- Give Thanks - Expressing gratitude has been shown in numerous studies to improve mood.
- Don't Dwell - Ruminating lengthens period of depression....distract yourself : go for a run, get a manicure or play with your dog.
- Talk to Strangers - It's a strong social norm to be cheerful around strangers, and when we act that way, we begin to feel that way.
- Do A Good Thing - The Dalai Lama preaches that if you want to be happy, practice compassion. Doing something nice for someone, even if it's small, enhances mood.
- Work Out - Even a brisk 5 to 10 minute walk will benefit your mood.
- Breathe Deep - Deep breathing from your belly, increases levels of GABA (a neurotransmitter associated with happy, calm feelings) and lowers levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.
- Go Fishing - Eating fish with Omega-3s has powerful effects on brain function and mood.
- Enjoy Fats - The best mood enhancers: monosaturated fats (avocado, olive oil & nuts).
- Add Background Music - Music can affect the pleasure center of the brain...the positive effect can last even after the music is over.
- Take A Whiff - Smelling any scent that appeals to you can enhance your mood.
I'm going to give these a try and see if my happy butterfly quietly lands on my shoulder.