Urlifestyle Magazine October 2016 October 2016 - Page 32

Nix Six Get Happy Fixes By Nicole Morrison-Mathern Co-owner, URL Radio As the season of winter creeps upon us, and the hours of daylight start to dwindle so can our moods. Get a head start in preventing those winter blues by implementing these six happy fix suggestions. 1. Exercise * Exercise will help you relax & increase brain power. People who exercise feel better about their bodies even when there’s no physical change. * Physical activity helps our bodies produce diseasefighting proteins called antibodies, and our brain releases endorphins. Antibodies boost happiness by keeping illness at bay, and endorphins are feel-good chemicals that improve your mood while promoting feelings of euphoria. Many studies show that as we age, we’re constantly losing our stores of dopamine which is why we need to constantly seek experiences that release it such as exercise. * Shawn Achor, Harvard researcher & author, found during a study of depressed individuals that after 10 months the participants who exercised for at least 10 min. per day were shown to have far lower risk of relapse than those who took antidepressants. * There’s an app called the 7 min. workout. I try to do it on the days I know I won’t get to the gym or won’t be working a flight so I know I will at least get a few minutes 3. Get outside * Shawn Achor states that spending at least 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosts positive mood, but broadens thinking and improves working memory. * The American Meteorological Society published research in 2011 that found that current temps have a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind and humidity. They also found that your happiness is maximized at 57 degrees. * Even just looking at images of nature scenes can stimulate the parts of your brain associated with happiness, positivity and emotional stability. So bust out those vacation pictures and frame them or make them your screensaver. * Sunlight exposes us to Vitamin D – low levels of this nutrient have been linked to depression – so soak up that sun. 3.Listen to music *Neurological studies of music on the brain seem to indicate we are hardwired to interpret and react emotionally to a piece of music. 2. Time with friends & family * Staying in touch with friends & family is one of the top 5 regrets of the dying according to palliative nurse Bonnie Ware who kept track of her patients dying regrets. * A study by the Journal of Socio-Economics states that your relationships are worth more than $100,000/year in terms of life satisfaction. * The Terman study found that a clear benefit of social relationships comes from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live longer. * John & Paul knew what they were saying when they wrote “With a Little Help from my Friends” One study found that as early as five months old babies reacted to happy songs, while by nine months old they recognized and were affected by sad songs (source LiveScience). *Fast tempo songs written in a major key, can cause a person to breathe faster, a physical sign of happiness. It has also been found to boost the immune system of patients after surgeries, lower stress in pregnant women and decrease blood pressure and heart rate in cardiac patients (source Lloyd, Wiley-Blackwell) *Just try to even be crabby when you are listening to your favorite music. Jamming out helps reduce stress. Be sure to tune in to www.urlradio.net – the best source of get happy music! *Listening to music with the goal to become happier may do exactly that. Just be sure to pull out all of those sappy love songs that remind you of your ex from your mp3 player. 4.Practice Gratitude *Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. * Two college psychologists Emmons, U of CA & McCullough, U of Miami did a study where they had two groups of people write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics. One group wrote about the things they were grateful for that occurred that week, and the second group wrote about daily irritations or things that displeased them. After 10 weeks those that wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation. *Keep a journal of things that make you grateful – try to write down at least three things each day you are grateful for. My boys and I use to write down at least one thing every day that we were thankful for. It was always fun to look back at them. Some days it was something as little as “we got to learn about monkeys in school today.” To big things like “mom’s biopsy came back negative”. * Write those thank you notes you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s a thank you for a present, job interview or for being a friend – the act of writing it will instantly make you feel better. 5.Essential Oils – * More than any other sense, your sense of smell has the abi ]H[\Y[[ܚY\X\HܛX[[[ۋ[[H[ YH\[X[[]\X\\\X]YBۈ[[X\B\\[ۈ [Y]H\N\[[ ][\ \BYKTHXX[H\B[[Y]\\[[\[YY\X\HXYHXYX[H܈[[[[Y[ Y[H[ZHX\[ܙBX][\]^H\\&\X]H˛^Y\KKš\] Hx&[H\Hx&YݙB\]][HX][قZ\[Y]˂[H[Y\H[KX\YH[K[[H[K[[H[][]H[[HY[x&YZH [YBو[H[]^JK‚