Whether you have a coworker who never fails to bring you down, are going through a breakup, or are dealing with something more serious, most people can benefit from a little happiness boost. If you’re suffering from serious depression or lonliness, nothing beats talking to your doctor, but if what you’re feeling is more of a dip in your usual mood, here are some things you can do to get back to your happy place.
1. Fill up on complex carbs.
It’s true, you are what you eat. If you just got dumped, the instinct is to raid the corner store for some mac-and-cheese and easy-bake brownies, but scientifically speaking, it’s just going to make you feel worse. Foods like white bread, pasta and fats cause your blood level to rise and then drastically drop – not a good feeling. But if you fill yourself up with veggies, brown rice and whole grain foods, the nutrients will be absorbed slower, so you won’t get those crazy highs and lows.
2. Drink Ginseng tea.
This natural herb releases endorphins in your brain while the act of sipping tea will add some peace into your life. According to naturalsociety.com, Ginseng was used to treat people with schizophrenia back in the 6th century and naturists are still using it to help lift moods. If your job is stressing you out, keep some Gingseng tea handy and you’ll feel a little less wound-up.
3. Fill your morning commute playlist with upbeat songs.
If you’re listening to Radiohead or some new Brooklyn band with depressing lyrics, stop. A study conducted at the University of Missouri found that if you listen to happy, upbeat music with the intention in mind of making yourself feel happier, it can actually work. The key is the mindset. Those who participated in the study and listened to upbeat music without having a purpose really just felt the same.
4. Work out with a friend.
It’s pretty common knowledge that excersing is a great way to get those endorphins pumpling, but what many don’t know is that the effect compounds when you work out with a friend or in a group fitness class, according to a study done by the University of Oxford. Researchers found people working as a team were happier after exercising than people working out solo.
5. Do something creative.
Whether it’s writing, painting, playing an instrument or dancing, embracing your creative side has been shown to lift you mood, a study conducted by Boston College found. If you aren’t into that sort of thing, try journaling instead – it had the same results. One way to journal if you aren’t a writer is to keep a gratitude journal. Every night, list five things you are worried about and five things you are thankful for. In a couple months, you’ll be able to flip back and see that some of your worries later land on the thankful side.
6. Fake it ’til you make it.
Studies have shown that it’s beneficial to have people in your life you can tell your problems to, but there’s also something to be said for faking it. “We become how we act,” says Christopher Peterson, PhD and author of “A Primer In Positive Psychology,” says Health magazine. Put on clothes that you feel confident in, smile when you don’t feel like it, laugh at jokes that aren’t all that funny and soon you’ll be able to stop faking it because you’ll actually be as happy as your acting.