Two minutes to lift your mood

You don’t need big changes to lift your mood. Turn around your hectic day in a jiffy with a few quick tricks…

When you are feeling down, pick your childhood albums or take out your kids’ baby albums. It may actually make you feel happier than a square of chocolate. Researchers at UK’s Open University found this after they examined how much people’s moods rose after looking at personal photos. The study says viewing your old or new happy pictures makes people feel 11% better.

Fill your indoor space with vanilla or lavender essence. In an Austrian study, researchers wafted the smell of lavender for people. The group felt less anxious, more positive, and calmer when compared with participants not exposed to any fragrance.

To feel happy in seconds, let sunlight stream in. One study of more than 450 women found that those who got the most light, particularly in the morning, reported better mood. Combine exercise with morning light. The exposure amplifies light’s beneficial effects on mood, sleep, and alertness.

A hearty laugh produces a chemical reaction that instantly elevates your mood. When stress builds up or you feel you may snap, make yourself giggle: Watch a funny video clip online.

Yes, this is therapy. According to Andrew Weil, MD, an integrative medicine expert, after a particularly emotional and stressful day, the act of chopping vegetables creates something wonderful – this process neutralises the negative mental state in no time.

The act of massaging your hands with oil or cream and rubbing them instantly lifts your mood. Hands and wrists have your pulse points. Happiness is just a tight squeeze away. According to Matt Hertenstein, associate professor of psychology, DePauw University (Indiana, US), even 10 minutes with a massage therapist (or a generous friend) will light up your brain’s reward centre, get the oxytocin flowing, and have a big effect on your mood, not to mention help relieve aches and pains. Most scientists think that even self-massage, like rubbing your own feet, can rid you of negative emotions.

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