5 healthy habits that will make you happier
To feel happy doesn’t need to be an unattainable luxury. Our five healthy habits will bring a smile to your face and happiness to your life.
1. Hug each other
Being hugged by our loved ones brings us a sense of safety and contentment. Even a simple touch can work wonders – it offers comfort, support and lifts our spirits when things are tough. When we hug someone, our body starts producing the hormones oxytocin and serotonin. As a result, we feel calmer, our heart rate decreases and we start seeing the world as a better place. All our worries and tensions seem to disappear for a moment. The hormones can even act as painkillers, so being hugged by our loved ones can bring relief from migraine or premenstrual syndrome.
Look for opportunities to come into physical contact with people you feel happy and comfortable with. Embrace your friend you haven’t seen for ages. Give your kids a welcome hug when they get home from school. Gently stroke your partner when he is telling you about his successes. You will see how quickly this will lift your mood and how much the sense of closeness and sharing will improve the quality of your relationships.
2. A colourful and varied diet
Why is it worth paying attention to how colourful your diet is and not just to what nutrients it contains? Different colours have different effects on our mental health. A particular colour often indicates the presence of certain substances that will impact on the body from within. Which colours should definitely find their way onto your plate?
- Red, the colour of passion, gives rise to strong emotions in us. Lycopene, which is responsible for the red colour in foods like tomatoes and watermelons, has antioxidant properties, it reduces the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood and relieves pain. If you are not feeling well, reach out for some strawberries or a red pepper.
- Orange and yellow help lift our mood. Orange fruits, such as citrus fruits, are packed with vitamin C that boosts our immunity and slows down the ageing of the cells and other structures in the body. Carotenoids in general protect our blood vessels and lutein (yellow carotenoid) contributes to the sharpness of our vision.
- Green, the colour of nature, soothes our mind and brings about pleasant feelings. Chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants, keeps our microbiome healthy, it helps cleanse the liver and kidneys and it boosts red blood cell production. To induce some lovely thoughts in your mind, treat yourself to some broccoli, salad or avocado.
- Surprisingly, even the cold blue has many health benefits. Blue fruits, such as plums or blueberries, can protect us against obesity, cancer and viruses thanks to the presence of anthocyanin.
3. Bring good vibes into your space
Have you ever walked into a café or a shop and for no apparent reason you felt a sense of unease? The impact our environment has on us is often underestimated. Try to turn the places where you spend a lot time into a relaxing and pleasant environment.
Adorn your home with beautiful furniture, your favourite pictures or photos and other knick-knacks that will bring you joy, be it wooden cat sculptures, pebbles collected on your holiday or your cactus collection.
Decorate your office with holiday photos, inspirational quotes or your favourite plants. Even places like the kitchen or bathroom should not be left out. A new set of towels or tea towels in pleasant colours will add much better vibes to your home than the old torn ones.
4. Start a happiness journal
Almost everybody kept a diary as kids. Not sure if this is still a good idea now you are an adult? We are not telling you to record every minute detail of your daily life. The fact that you have been filing contracts all day and had a chicken steak for lunch is hardly going to be of any interest to you in a year’s time. But how about putting down some nice moments you have experienced during the day?
Try one of our tips:
- Write down three things that went well today.
- Write down three things for which you feel grateful today.
- Record the best moment of your day.
This will take just five minutes during which you will be focusing on positive emotions. We have a natural tendency to pay more attention to our negative experiences and sometimes give these experiences too much of our thinking time. By recording pleasant moments and emotions you will be able to slowly break this habit and develop the capacity to fully embrace the moments of happiness.
5. Spread joy around you
Shared joy is double joy. It’s really simple to make those around you happier – through small acts of kindness.
Make your boyfriend his favourite cake. A little fluffy toy is bound to put a smile on your youngest one’s face. Bring your girlfriend a bunch of colourful tulips. Take your friend out for a coffee after a hard day in the office. No special occasion needed, do it because you simply care for them.
Author: Andrea Skolková
Photos: Mason Hassoun on Unsplash, KetoDiet
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