Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bye Bye Moody, Welcome Cheery

Last week was one of my saddest weeks in life. Some may label sadness as negative outlet of emotion, I take comfort in this Arabic proverb, which says that “Sad are only those who understand” and Carl Gustav Jung thinks that “the word “happiness” would lose its meaning if it was not balanced by sadness”.

However, we all need to bounce back, as fast as we can, for (prolonged) “anger, tears and sadness are only those who have given up”. I don't think we should give up hopes, amongst others, hopes for "Justice for Adik Beng Hock".

I’d like to share 13 you-lift-me-up tips (in 2 minutes or less), which I found on MSN.com. I must say they really work. So, why don’t we start... now?


“According to happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., of the University of California, Riverside, life circumstances account for only 10 percent of happiness. Half depends on our genetic “set point,” which is kind of like the weight our body bounces back to after that crash diet. And about 40 percent of our happiness is influenced by what we do deliberately to make ourselves happy”.

1. Flip Through Old Photos

When you’re feeling down, break out your kids’ baby albums or pics from your favorite vacation. It may actually make you feel happier than a square of Godiva chocolate would!

2. Munch on Nuts

For a mood-lifting snack, stash walnuts in your desk drawer. Or sneak salmon into your salad for lunch. They’re both packed with omega-3 fats, which may make people less prone to depression—and easier to get along with, say researchers from the University of Pittsburgh.

3. Inhale a Calming Scent

Fill your office with a fragrant candle or diffuser to calm down during a deadline-packed day. In an Austrian study, researchers wafted the smell of oranges before some participants and lavender before others. The two groups felt less anxious, more positive, and calmer when compared with participants who were exposed no fragrance at all.

4. Open Your Shades

To feel happier in seconds, let the sunlight stream in when you first wake up. One study of more than 450 women found that those who got the most light, particularly in the morning, reported better moods and sleep. Got more time? Eat breakfast near a window that gets plenty of daylight, and put exercise equipment near a bright view. Some researchers speculate that combining exercise with morning light exposure may amplify light’s beneficial effects on mood, sleep, and alertness, says Anthony Levitt, M.D., a University of Toronto light researcher.

5. Walk around the Block

If you work in a windowless office, make sure you step out to see the sun a few times throughout the day. “A couple of studies show that people who get more light exposure during the day have fewer sleep problems and less depression, and evidence suggests that light can keep you alert and productive,” says Daniel Kripke, M.D., a University of California, San Diego, light and sleep expert.

If you have more time, a longer bout of exercise may also spark a smile. “Lots of people skip working out when their moods aren’t ideal because they don’t have the mental energy to switch gears,” says mental health and exercise expert Jack Raglin, Ph.D., of Indiana University. “But the trick lies in finding the right workout to match the mood you’re in.” When you’re battling blues, try something low-key and mindless. “Studies have shown that even mild exercise—about 40 percent of your max heart rate—can lift your mood,” says Raglin. “So if you’re not up for the usual high-energy stuff, do some leisure activity you enjoy, such as digging in your garden or walking in a park. View it as mental recreation, not exercise.”

If you’re angry, pick something that makes you focus like playing racquetball, or take an aerobics class you’ve never tried. Learning new moves will free your mind from what’s upsetting you.

6. Clear Away Clutter

Disorganized heaps of paper in your cube or on the kitchen counter can make you anxious. For some, “clutter is a reminder of things that should be getting done but aren’t” says Elaine Aron, Ph.D., author of The Highly Sensitive Person. Don’t bother to organize unless you have a chunk of time. Instead, arrange papers, books, and other detritus of daily living in neat piles or store them in baskets. “Just the illusion of order is enough to ease the mind,” she says.

7. Think fast

Turn your thoughts into a race—it can lift the blues in minutes, says Princeton University psychologist Emily Pronin, Ph.D. For example, when your mother-in-law is driving you crazy, give yourself 30 seconds to make a list of all the ways she’s been helpful to you in the past—you’ll feel better fast. (If nothing nice comes to mind, quickly jot down other ways she bugs you; speed thinking negative thoughts can still improve your mood, Pronin found.) Researchers believe that rapid thinking may release feel-good brain chemicals—or it could just be a helpful distraction.

8. Giggle

A hearty laugh produces a chemical reaction that instantly elevates your mood, reduces pain and stress, and boosts immunity, studies show. When stress builds up or you feel as though you may snap at any minute, make yourself giggle: Watch a funny video clip online, or stop by the office of a wisecracking pal for a quick chat. Also, keep an eye out for the unexpectedly silly side of daily life to combat negative thoughts. “

9. Rethink Your Retail Therapy

To get more happiness for your dollar, splurge for experiences instead of stuff. Psychologist Miriam Tatzel, Ph.D., of Empire State College surveyed 329 shoppers and found that “experiencers”—consumers who are easygoing about spending on a great meal out or a concert, for example—are happier than those who lavish their money on material goods such as clothes or jewelry. Added bonus: Experiences allow you to spend quality time with family and friends; a new pair of shoes is a solo endeavor.

10. Zone Out

Rest, peace, quiet, and solitude can also create joy. Some research suggests that we may have an inborn need to zone out once in a while. Give yourself a time-out during a hectic day: Push your chair away from your desk, kick up your feet, and close your eyes. Think about something that takes your mind off the daily grind, like fun plans for the weekend.

11. Chat Up a Friendly Neighbour

Socializing with a cheerful person in your neighbourhood increases the likelihood that you’ll be happy too.

12. Cooking

It’s a favorite unwinding technique of Andrew Weil, M.D., a Prevention advisor and leading integrative medicine expert. After a particularly emotional and stressful day during his residency, Weil went straight to the supermarket. “I bought ingredients and spent several hours cooking in the kitchen. There was something about chopping vegetables, making order, creating something wonderful—that whole process neutralized my negative mental state,” he says.

13. Do a Good Deed

People who volunteer are likelier to be happier than those who don’t—regardless of how much money they make or other socioeconomic factors. Pitching in for a regular cause in your community is ideal, but you can make a difference in other ways in mere minutes. Researchers believe volunteering boosts happiness because it increases empathy, which makes you appreciate all the good stuff in your own life.


“They say a person needs just 3 things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for” – Tom Bodett


Lady Florenz said...

Hi Fi-Sha,

With no knowledge of that 13 things to do, 8 of them are things that I normally do.. Thanks to you, now I learnt the other 5 :)


Fi-sha said...

Hello lady Florenz,

Sharing is caring. Have fun ok?