Happiness is a tricky one to try and chase. Sometimes we just need the cheat sheet to get there faster on days we feel blah. Here goes. 6 super secret easy ninja tricks to get you out of funk pointed back toward bliss.
1. Get outside for a light walk and smile at / talk to ANYONE.
The sunshine + changing our scenery helps. Getting out of our neurotic brains and into a world that requires us to react to external stimuli resets our focus. Light exercise changes our physiology. Most importantly though, positively interacting with other members of our tribe, strangers included, releases Oxytocin and dopamine making us feel connected, hopeful, helpful, and motivated. Smile at a stranger, pay for someone's coffee, compliment another on how good that sweater looks on them. Positive connection mixed with service lights up all the happiness mental switches.
2. Drop and give me 20 ... with a grin on your face.
The goofier and more playful you can do this the better. Immediate, weight bearing exercise that jacks the heart rate and forces more oxygen makes a drastic short term effect on our mood. Add in a happiness triggering facial expression, the smile, and we have a winning combo to beat the funk and get back to bliss. Extra points if you add any kind of dancing and a fun upbeat song. Kick the brain off it's apathetic stuck record player and wiggle, pushup, jumping jack, pelvic thrust... Think intense.short term.fun.playful.silly. If you feel a little fake plastering a smile on, do something so ridiculous that you can't help but gigle. I vote for the squat to pelvic thrust or YMCA.
3. Reach out & Connect
Our funky mood can keep us disconnected forgetting how many people care and have been positively affected by us. When you're feeling low, reach out and uplift someone else.
Not only do they likely need it too but the act of empathy and kindness will release good brain chemicals to get us back on track. Calling someone to tell them what they mean to you
has been found in studies to have real immediate benefit to both parties involved.
Petting an animal has large benefits as well. Being kind and connecting to a pet boosts mood for both you and your little fur ball.
4. Breathwork + Gratitude rollcall
2 minutes of deep, deliberate breathing while mentally listing everything you are good at, grateful for, feel supported by, have shown up for recently, and do right retrains the brain to see the good and refocuses the moment back to what we are excited about and proud of.
5. Happy Foods
If certain foods help in the production of Serotonin, why not eat them?
Load up on Vitamin B, Vitamin D, and the amino acids L-tryptophan found in meat, spinach, shellfish, egg, turkey, and tofu to ensure the brain has the building blocks to make the good stuff.
Double the water (dehydration is the 3rd leading cause of depression).
Here are a few other foods linked to feeling good. Double your leafy greens, water, and get enough protein.
6. Power Nap or Latte it up
If fatigue has gotten you feeling blah, seriously consider shutting it down for a quick power 20. The creators of Sleep Cycle bring us the app Power Nap to wake us before we dip into that groggy deep sleep state. Let the brain reboot. If you can not spare a restorative 20, opt for a piece of dark chocolate, a deep breathe, a glass of water, and a sip of espresso.