Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Winter Blahs

Winter is upon it, and with it come the winter blahs! Or do they? I’ve been studying some ways to be happy…or at least how to make our minds believe we’re happy. Here are a few things I’ve learned:

If your body language screams happy your mind will soon follow suit. So stand up straight, smile, walk briskly and use a tone of voice that suggests life is worth living.

Participate in random acts of kindness. Give a compliment. Do a favor. Other people’s happiness can generate your own.

Spend time with people you love who love you in return.

Music can greatly influence your mood. It stimulates the same areas of the brain as food and sex. So choose tunes that make you feel good.

Make a list of things that need to get done and cross them off when you’ve accomplished the tasks. It can help you feel in control of your life.

Turn your head to the right. The left side of your brain processes positive info (it’s also the side that is used for puzzles and mathematics), so if you’re more positive you naturally turn in that direction. Trick yourself into being happy by consciously glancing right.

Plan things you can look forward to. Sometimes the humdrum of life can get you down. Knowing you have some fun in your future can be a real boost.

Don’t try to compete with your neighbors. Jealousy is a difficult mistress. Set your own goals. March to your own drummer.

Unclutter. Clutter causes stress. This was mentioned in almost every article I read. So get rid of what you don’t need or use regularly.

Spend some time alone. We all need time to unwind and recharge. Being with others, no matter how much we adore them, comes with certain expectations.

Bring humor into your life. Plan to laugh. Meet with friends who make you chuckle or watch a good comedy. The results are beneficial.

Be less reactive. Don’t allow others to manipulate your emotions.

Spend time with your pet…according to one study pets are considerably better at lowering stress levels than say… a spouse.

Aromatherapy is a proven mood enhancer. Try lavender or rosemary to help you relax.

Spirituality: People who actively participate in some form of religious activity tend to cope better with stress.

Count your blessings. Take time to be grateful. Remember, even in tough times, we are incredibly blessed.

Those are my happy hints of the day. What’s your favorite mood brightener?


Helen Brenna said...

Turning your head to the right? Wow. Love learning that kind of. As I read that I could tell my head just naturally goes left more than right.

My fav mood brightener is taking the dogs for a walk. It never fails making me feel better.

Rula Sinara said...

Great list! I love random acts of kindness. They give me an endorphin rush that never fails to up my mood. I also agree that clutter causes stress, and making lists reduces it!

Curling up with a romantic comedy is one that never fails me. Time alone to decompress. I'll add gardening, decorating, and of course, chocolate :).

lois greiman said...

Helen, I know, right?? Turning to the right! Who knew?? Weird brain stuff.

Michele Hauf said...

Thanks for the cool list, Lois. I totally believe our pets have a handle on cheering us up much moreso than do our spouses. Hee.

lois greiman said...

Rula, you're so right about the acts of kindness. Sometimes I forget how important it is to make someone else smile. And romantic comedies have medicinal properties all their own.

MsHellion said...

Favorite mood brightener: a mild anti-depressant. Or if that's not available a glass of wine. (A single glass, not the whole bottle. Either alone with some relaxing music or a tub full of hot water and bubbles, or with friends and laughter. Or if you want to drink your wine in the bath with friends--that's fine too.)

The not being reactive one resonated with me. I am constantly allowing myself to be emotionally hijacked by others. It's crazy.

lois greiman said...

LOL. Thanks for the bathing tips, Hellion.

Emotional highjacking! Good term.

KylieBrant said...

Some great tips, here, Lois! I met with friends for a bd lunch Sat. and we talked and laughed for hours. Talk about a mood brightener! I get so focused on schedules and deadlines that I need to start making more time for fun.

lois greiman said...

Funny isn't it Kylie, how much fun we have with our friends and yet we neglect to schedule time with them. I'm going to do more of that this coming year.

Meljprincess said...

My cats!

lois greiman said...

I've been repeatedly told that there is something about purring cats that immediately brings down people's heartrates. Go cats!

Kathleen Eagle said...

I really like this list. Thanks, Lois! Favorite mood brightener--having a talk with my dog. She tries so hard--sounds a little like Scooby. Walking her is a great pick-me-up, and I haven't been doing that enough. I've been settling for the ball chucker, which makes her happy, but it doesn't do much for me. But for the cold it's a lovely day--must walk!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Me, too, Hellion. Emotional hijacking is a good way to put it. Gotta watch out for that.

catslady said...

Great list and I'm really going to work on some of those. One thing I do every day that I look forward to is reading in bed late at night with at least two purring cats around me :)

Keri Ford said...

sorry if this comes through twice...google/blogger was being weird.

I like some time alone. no responsibilities and I can do whatever I want, however I want.

lois greiman said...

Dogs are such good people, aren't they, Kathy? We should all be so attentive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the happy tips - I was feeling grumpy and your tips are here at just the right time! Stephenia