30 Aug, 2011

14 Ways to Instant Happiness

Beat the blues and up your energy levels with these tricks. No Valium necessary, promise.


  • BE AROUND WATER Numerous studies have shown that the negative ions generated by waves crashing on rocks helps instantly revive the mind, but you don’t have to be on a beach to experience just how healing water is. Walk around a lake, contemplate at a pond or take a dip in the pool to boost your mood. Nature is healing.
  • EAT A BANANA SPLIT I desperately wanted to believe that bananas can alleviate depression, but they mostly give you energy according to the University of Hawaii. But as one girl’s banana split is another’s anaphylactic shock, as with the case of my gluten/peanut-allergic friends, a square of expensive dark chocolate and a glass of red works too.
  • MOVE IT Exercise banishes bloating, gets your blood circulating and moves oxygen to the brain for improved concentration.
  • STOP SLOUCHING Charlie Brown had his ‘depressed stance’. Posture has been shown to have a direct impact on your mental wellbeing. Not only do you feel beat, but slouching impacts breathing
  • GIVE THANKS Don’t be such a punk, yo. If you can’t appreciate the little things, good luck as we say with the big things. (And, as some psychologists will tell you, compare down. Don’t compare up.)
  • LIVE IN THE NOW Yes, it’s all very Eckhart Tolle until someone breaks a heart or you’re in some massive life change that appears to have no solution/resolution. Know that in this moment, you’ve been given everything you need and all the tools you require to make informed choices. There are two schools of thought that both make sense to me. One says that there’s no such thing as mistakes. Because everything does happen for a reason. The other theory, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, recommends that you fail. Fail early, fail often. Because failure isn’t fatal, it’s how you learn. This moment is the perfect teacher.
  • SMELL HAPPY With our memories so connected to our olfactive map, sometimes smelling comforts of home can be good for you. Your mum’s Sunday roast, fresh laundry. Aurora Alchemy has an aromatherapeutic oil called Instant Happiness. It’s got zesty Yuzu and citrine to put that spark back into you. Or if you’re really flat at work, you can always burn peppermint essential oils, geranium or lime. Zing!
  • HUGS NOT DRUGS Cuddles promote good self-esteem, helps decrease stress and feelings of isolation while releasing a rush of chemicals in our body: serotonin and dopamine. They’re essentially bonding agents which are commonly released by sex, amazing food, and yes, even other things that are addictive, drugs. The ultimate antidepressant, give me a hug over a Krispy Kreme, any day. Everyone needs to refuel emotionally.
  • SLEEP There may be other things you’ve deemed more important than shut-eye, but there’s a reason why sleep deprivation has been used as a method of interrogation and torture. Simply put: you can’t function, let alone CREATE or offer anything of value if you’re out of it. And not being able to fall asleep is a sign to psychologists that you may be anxious. Do you know why?
  • SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Look up, look down, close your eyes, don’t close your eyes. A prayer can be a letter, a bitten lip, a painting. Your style, your way. Sometimes a, “God, help!” is all you need. As Ghandi once said, “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
  • LISTEN TO MUSIC Ideas for playlists: what songs would you add to playlists titled ‘Sunday arvos’, ‘Sunny days’, ‘Summer’.
  • CHANGE THE CONVERSATION What’s zapping your energy? That put-downs you keep repeating to yourself? The energy vampires in your social group? The long commute home from work? As Pink says, “Change the voices in your head. Make them like you instead.” Or, as one of my best friends likes to remind me, enough thinking, more doing. Get out of your head. Other affirmations can be found with Dr Wayne Dyer.
  • LOOK AT SOMETHING BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL From gorgeous interiors, cool galleries, live bands… find out what’s on your local gig guide and go. Explore.
  • GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHS We often feel flustered and overwhelmed when there’s a backlog on the To Do list and have no idea where to begin. From managing your finances to meeting deadlines, reducing stress also means getting organised. Split tasks into what’s urgent, of high importance, and proceed to take small bites of that really big, annoying elephant you call chores.
Images via PinmarketBuzzfeed, ELLE Decor.

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