You can’t always feel happy. On certain days everything just goes wrong and you need something to lift you up.
There are things that can help with that. Some sensory experiences cause our brain to release happiness hormones even if we aren’t particularly cheerful at the moment. Our brain is easily deceived, why not use it to our advantage?
The smell of pine trees reminds of Christmas and relieves stress, making us more relaxed and lively. What’s interesting, the more severe your stress is, the greater the effect will be.
While happiness isn’t just about being calm, you can’t feel joy if you are under constant pressure. So, take a walk in the forest or buy some pine-scented candles, especially if you’re close to burning out.
The sweet aroma often associated with home-made cakes is another quick mood-booster. It helps patients feel less anxious during stressful medical procedures and was proved to bring a feeling of happiness when sniffed.
Maybe you should keep some vanilla in your kitchen closet, just in case.
Citrus is another festive smell that can help you battle looming depression. The aromas of oranges, clementines and grapefruits make one energized, exuberant and perfectly ready to take on the world.
Citrus fruits also contain loads of Vitamin C, which strengthens your immune system, so don’t just buy things that smell like oranges, go for the real thing.
Seafood, like fish, clams or squid, is rich in Vitamin B-12, which is essential to prevent depression. The lower your B-12 levels are, the more likely you are to succumb to bad thoughts. It’s also a source of omega-3 acids that are reported to ease anxiety even better than Prozac.
2. Dark chocolate
The darker, the better. It’s not milk and sugar that’s responsible for elevating our mood, so choose chocolate that contains at least 60% cocoa. The antioxidants in cocoa beans increase the production of endorphins (you’ve heard about those, right? The chemicals that make you feel better?). It’s also a natural source of serotonin, a hormone we have to thank for our good mood.
Avocado is a tasty fruit that makes our body produce dopamine, the hormone prompting us to achieve long-term happiness goals. It’s also packed with the above-mentioned omega-3 acids, so including it in your diet is definitely a good idea.
Also, if you need a healthy mood-elevating snack, opt for nuts, especially walnuts and brazil nuts, and grab a coffee on the way. You’ll feel better in an instant.
Listen to it
1. Sounds of nature
Work is stressful. With phones buzzing and emails constantly popping in our inbox we need something to help us concentrate. Listening to music won’t do the trick, while listening to nature sounds might. So, if your office hasn’t yet installed an artificial waterfall, find a playlist that will take you to the tropics or the forest, and you’ll feel happier and less tired at the end of the day.
Sometimes it’s not happiness that makes us laugh, it’s laughter that makes us happy. Even listening to other people laugh can fire up our brain and make us more receptive to humor and other mood-lifters. And people often say a child’s laughter is the happiest sound in the world.
What’s your secret trick to deceiving your brain into feeling happier?
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