5 Quick Attitude Lifts
A good mood is like Thanksgiving dinner: hours to make and minutes to demolish. Luckily, more research in recent years has been given to the study of mood and how to influence it. Now more than ever we understand that there are simple actions we can take to change our bodies’ chemistry, thus improving mood and ultimately, attitude. Here are some quick and easy attitude adjusters you can use almost anywhere.
Find a Friend
There’s no way around it: loneliness is bad for you. It impacts your health in many of the same ways as obesity, smoking and high blood pressure, increasing stress hormones while decreasing cardiac and immune functions. Take a moment to feel connected to others: offer a compliment to a co-worker, ask a friend how their day was, or even spend five minutes petting your dog. These moments of connection offer immediate benefits to both mind and body.
However annoying all those forwarded emails from friends and coworkers may seem, they may actually be extending your life. A joyful smile releases a surge of beneficial chemicals in your body and makes you less likely to catch a cold, even if your stress or negative emotion levels are already high. Frequent positive emotions mean you will recover faster from a heart attack. So read that silly email, or look at a photo that reminds you of a happy memory. The resulting smile could turn your day around.
Reach Out and Touch Someone
Kissing a child’s boo-boo may seem like an empty gesture, but it actually works on a physical and emotional level, reducing pain perception and creating a sense that everything is going to be okay. Humans respond to touch on multiple levels, with measurable positive effects on the brain and body. Hugging floods you with oxytocin, a bonding hormone, and holding hands with someone you love reduces cortisol, a stress hormone. Sex boosts your immune system. Make time in your day for physical contact, and you will enjoy its perks now and for years to come.
J.K. Rowling knew what she was talking about when she wrote in Harry Potter that chocolate should be eaten after encountering Dementors. Daily life can be full of Dementors—stress, tight schedules, work and family demands—for which chocolate is an excellent remedy. Full of flavonoids and antioxidants, chocolate stimulate endorphin production and contains serotonin, a natural antidepressant.
Break a Sweat
How many times have you found yourself dragging after lunch, looking to the hours ahead and wondering how you will get through them? Fatigue saps away your energy, your outlook and your mind’s ability to function. There is a simple cure, however, and it may seem counter-intuitive: studies have shown that if you exercise while fatigued, it will actually boost your energy levels. Didn’t get enough sleep last night? Get up and go for a short walk outside. Take the stairs in your building to the highest floor and down again. Stand where you are and do a quick round of jumping jacks. It will improve your energy, your health, and your attitude.
Because attitude is like an outfit: so many to choose from and easy to change. Try one of these simple techniques, and choose to be your best self today.
Jenny Hart is a can do kind of girl. She forces herself to be positive and tackle everything from repairing iPhone software issues beating the boys at baseball!