Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed five steps you can take to boost happiness on March 4 episode of the Dr. Oz Show ("Things Happy People Do That You Should Too").
Studies show that being happier not only makes you feel good, but boosts your immune system, prevents heart disease, and helps you live longer.
On a previous episode, alternative-health expert Dr. Andrew Weil said one of the easiest ways to be happier is to spend more time with people who are happy.
"Scientific research shows moods are contagious, so it's worth your while to seek out people in whose company you feel happier and more optimistic," said Dr. Weil, author of Spontaneous Happiness.
Dr. Oz surveyed 3,000 people to learn their happiness secrets, and said these actions are guaranteed to boost happiness:
1. Stop comparing. Dr. Oz said social media is a great way to connect with family and friends, but can also lead to jealousy and low self-esteem when you constantly compare yourself to others. Keep in mind that people usually showcase their best sides on Facebook and Twitter, so view those smiling vacation photos with a grain of salt. Dr. Oz suggested limiting social-media visits and unplugging from the computer regularly.
2. Don't badmouth others. Dr. Oz said speaking ill of other people actually makes you feel bad, so try complimenting someone instead. Doing this actually boosts serotonin, the happiness hormone.
3. Be grateful. As corny as it sounds, Dr. Oz said expressing gratitude to other people enhances your mood. Also, take time to count your own blessings (e.g., be grateful that you can see, have a computer, are able to walk, or have a warm bed to sleep in every night. Not everyone is so lucky).
4. Learn to say no. Agreeing to every social or work commitment you're asked to participate in can be exhausting and stressful, so learn to say "no" on a regular basis to make more time for you.
5. Apologize. When you're wrong about something, admit it and apologize. Saying "I'm sorry" is less energy-draining than holding a grudge.
Dr. Oz Reveals Mood-Boosting Foods That Fight Depression
The foods you eat have a huge impact on your mood. These foods support brain chemistry to reduce depression and improve sleep quality (poor sleep has been proven to cause bad mood and even depression):
- Medjool dates. Dates are loaded with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants and have less sugar than candy.
- Salmon. The brain is 60% fat, and thrives on mood-enhancing omega-3 fatty acids like those found in salmon.
- Hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are a natural appetite suppressant that aid weight loss and relieve anxiety and depression.
- Amaranth. This super-grain is high in antioxidants, minerals, fiber and iron, and keeps your blood sugar stable, so you feel more energized.
- Chamomile tea. Chamomile is an anti-anxiety herb that has been shown to fight depression and reduce stress.