Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed 5 simple steps to boost your happiness and a mood-enhancing diet to prevent depression on the Aug. 29 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.
Studies show that being happier not only makes you feel good, but boosts your immune system, prevents heart disease, and helps you live longer.
Dr. Oz surveyed 3,000 people to learn their happiness secrets, and said 5 simple steps have been proven to boost happiness. The first step to being happier is to stop comparing yourself to other people. 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.
Shocking, social media has been shown to make people feel "ugly, inadequate and jealous." This is why it's important to keep the posts and images you see on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in perspective.
Keep in mind that people usually showcase their best sides on Facebook and Twitter, so view those smiling vacation and party photos with a grain of salt. Dr. Oz suggests limiting social media visits and unplugging from the computer regularly to boost happiness and prevent comparison-fueled depression.
Express Gratitude and Apologize When You're Wrong
Another way to be happier is to not badmouth others. Dr. Oz said speaking ill of other people actually makes you feel bad, so try complimenting someone instead. Doing this has been shown to boost serotonin, the happiness hormone.
A third step to boost happiness is to active practice gratitude. As corny as it sounds, expressing gratitude to other people has been proven in scientific studies to enhance mood. Also, take time to count your blessings every day (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).
A fourth happiness booster is learning to say no. Agreeing to every social or work commitment you're asked to participate in can be exhausting and stressful, so say "no" on a regular basis to make more time for you.
Finally, the fifth habit happy people have is to apologize when they're wrong about something. Saying "I'm sorry" is less energy-draining than holding a grudge.
Alternative health expert Dr. Andrew Weil previously 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 Weil, author of Spontaneous Happiness.
Mood Boosting Diet Prevents Depression, Aids Weight Loss
On a separate segment, Dr. Oz said the foods you eat have a huge impact on your mood. He said a serotonin boosting diet supports brain chemistry to reduce depression, improve sleep quality and enhance happiness.
Dr. Oz said salmon is an excellent food for boosting serotonin. The brain is 60 percent fat, and thrives on mood-enhancing omega-3 fatty acids like those found in salmon.
Another mood booster is chamomile tea. Chamomile is an anti-anxiety herb that has been shown to fight depression and reduce stress. Finally, Dr. Oz said hemp seeds are effective for relieving anxiety and depression. They're also a natural appetite suppressant that have been shown to aid weight loss.