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Oh my goodness, have we had enough rain in New England lately? The good news, it's not snow. (sorry my snowboarding son).
So, how do you stay upbeat when it's all dark and dreary on the outside? Let me share a couple of tips with you.
To keep it in perspective, be thankful that we live in the USA. Why, you ask? According to a World Values Survey by the Univiersity of Michigan Institute of Social Research, happiness and general life satisfaction are higher in democratic countries. "The results clearly show that the happiest societies are those that allow people the freedom to choose how to live their lives," says survey director Ronald Inglehart. So, let's do a little high-five on the gratitude index on that one. Now let's move on to a couple of steps we can take right now to boost our endorphin levels.
- Eat a little dark, organic chocolate EVERY DAY. Yes, every day. Researchers reporting to the American Chemical Society found that "highly stressed" volunteers (do we know any of those?), that ate 1 1/2 oz. of dark chocolate every day for 2 weeks experienced reduced levels of stress hormones. I don't know about you, but I don't need an excuse. High in antioxidants, it can boost your mood and may modify your metabolism. The bonus? A little minute taken just for YOU.
- Laugh often to tone your ABS. What? An experiment to assess the effect of laughter yoga on back pain done at Munster University in Germany determined an encouraging conclusion. "Simulated laughter exercises engage as many abdominal muscles as conventional physiotherapy exercises, sometimes even more." These findings were backed by Dr. Heiko Wagner who teaches kinesiology at the university. Yes, they did it for thirty minutes - so start practicing! The bonus? Your calming you body down just faking it - do it with some friends at work - how funny would that be?
- Take a mindful breath. Stand tall with your knees soft and feet hip-distance apart and parellel. Hold your palms together in front of your heart (that loves you), breathe in and out through your nose. Don't try and control your breath in any way - simply notice your breathing pattern. Do for 1 minute. Try this several times a day. My clients notice when they incorporate breathing techniques into their day the results are immediate - and we're all into immediate gratification.
- Change how you react to uncontrolable things like the weather. Yes, I know - we like to CONTROL things. I'm done - it ain't happening anymore - because we all know all that happens is WE get stressed. Stress stimulates your system and what are you left with? No energy - it sucks the life right out of you. Now the weather is crappy and you're feeling that way, too. By using some of the techniques above or even a quick meditation (good for the soul and heart) - you can kick stress in the butt BEFORE you get tired.
- An easy mood booster? Wear bright colors - the one that makes you feel the best. Then, even when your hair is messed up from running through the rain and wind, at least the color will salvage the day. Have a great one today - and try to help others do the same.
How do I help others live better for life? Check out my website and see:www.livebetter4life.com
Some info gathered from Body and Soul magazine, Oct, 2008 and Natural Awakenings, New Haven, CT, Feb. 2010