26 February 2010

7 Quick Tips to Happiness: Banish Late Winter Blues

From Denny: I'm lucky enought to be living in south Louisiana this winter. We had a little snow that melted off, unlike the rest of the country that got buried in snow. Even the nation's capitol had to shut down Congress for all the heavy snow.

A few days ago I heard a bird singing for the first time in months. For south Louisiana it's early Spring, even though the lawn is brown from hibernation and there are frosts some nights. Hearing that bird singing certainly gave my mood a lift from all the dreary landscape. The day lilies are beginning to push up from their winter sleep along with the irises. The azaleas are budding to flower in a month or so. Ah, relief! What a seasonal change can do for your spirits!

Since many of you are still stuck with a late winter and the dreary days I thought these happiness tips for boosting your attitude would be helpful right about now. This health news video was originally run in January at the beginning of winter but somehow now seems like better timing.

New York Magazine carried a 50 Steps to Simple Happiness article when they discovered from a study that New Yorkers are dead last when it comes to happiness.

Here are some simple suggestions to improving your attitude to get you to that happiness level you seek and the reasons behind the simple action.

Make your bed. No kidding. When you make your bed you have controlled your environment and helped to calm yourself. You have also accomplished something early in the day too.

Random acts of kindness. Try putting a quarter in someone else's parking meter even if they don't see it. Help a mother with a stroller in the subway. Little acts of kindness do a lot to give your mood a lift, even without external praise.

Elevators. Quit texting for social interaction or checking your email on your Blackberry and start making small talk to your fellow riders. That little interaction will do wonders to lift your mood.

Think like a shark, act like a five year old. Keep your mind sharp on a daily basis. Make sure you get up from your desk and move around a lot - like a little kid does all day long. Exercise helps keep oxygen flowing to the brain to keep it sharp. Exercise also releases those happy endorphins to elevate our mood.

Color. Paint your walls a sunny yellow because color theory tells us it will lift our mood. Scent is important too like the aroma of cucumbers and green apples is an immediate attitude adjuster.

Sex. Hey, it's what makes the world go 'round and makes everyone happy! Remember to quit scheduling yourself with too many projects. Take the time and say yes to your partner every time.

Chocolate. An ounce of dark chocolate a day every day doesn't hurt either. See Romancing The Chocolate blog for great recipes! :)

From Sarah Bernard, contributing editor to New York Magazine:

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