If you’re feeling down, try using one of these five methods that neuroscientists claim will help make you happy. Don’t let your blues overtake your day – scroll down and see what you can do to improve that mood.
Listen to music that is from one of the happiest moments or time periods in your life. Scientists say, “One of the strong effects of music comes from its ability to remind us of previous environments in which we were listening to that music.” When you’re feeling low, try turning up the tunes with a track that reminds you of that summer vacation you loved so much. They say, “If you start listening to music that you were listening to” when you were in happier moments throughout your life, “It can help you feel more connected to that happier time in your life and make it more present.” So why not give it a try? Take a moment to kick back and soak up the beats so that they will lift your mood up as well.
Smile and wear sunglasses! When you smile, your mood lifts. When you wear sunglasses, your mood may lift again because it thinks it is sunnier outside. “Biofeedback is just the idea that your brain is always sensing what is happening in your body and it reviews that information to decide how it should feel about the world.” If you set out and make these solid attempts to find happiness, to convince your own brain that you are happy, you will have a much better opportunity at lifting your mood. “When you start to change the emotions that you’re showing on your face, that changes how your brain interprets a lot of ambiguous stimuli.” So now we know – it really is cool to wear your sunglasses at night!
Think about your goals and your plans for the future. This is a great strategy to lift your mood because, “The goals and intentions that you set in your prefrontal cortex change the way that your brain perceives the world.” Perception is everything. If you can make your own mind focus on your goals in life and on your path to happiness and fulfillment, you are halfway there. Making the cognitive effort to set goals and stay focused on them can be challenging when you feel like nothing is going your way – but if you focus on changing your perception, you will soon be able to actually change your perception.
Sleep is the cure-all for so many things in life. The unfortunate thing about lack of sleep is, “People with chronic insomnia are much more likely to develop depression.” However, you can take steps to improve your sleeping habits. “Get bright sunlight in the middle of the day… try going to sleep at the same time every night and keeping a gratitude journal can also improve your sleep.” Take measures to ensure that you are properly prepared to get a good night of rest and your mind and body will thank you for it later by giving you greater energy – physically and mentally.