You don’t have to spend hours at the gym, you don’t have to eat only tofu. Getting healthy is actually about being happy. New research finds that happy people are 60% more likely to benefit from overall wellness than people who are depressed or stressed-out. So here’s the science to being happy and healthy from Woman’s World magazine:
- Look at pictures of puppies or kittens. A Duke University study found that our brains are subconsciously wired to mimic the personality traits of what we see. So when we see puppies and kitten all carefree and cute, it lifts our spirits. Being around upbeat people can also cue your brain to pump out feel-good hormones. Research finds that when you post smiling pictures of yourself on sites like Facebook or My Space, you attract happier friends!
- Go bargain hunting. Research by neuroscientist Dr. David Lewis found that shopping increases our happiness levels the most when we’re bargain hunting. In fact, scoring a great deal produces such a powerful surge of mood boosting endorphins, it’s as much of a euphoric thrill as sky diving! It even makes your heart race faster than eating chocolate or kissing! Bargain hunting is also good for your brain. It’s a challenge to find the best deal and figure out percentages – which delivers a dose of hyper-alertness known as “eustress.” It’s intense positive stress that our brains respond to with pleasure.
- Have a hot cocoa chaser after your workout. Exercise can ward of depression – but you can maximize those effects by sipping cocoa afterward. That’s because cocoa contains a natural chemical that helps grow new nerve cells in the part of your brain responsible for memory. The power of exercise to boost your mood is intensified when these new nerve cells are present. So work out then go grab a hot cocoa.