Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.
What do laughter, chocolate, and sunshine have in common? They are all ingredients you can use to boost your mood and feel happier, especially on days where you feel a little down and out.
It happens to the best of us: one minute you're going about your day, all happy and care-free when suddenly something unexpected happens and your positive mood is ruined.
Whether it's a back-handed remark from someone or a low mark on a test you had studied for, it's actually quite easy for a perfectly good day to be ruined, if you think about it.
Most often you won't feel like eating or talking for a couple of hours and then you'll feel better once you've thought things out.
But if your bad mood lasts for more than a day, it will start annoying everyone including yourself, and in some cases, it'll even rub off on the people around you!
Here are a few tips we put together for you to get out of your grumpy mood, feel happier, and start spreading joy around you.
This may sound obvious, but laughing really is the best medicine to many emotional problems!
Whether it's finding the funny side of things or just cracking the right joke at the right moment, most of us can't resist a LOL moment with our friends!
Research has shown that regular and extended bouts of laughter have positive effects on the body such as improved mood, lowered blood pressure, reduced bad cholesterol, and an enhanced immune system.
Even better, only 15 minutes of laughter a day helps blood vessels function better and has similar health benefits to a workout!
The best part is you don't even need other people to laugh and feel happy; you can watch a funny movie, find a hilarious YouTube video, or just remember something silly a friend did recently.
Chocolate lovers, rejoice at this good news! Researchers are finding more and more evidence that eating chocolate is not necessarily bad for you!
In fact, studies show that some types of chocolate eaten in moderation can even have some positive effects on your mood and body!
Chocolate has been found to be linked to reductions in blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol, wrinkles, and other key metabolic functions, as well as to mood-enhancing properties.
These effects come primarily from endorphins—often called “feel-good” chemicals—released in the brain to give an immediate euphoric rush, and from epicatechin, a substance that gives chocolate its antioxidant properties.
Bear in mind though, this doesn't apply to all types of chocolates! The purer the dark chocolate, the more antioxidants it contains. Inversely, the sweeter and lighter in colour it is - i.e. milk chocolate or white chocolate - the more sugar, palm oil, and other unhealthy additives it contains.
Of course, no one in their right mind will ever recommend you to ditch fruit and exercise for a king-sized chocolate bar, but at least now you know that snacking on small amounts of dark chocolate can be a tasty way to boost your mood!
If you've ever danced and jumped around your room while your favourite song blasts loudly on your speakers, then you know exactly what we're talking about!
Whether it's a rocking guitar riff that makes the hair stand on your neck or a slow, moody tune that brings back fond memories and makes us feel good, music has the power to make us feel unique things.
Researchers have studied the question, and they've found a whole bunch of emotional and physical benefits of listening to music. Listening to your favourite tunes for just 50 minutes increases levels of disease-fighting antibodies and lowers stress, two elements that in the long-term contribute to longer life span and improved immunity.
Other studies have found that music can be beneficial to cardiovascular health, to pain treatment, to post-operation recovery, and to good mental health.
So next time you're feeling bad or down, think about all the great things that'll come from putting the volume to the max!
You know that getting proper nutrients and vitamins into your body comes mostly from the kinds of food and drinks you consume.
But did you know there's another leisurely and effortless way of boosting your system? Yup! And it's as simple as stepping outside!
That's right! Spending some time outside in the sunshine makes your body produce more vitamin D, which not only boosts your system but also improves your general mood.
While the dangers of too much sun exposure are well documented (skin cancers, to name only one), the negative effects of too little sunlight are just starting to be studied. Research shows that people who always stay indoors tend to be deficient in vitamin D and are thus at greater risk of developing certain cancers, osteoporosis, mental illnesses, or heart disease.
That's why it's increasingly being recommended to take a short stroll or walk each day so that at least 10 minutes each day are spent in the sun.
Think about it this way: we're kind of like plants. Without water, vitamins, and natural light, our bodies become weak and slowly wither away.
And because there are no winter months in Singapore, we can get sunshine all year round. So what are you waiting for? Get up and get your dose of sunshine!
Another simple and enjoyable way to lighten your mood is to make yourself a nice hot bath, turn down the lights, close your eyes, and forget about what's making you grumpy.
No longer seen as a girlish activity, taking some "me-time" to relax and be alone with your thoughts is increasingly being recommended as an easy way to get rid of all of life's stresses.
Even if you've already cleaned up once in the morning, a soothing bubble bath or a quiet afternoon shower can be just what your mind and body need to get a fresh outlook on the rest of the day.
Don't believe us? Then why do you think bathhouses have been so popular for thousands of years, from ancient civilisations all the way to our modern spas?
Try it, you'll see!
And remember: happiness is like a virus. Your good mood and positive vibes can easily and quickly rub off on the people around you.
Unlike the flu virus, the happiness bug is one you should catch for an infectious dose of laughs and giggles every day.
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This article was last reviewed on
Friday, April 3, 2020
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