Do what really makes you happy Enjoy distractions Be kind to yourself Share your skills for happiness Mounting obligations and hectic schedules can make it all too easy to lose track. But whether it’s the little things in life that make you smile, or the joy of working toward a larger goal, focusing on your happiness each day can help protect your emotional well being and your physical health.
When you’re adding items to your to-do list, don’t forget the good stuff. If you look forward to reading in bed, going out to breakfast, taking long walks, listening to music, or just sitting quietly outside, make time for at least one of your favourite diversions every day. Consider crossing out pesky items on your list that you keep saying you’re going to do but haven’t gotten to in over a year, like alphabetizing your bills or organizing your sock drawer. Or get rid of a time-consuming chore that isn’t enhancing your life one bit.
Be kind to yourself
We all have low-energy days, but if you can resist the urge to skip your daily workout when you’re feeling low, you’ll be rewarded both now and later. Try this trick: Tell yourself that you need to do only 10 minutes of exercise. Once you’re up and moving (and feeling better) you’ll most likely want to finish your workout. Even if you can’t push past the 10-minute mark on the occasional bad day, you’ll feel good about doing at least a little something. Sticking with an exercise plan helps you feel good about yourself, strengthens your immune system, and enhances production of mood-boosting hormones.
Defuse daily hassles by practicing stress-reduction strategies. Try taking deep-breathing breaks throughout the day, inhaling through your nose and then exhaling slowly through your mouth. Repeating this action three or four times allows more oxygen to get into your bloodstream, creating a feeling of calm. Progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, and meditation also are effective ways of reducing tension, stress, depression, and anxiety. And a brisk 10-minute walk will do far more to dissipate your stress and lift your spirits than eating the bad for-you snacks you might crave when feeling frantic.
Share your skills
Volunteer at a local school, club, or community organization. Not only will sharing your unique talents and expertise benefit others, but research shows that volunteering can make you happier and improve your wellbeing, too. Feeling engaged and involved in your local community is good for your emotional health. It’s also an opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people. Win-win.
Connect with loved ones
Unwind and share a few laughs with your family or friends at least once or twice each month. The openness and trust you share with the important people in your life can help give you the perspective you need to cope with everyday challenges. These regular connections will also have a positive impact on your health, especially when you share a good laugh. Laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and releases endorphins that can ease pain.
Also, don’t neglect relationships at work. Colleagues and co-workers can provide valuable support and keep your blood pressure under control during stressful situations. Feeling satisfied and fulfilled with your life is an essential part of your emotional and physical well-being. As you grow to appreciate your time, independence, self-assurance, skills, and relationships, you will be amazed at just how good you feel, both in body and in spirit.
Little Glass of Wine
1. Sharpen your memory
Wine could preserve your memory. When researchers gave memory quizzes to women in their 70s, those who drank one drink or more every day scored much better than those who drank less or not at all. Wine helps prevent clots and reduce blood vessel inflammation, both of which have been linked to cognitive decline and heart disease, explains Tedd Gold finger, DO, of the University of Arizona School of Medicine. Alcohol also seems to raise HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, which helps unclog your arteries.
2. Fighting the body fat
Studies find that people who drink wine daily have lower body mass than those who indulge occasionally; moderate wine drinkers have narrower waists and less abdominal fat than people who drink liquor. Alcohol may encourage your body to burn extra calories for as long as 90 minutes after you down a glass. Beer seems to have a similar effect.
3. Boost your body’s defenses
In one British study, those who drank roughly a glass of wine a day reduced by 11% their risk of infection by Helico bacter pylori bacteria, a major cause of gastritis, ulcers, and stomach cancers. As little as half a glass may also guard against food poisoning caused by germs like salmonella when people are exposed to contaminated food, according to a Spanish study.
4. Guard against ovarian woes
When Australian researchers recently compared women with ovarian cancer to cancer free women, they found that roughly one glass of wine a day seemed to reduce the risk of the disease by as much as 50 percent. Earlier research at the University of Hawaii produced similar findings. Experts suspect this may be due to antioxidants or phytoe strogens, which have high anticancer properties and are prevalent in wine. And in a recent University of Michigan study, a red wine compound helped kill ovarian cancer cells in a test tube.
5. Build better bones
On average, women who drink moderately seem to have higher bone mass than abstainers. Alcohol appears to boost estrogen levels; the hormone seems to slow the body’s destruction of old bone more than it slows the production of new bone.
6. Prevent blood-sugar trouble
Premenopausal women who drink one or two glasses of wine a day are 40 percent less likely than women who don’t drink to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a 10-year study by Harvard Medical School. While the reasons aren’t clear, wine seems to reduce insulin resistance in diabetic patients.