Happy Hacks

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By Thamar Jones
It’s been too long since my last vacation and the stress is piling on. Truth is, we’re all stressed to varying degrees right now so I went searching for hacks that I can use to
lift my mood and keep my energy in high vibration mode.
These really work so I thought I’d share them with you.
1. Have a snack.
Feeling down? What about a cold sip of a smooth caramel Frappuccino? Maybe succulent fruits are more your thing? What about a bowl of fresh, sweet berries, pineapples and mango slices? Munching on a delightful snack is a great mood-lifter. Keep a stash of goodies handy and have a small snack as a pick me up when you need one. Try to opt for
healthy choices such as nuts, dark chocolate and dried fruits.
2. Sleep
Students, with their packed schedules, are notorious for missing sleep as are overworked adults. Unfortunately, operating in a sleep-deprived state puts you at a distinct disadvantage. You’re less productive, you may find it more difficult to learn, or get things done. Don’t neglect your sleep schedule. Aim to get at least 8 hours a night and take power naps when you need them.
3. Visualization
Using guided imagery to reduce stress is easy and effective. Visualizations can help you calm down, detach from what’s stressing you, and turn off your body’s stress response. You can also use visualizations to prepare for presentations and score higher on tests by vividly seeing yourself performing just as you’d like to.
4. Exercise
One of the healthiest ways to blow off steam is to get a regular exercise program going. Work exercise into your schedule by doing yoga in the morning, walking, biking, or reviewing for tests with a friend while walking on a treadmill at the gym. Starting now and keeping a regular exercise practice throughout your lifetime can help you live longer and enjoy your life more.
5. Breathing
When your body is experiencing a stress response, you’re often not thinking as clearly as you could be. A quick way to calm down is to practice breathing exercises. These can
be done virtually anywhere to relieve stress in minutes, and are especially effective for reducing anxiety before or even during tests, as well as during other times when stress feels overwhelming.
6. Music
A convenient stress reliever that has also shown many cognitive benefits; music can help you to relieve stress and either calm yourself down or stimulate your mind as your situation warrants. Students can harness the benefits of music by playing classical music while studying, playing upbeat music to ‘wake up’ mentally, or relaxing with the help of their favorite slow melodies.
7. Organize your space
Disorganized spaces can make you anxious. For some, clutter is a reminder of things that should be getting done but aren’t. It can make you feel like a failure. For a quick fix, straighten up a few surfaces in your office or in the areas of the house where you spend the most time.
8. Positive Thinking and Affirmations
Did you know that optimists actually experience better circumstances, in part, because their way of thinking helps to create better circumstances in their lives? It’s true! The habit of optimism and positive thinking can bring better health, better relationships, and, yes, better grades. Learn how to train your brain for more positive self-talk and a brighter future with affirmations and other tools for optimism.
9. Inhale a calming scent.
Fill your space with a fragrant candle or diffuser to calm down during a deadline-packed day. Researchers wafted the smell of oranges before some participants and lavender before others. The two groups felt less anxious, more positive, and calmer when compared with participants who were exposed to no fragrance at all.
10. Open your shades.
To feel happier in seconds, let the sunlight stream in when you first wake up. One study of more than 450 women found that those who got the most light, particularly in the morning, reported better moods and sleep. Got more time? Eat breakfast near a window that gets plenty of daylight, and put exercise equipment near a bright view. Some researchers speculate that combining exercise with morning light exposure may amplify light’s beneficial effects on mood, sleep, and alertness.
11. Put on a happy face.
There’s good evidence that just smiling and looking like you’re happy will make you sunnier. Studies show that even muscular changes in your face can elevate your happiness,
as can good posture. Call it the blush effect: To apply blush to your cheekbones properly, you need to smile. Smiling works. If you act like you’re a happier person, you can experience all these positive social consequences. You make more friends and people are nicer to you!
12. Zone out.
Rest, peace, quiet, and solitude can also create joy. Some research suggests that we may have an inborn need to zone out once in a while. Give yourself a time-out during a hectic day: Push your chair away from your desk, kick up your feet, and close your eyes. Think about something that takes your mind off the daily grind, like fun plans for the weekend.
13. Chat up a friend
Socializing with a cheerful friend increases the likelihood that you’ll be happy too!