Today's Blue Monday AKA the most depressing day of the year. But don't get a grump on, do this instead...
Here’s the thing; we all know that January is supposed to be the most ‘depressing’ month of the year, but when we decide in our normally cheerful heads that it’s going be a gloomy month, or worse again, we acknowledge that today, Blue Monday, is scientifically the saddest day of the year, we kinda set ourselves up for failure, don’t we?
After all, when people keep telling us that’s something’s going to suck, it’s probably going to, well, suck, right?
The good news is that science says you can improve that bad mood in an instant. So, if you’re currently buying into all this talk about it being a blue day, here’s how to turn that frown upside down in five easy, lab-approved ways.
Sure isn’t science great?
Yep, really. You might not feel like it, but getting your grin on for a minute or more is a surefire way to perk up. Why? Scientists say it’s cos your brain can’t tell when you’re faking, and smiling tricks the body into releasing happy hormones. 60 seconds of a full-on, toothy grin and you’ll be smiling for real. Best plaster a grin on, so.
Did you know that when we get moving, we get a hit of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), that can nix stress, improve memory function and lead to feelings of euphoria? It doesn’t take a major sweat sesh either. Just a 10-minute jaunt around the block is enough to release some BDNF and get your happy buzz back.
Need caffeine to beat the 3pm slump? Don’t reach for another coffee or Coke – science boffins say you should guzzle some water instead. Dehydration can affect your mood because it makes you feel tired and sluggish, so it’s better to grab a bottle of thirst-quenching H2O, over a latte. That’s because when your body is properly hydrated, you’ll have a clearer head, and in turn, a happier mood to boot.
Why? Science says taking deep breaths changes our energy from tension to relaxation, and stops the body from producing stress hormones. So the next time you feel yourself getting stressed, take a couple of minutes out and focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, until you feel calm again. About two minutes should do it.
Heard of laughter therapy? It works cos, kind of like exercise, laughing stimulates the release of feel-good endorphins and aids muscle relaxation, which in turn helps us relax, reduce anxiety and eliminate negative emotions. Some scientists even believe it changes the shape of the brain’s frontal lobe – the part that’s responsible for our emotions. So get a giggle on to feel good, we guess. Seems obvious, no?
Is it more than just a bad day? Get in touch with YourMentalHealth.ie to talk to someone and find support services near you.
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