In this season of resolutions, we offer 3 simple changes for you to consider. Each one is simple and doable by most everyone; the goal to help increase happiness! Each suggestion is supported by good research.
1) Turn off electronic devices for at least an hour before bed
Cell phones, tablets, and computer screens emit a light that contains lots of the blue part of the spectrum, and this can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Blue light is similar to sunlight, so when you look at a device screen before bed, your mind is being told that it is still daytime, and that you should be alert.
Good sleep helps rest your brain and keep your mood positive, but has significant metabolic benefits as well. People who sleep better have an easier time controlling their weight, and studies suggest they have better functioning immune systems as well. A strong immune system gives you more protection against colds and other simple infections, but also helps protect you from cancer as well.
2) Take a brief escape everyday
We all know that meditation is a good thing to do, but despite good intentions, few people mediate regularly. If you are one of these people, at least try for a short escape every day, 20 minutes or so. Distance yourself as much as you can from the craziness and noise of your everyday life. Go someplace where you can be alone if possible. Lay down if you can. Then, as best as you can, let your mind rest, and the idea is to think of nothing, or as little as possible. This sort of simple escape can give your brain and body a good reset.
3) Smile more
This might sound like the craziest suggestion of the three, but it is not. Psychological studies in the past few years have demonstrated that when a person forces a smile…a fake smile…that somehow this gives a feedback stimulus to the brain, that yes, you are actually happier. Forcing a smile has also has been shown to decrease the stress of people who are multitasking.
Try one or more of our suggestions for 2016. If you like them, post them on your refrigerator so you see them every day. Sometimes the simplest changes can show the biggest benefits.
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