The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Whether you feel like you’re a glass half-empty or glass half-full kind of person, we’re all looking for new technology and new ways to lead happier lives. But it’s not always easy to make changes or do big things when you’re working long hours and taking care of all the people in your life. Sometimes, it’s important to seek out the care of a therapist or engage in online therapy in order to lead a happier, more fulfilled life.
Fortunately, there are a lot of science-backed things we can do to help us feel happier that are easy to add to our lives. So, let’s take a look at some simple daily things that can help you feel happier and the science behind them.
Stop And Smell The Lemons
We all know the familiar adage about stopping to smell the flowers, what about a bowl of lemons? According to one study, certain citrus oils have an antidepressant-like effect. Other studies have shown that smelling citrus for 10 minutes can be a mood lifter. To get your mood boost from citrus, you can choose lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit and use them in a multitude of ways.
There are many methods for getting the mood-boosting effects of citrus. Find a personal fragrance with citrus or a room spray, so you’re only a quick mist away from a mental boost. Choose cleaning supplies with citrus, so you can get a boost while doing dishes or dusting. Or simply inhale and savor a fresh cut orange before you eat it. The benefits of citrus can enhance your day in so many ways.
Blooms With Benefits
Surrounding yourself with beautiful blooms has its mental health benefits. According to researchers at Harvard, people feel less stressed around flowers. In their study, researchers found that flowers could positively affect the mood of study participants.
You’ve probably sent someone flowers to make them feel better, so why not send flowers to yourself sometime? Or pick up a pretty potted plant or bouquet for yourself the next time you go to the grocery store. Stroll your own garden or stop by a greenhouse the next time you want a pick-me-up. Gazing at flowers can be an easy way to make your day feel happier.
Eat Your Mushrooms
Vitamin D has been linked to brain health, according to science. Mushrooms are the only plant source of vitamin D. All other forms of vitamin D are derived from animals or seafood, which can make it an especially important source of nutrition for vegans and vegetarians.
Here’s a tip to increase the vitamin D you get from the next mushroom you eat. Put mushrooms in a bowl, and expose them to direct sunlight for an hour or two when light is strongest at midday. The result is increased vitamin D levels in the mushrooms, even if the mushrooms have been cut and are no longer in the ground.
Let The Light In
When days get shorter in the fall and winter, people tend to get less sunlight and that can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder. People who get less sunlight may have more depressive symptoms.
Luckily, there are a lot of ways to get more light, whether you throw open the shades a little earlier in the morning, take a walk at lunch in the sunshine, or buy a lightbox designed to expose you to more light. And if you’re not getting enough light, consider supplementing with vitamin D in addition to getting more sunlight. Your body needs sunlight to make vitamin D.
Try Out Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a proven form of treatment for those experiencing anxiety and depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy works by helping people identify negative patterns and replace them with positive thoughts and patterns. There are more ways to engage in CBT than ever before thanks to technology.
Today, there are CBT apps that can help guide you. There are also online therapy platforms, where you can seek out cognitive behavioral therapy with a licensed therapist.
Sometimes taking time to smell the roses (or lemons) is enough to give you a quick mood boost on a hectic day. But if taking small steps like these to boost your mood isn’t enough for you to get the results you want, that’s okay too. Know that it’s healthy to seek out the help you need to be happier.