What if you could snap your fingers and magically wake up every day with a smile on your face?
You’d do it in a heartbeat, right? Thing is, this sorcery exists, and you don’t even need to snap your fingers – or recite any hocus pocus. As detailed in a recent issue of Harvard Public Health, there’s an inextricable link between your health and your mood; improve one and you improve the other.
Thankfully, even the tiniest lifestyle changes – swapping out a key part of your bedding or adopting a new way to cook (or not cook, in some cases) your vegetables – can bring about these magical mood boosting benefits. So, if you want to wake up every day with a smile on your face, here’s where to start.
Sleep seven hours
The benefits of regular restful sleep cannot be overstated. Scoring a decent amount – according to the National Sleep Foundation, anywhere from seven to nine hours – can keep your brain sharp, your mood buoyant and your energy level sky high. What’s more, resting up will reduce your insulin levels, leading to slashed stress and on a superficial note, radiant skin.
Exercise just three times a week
Working out has obvious health benefits, of course – namely, fat burn and muscle gain – but regular exercise can bring about more than just physical benefits. According to a report in the Monitor on Psychology, the American Psychological Association’s journal of record, exercise is a sure-fire way to boosting mood, and is a prove method for slashing stress, anxiety and depression.
Eat raw vegetables
You’ve been told to eat your vegetables forever. But, according to new research in Frontiers of Psychology, there’s a way to get even more nutrients from – and you don’t even have to do any extra work; just eat your veggies raw. As the researchers found, consuming your veggies in an “unmodified”, or uncooked state can seriously decrease feelings of depression.
Or mix them into everything else
Another easy way to get your veggies – and regular vegetable consumption can lead to a healthier, happier life – is to simply put them in everything. Don’t cook an omelette without chopping peppers beforehand. Don’t cook steak without a side of broccoli. Don’t make brownies without whipping some sweet potato into the batter.
Take vitamin D supplements
According to Harvard Medical School, a staggering 70 percent of people are deficient in Vitamin D. Considering the nutrient is directly linked to serotonin (the happiness hormone) production, if you want to feel great, mitigating that deficiency should be step one.
Wake up earlier
Bad news, night owls: new research indicates that you’re more likely to suffer a respiratory or gastrointestinal disease, diabetes, or a psychological disorder (namely, depression or anxiety) than your early morning counterparts.