It’s official: Springtime is here! We’ve been celebrating happiness all month with gusto. As they say, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” Spring is all about new beginnings, fresh energy and positive growth. So get out and smell the flowers. Use your senses – sight, sound, smell and touch – to savor the thrills of springtime. Plus, you’ll experience a mood boost, too. As our final installment of happiness posts, here are few ways to put some spring into in your life.
1. Tap into aromatherapy
Smell is a powerful sense and we often associate memories with particular scents. Think about it. Smells convey a lot of information to our brains, whether it’s comforting fragrance or distinct body odor or a waft of french fries. We can use aroma to boost moods in a very deliberate way. Try experimenting incense; or with essential oils, which are commonly used in aroma therapy to enhance positive emotions or relax the busy mind. For example, orange and citrus are known for their refreshing and cleansing properties, lavender is often used to calm, and eucalyptus is helpful for clearing stuffy noses and clearing coughs. Using scents can be a fun way to invigorate. Try integrating them into your beauty regimen as a perfume, bath salts, and, consider create using all-natural products for spring cleaning.
2. Optimize the longer days
Daylight Savings means more sun! This is good news for those who are affected by seasonal affective disorder, tend to have lower Vitamin D, or spend a lot of time under artificial light or computer screens. It’s time to set your internal clock. You can try to get more natural light in your windows when you wake up. Lucky for you if the sun is still out when you leave work. Getting in a regular 30 minute walk in the sunshine can do wonders and can help boost overall mood.
3. Go out and play
Being in nature is one of the best mood enhancers. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping. It’s a great time to enjoy what mother nature has to offer. Being in nature also inspires “awe.” A state of awe helps us realize we are part of the word around us. But you don’t have to go to a natural wonder to experience the benefits of being outdoors. Try a “listening walk,” which is sometimes referred to as a mindful walk. This is simply taking in all the sights, sounds and sensations around us rather than being stuck in our chatty minds and mental to-do lists — and is an especially nice way to appreciate the world around us.
4. Get a move on
Exercise may be the single best mood enhancer there is: It’s a well known fact that being physically active makes us happy. Why? Because being active triggers the brain’s neurochemicals, especially endorphins. Endorphins have a soothing and euphoric affect in the nervous system. And you you don’t have to run a marathon to get a “runner’s high.” Even 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity has benefits. Plus, yoga is now shown to have similar benefits to traditional exercise. Nothing like sun salutations to get a good stretch!
5. Color your plate
With the dawn of spring season comes the arrival of fresh foods! Think fresh mangoes and avocados, apricots and fennel. Foods like fruits and vegetables will keep you healthy, happy, and feeling like your best self! Plus, eating your F&Vs is associated with less depressive symptoms. Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to the comfort foods – well, except a few. Coffee and dark chocolate are known to have health benefits, too.
Just think about it. You can reap the benefits of all the senses and get friends and family on board. Plan a healthy picnic in the park where you can breath in fresh air while strolling or stretching. It’s a win win!
Want more? Check out this this month’s posts on Happiness:
Written with help by Aryanna Tiberi
© Paula Ohreen | Dreamstime.com – Pretty Little Blond Girl Smelling Daisies