8 Ways to Boost Happiness

By Alexa Bigwarfe

The holiday season can be very stressful for both adults and children. Here are some fun ways to keep you and your kids upbeat.

1. Get out of bed and hop, hop, hop.  Or do some jumping jacks, squats, or lunges. But do something, even if you only have time for just a few minutes when you wake up.

2. Try Smiling. Even if it’s a fake or forced smile, the research shows that people who smile more are actually happier. For a fun “experiment” with the kids, go someplace and walk around smiling at everyone. There’s a good chance you’ll all be giggling in no time.

3. Dance it out. Put on some upbeat music and dance around the house. The kids will love it, and singing along can also help boost morale.

4. Sniff something that smells good!  Flowers, essential oils, household cleaners? Whatever smell lifts your mood. Citrus (particularly orange) and lavender scents have been associated with mood enhancement.

5. Throw on a green sweater, green socks, or some green accessories. Green, which symbolizes nature, can increase your mood.

6. Do something good for someone else. The organization Action for Happiness explains that there is psychological evidence proving that doing something good for someone else actually makes us happier. This could be something as simple as doing a chore for someone you know needs help, all the way to longer term volunteering.

7. Eat chocolate! Yes. Dark chocolate, that is. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and helps regulate our stress hormone, cortisol.

8. Try out something new. Find some fun outdoor activities, even in the blustery winter weather. Check out a hockey game, or take the family on a hike. Don’t want to get out of the house? Buy a new family game or have an indoor camp fire around the fireplace.

Hey, as an added bonus, if you implement most of these activities, you’ll make sure your kids are staying active while home on winter break.



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