By Mao Shing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., PhD
Science has confirmed that happier people do indeed live longer. The question is: How does one “get happy”? And this is the hardest time of year to get happy with the shorter, darker days of winter. But...... There are definite steps that we can take to be happier NOW. This is what Mao Shing Ni has to say!
1. Eat folate-rich foods.
Get happy by chowing down on more folate-rich foods, like leafy greens. Folate, also know as folic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for cell division, DNA synthesis, and healthy blood cell production. Research at the University of York and Hull York Medical School has found a link between depression and low levels of folate. To keep you and your heart smiling, try a cup of cooked lentils, which provides 90% of the RDA of folic acid. Plus, the fiber and protein will satisfy you longer, stabilize blood sugar, and also promote a better mood. Find folate in kale, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, bok choy, legumes, sunflower seeds, oranges, melons, beets, and fortified whole grains.
2. Self-awareness leads to happiness.
Observe your thoughts and train your mind to hold positive thoughts. How? Use self-awareness to see your thoughts and to observe which ones make you happy or unhappy. Your mind, and by extension, your mood, reflect the activity of your thoughts, which are influenced by your emotions. To change your mood, actively gain control of your thoughts and emotions. Here is a sentence you can repeat to yourself as often as necessary: “From now on, I am the one who decides how I am going to respond.” You might not be able to change your whole attitude overnight, but over time, your self-awareness will develop and your happiness will grow.
3. Wake up with a smile.
4. Take a stroll outdoors.
Click here to read about Dr. Mao Shing Ni.