Wednesday, November 14, 2018
  • share this

Happier New Year: 11 ways to lift your mood in 2018

/ 08:04 PM December 04, 2017

Sexually active individuals are generally more optimistic and positive for the simple reason that sex leads to the release of serotonin, a natural antidepressant. Image: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/ via AFP Relaxnews

With a new year just around the corner, here are some ways to boost your happiness in 2018. Positive psychology specialist Florence Servan-Schreiber suggests a series of actions that can help foster happiness, thanks to their scientifically proven effects on the brain.

Make love more often


Sexually active individuals are generally more optimistic and positive for the simple reason that sex leads to the release of serotonin, a natural antidepressant. Give free rein to your emotions and let all that nervous tension ease away.

Laugh more


Laughter, like exercise, makes the body produce endorphins, the happiness hormones, and strengthens our immune system.

Spend more time with friends

Social interactions play an important role in improving quality of life, health and happiness levels.

Show compassion

Neuroscientists and psychologists have found that altruism lowers levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), reducing inflammation, slowing heart rate, reducing blood pressure and pain.

Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Several studies have highlighted a link between omega-3 fatty acids and improved mood. Found in nuts, particularly walnuts, as well as seeds (chia, linseed), oily fish and certain oils (canola, walnut, linseed), these essential fatty acids are veritable mood lifters.



Meditation focuses the mind and body on the present moment. This allows us to take control of the body’s autopilot and curb wandering thoughts. With regular practice (ten minutes per day at first), you can learn to appease mind and body, and bring about a state of calm.

Get busy in the garden

Mowing the lawn, digging, picking and gathering, stacking wood, weeding and raking are all manual activities which, as well as connecting us to the real world, help awaken all five senses and focus attention on the task in hand, not unlike hypnosis.

Chew gum

In times of stress and overwork, chewing gum can help relieve pressure in the brain. In fact, chewing can boost blood flow to the brain by 25 percent to 40 percent, in turn increasing the amount of oxygen getting to the brain.

A waft of vanilla

Smells and essences can affect our mood considerably. Vanilla has been the focus of several scientific studies and could be the most effective aroma for uplifting our state of mind.

Take a nap

Napping for 30 minutes per day has many health benefits, while also making us more efficient and creative.

Get back to nature

Walks in the countryside can not only make us happier but also reduce our tendency to mull over and dwell on negative thoughts. If the sun is shining, the mood-lifting benefits will be even greater. Plus, wide open spaces can fill us with awe and wonder, which can help foster feelings of fulfillment. JB


How to stay on top of your game in the run up to the holidays

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: gardening, Laughter, Meditation, nuts, Sex
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2018 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.