Being happy is almost a universal goal for everyone. Why not start 2014 off on the right note – with a big smile?
Majid Fotuhi, MD, PhD and author of Boost Your Brain: The New Art and Science Behind Enhanced Brain Performance has nine brain health tips to help you be happy:
- Get a check up. Getting any long-standing health conditions under control can help increase your brain’s ability to bounce back from negativity.
- Check your medications. Often times, medications can have side affects that negatively affect your mood by giving you brain fog or mood changes. It is a good idea to review your medication list with your doctor to ensure they are not interfering with your brain function or health.
- Sleep. It is well known how a good night’s rest can truly help you feel more alert and ready to face a day with a smile. Give yourself the opportunity to get in a good night’s sleep every day to feel happier during your waking hours.
- Get moving. Exercise pumps oxygen to your brain, which can help improve your mood. Start small if you haven’t exercised before by walking for five minutes a day for four days, then add two minutes every other day until you’re walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Get connected. Social isolation can lead to depression, so surround yourself with positive people and activities to help increase happiness. Even a phone call or video chat with loved ones can bring a smile to your face.
- Eat well and take DHA. Add DHA omega-3 into your diet. It is found in fatty fish and supplements like BrainStrong and has been shown to improve brain function (MIDAS study).
- De-stress. Easier said than done, but try to reduce your daily stress with my 7-7-7 breathing exercise: close your eyes and breathe in while counting to seven, hold your breath and count to seven, then breathe out while counting to seven. And repeat.
- Get thinking. Use your brain in interesting ways by performing complex mental tasks. Start small with something as simple as memorizing your grocery list instead of brining a piece of paper to the store. Build up to something big like learning the names of all the U.S. presidents in order.
What are you going to do to put a smile on your face everyday?