TheBeyondWoman Magazine Issue #11 - Page 63

1 . Doodle Contrary to popular belief , doodling causes more good than harm . Doodling — a casual or rough drawing made without much thought , reflects your subconscious on paper . Psychologists can analyze your feelings and personality through the shapes , shades , and lines you draw . Doodling helps you to concentrate , creatively solve problems and feel better about yourself . Doodling " activates your brain ’ s unfocused circuits " and gives your “ focus ” circuits a break ", according to a Harvard Health Publication ¹.
Mood Tip : * Have pieces of paper and pencils on hand * Purchase doodle art supplies * Save your doodles to analyze your feelings
2 . Get a good stretch Like most forms of exercise , stretching helps release serotonin which boosts our moods and helps us to feel calm and positive . Stretching stimulates receptors in the nervous system that slow the production of stress hormones . Endorphins that reduce our perception of pain and enhance our mood are also released . Stretching causes blood flow to the brain and allows us to refocus the mind to the present moment .
Mood Tip : * Start with simple stretches * Practise breathing techniques while stretching * If you feel pain , slow down or stop
3 . Practise breathing techniques Breathing techniques help to calm nerves , promote relaxation and lift the mood . Mindful breathing changes how we think and process emotions . Stress restricts the airways in the body , which then has to work harder to transfer air . Breathing techniques allow for more oxygen to reach the cells resulting in energy bursts and / or relaxation .
4 . Get some sunlight In Northern countries , some people suffer from SAD , seasonal affective disorder . A form of temporary depression occurring in the fall and winter when the days are shorter and there is less light . Light therapy , which mimics sunlight , is prescribed for these individuals . When our bodies are exposed to sunlight , our brains release the hormone serotonin .
5 . Start a garden I ' ve always admired my mom for taking such good care of her plants ever since I was a child . She committed the first part of her mornings to gently watering and passionately pruning her little friends . I , on the other side of the fence , have been a self-proclaimed black thumb . Once I even picked a leaf and chewed it , causing an awful itch inside my mouth . Ugh !
Mood Tip : * Understand poor breathing * Practise to breathe slowly * If you feel awkward in a crowded space , find a private place to practise your breathing technique
Mood Tip : * Increase natural light in your home and workspace by adding shiny , glossy , and reflective room elements * Place your bed or work station by a window * Leave home a little earlier in the mornings
6 . Give a compliment When was the last time you gave kind words to a friend , a stranger ? How did that make you feel ? Humans love receiving compliments . After all , neuroscientists have shown that the brain processes verbal affirmations similarly to financial rewards . But how does giving compliments lift our moods ? By noticing and appreciating the good around us , our brains are rewired to focus on positivity . We often smile during positive behaviors . Smiling reduces stress by lowering heart rate and blood pressure .
Mood Tip : * Wave and smile at your neighbour * Say what you admire about a coworker * Say something nice to a stranger
It was not until I started working with floral arrangements that I began appreciating flowers- their delicate textures and unique shapes . But gardening is more than looking at pretty stuff . Nurturing plants can give a gratifying sense of responsibility which combats depression , anxiety , and low self-esteem . Along with sunlight , the mycobacterium vaccae found in the soil increases serotonin improving brain function and lifting moods .
Mood Tip : * Start a herb garden * Recyle ice cream cartons or bottles for pots * Unleash anger during cutting , chopping , digging and weeding
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