For those who know me well, you will know I love a bit of good old-fashioned romance! I love any excuse to be wined and dined, given flowers, chocolates and feeling utterly spoilt!
Feeling good about yourself and feeling loved is an important factor in producing happy hormones, but there are many things you can do to increase your endorphins (feel good hormones) and make sure you feel the happiness buzz every day!
Top happiness-increasing tips:
1. Smells: Certain aromas can lift your mood by influencing the production of endorphins. The scent of vanilla helps reduce anxiety, which is often associated with depression. Lavender essential oil improves symptoms of depression and insomnia too, so a few drops on your pillow or in the oil burner every day is ideal.
2. Ginseng: This may benefit people who are feeling fatigued and over-stressed. The herb has been shown to balance the release of stress hormones in the body and support the organs that produce these hormones as well as help produce endorphins. Many long-distance runners and body builders take ginseng to heighten physical endurance.
3. Exercise with other people: Group exercise has some distinct advantages. Not only will friends spur you on if you’re flagging, but the shared effort may give your endorphin levels an extra boost. The rhythm of continuous exercise releases endorphins and encourages reflective and positive thoughts.
4. Have a laugh! The more we laugh, the better our perspective. Problems also seem to shrink, bringing an increased sense of energy. Over the centuries it has been said that laughter is one of life’s greatest medicines.
5. Get sexy: Don’t give it a low priority! This is one of nature’s great relaxants and a joyful de-stressing activity, which burns calories, too. Everyone’s a winner!
6. Chocolate: Dark chocolate provides protection against heart attacks and strokes. Thanks to its high content of polyphenols and other antioxidants, dark chocolate reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure as well as containing chemicals that prompt the release of endorphins, the body’s pain-relieving and pleasure-promoting hormones.
7. Listening to music: Listening to music triggers joy by unleashing feel-good brain chemicals.
8. Go Hot: The hot, spicy taste of foods is not, in fact, a taste sensation but a feeling of pain. However, the pain is offset by the body’s reaction, which is to release endorphins. Naturally occurring opioids that produce a feeling of well-being, which could explain the popularity of hot, spicy food.
So if you are celebrating Valentines Day or not, there are plenty of great things you can do to feel happy! Enjoy!