That natural high when we exercise our compassion and help someone in need. But from where does that feeling arise? Not surprisingly, it all starts in the brain. When we give to others, our brain’s pleasure and reward pathways are activated, releasing dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin. These neurochemicals are associated with happiness and serenity, which is why we feel those positive emotions. In a time like this we can all give our hand and help in some positive way.
We all know that smiling makes us feel good, liberated and oh so happy when we feel good. Smiling can lower stress and boost your immune system. Your brain sends signals to the cranial nerve which then triggers the face’s zygomatucus major muscle and the orbicularis occuli muscle. You smile, a positive feedback loop is initiated and a signal is sent back to your brain, releasing dopamine and serotonin and reinforcing positive emotions
Take a Warm Bath or Shower
Water can have a calming effect on both our mind and our body, especially if our muscles are tense after a long day. Whether it’s a long soak in an Epsom salt bath with music and candles or a hot shower, try splashing yourself with some cold water afterward to re energize your body.
Do Some Exercise
Exercise is a great way to release the tensions of the day, boost your endorphins (the ‘happy hormone’), clear your mind, and tire yourself out before bed. It’s been well-documented that more active people are less prone to stress and have healthier sleep routines, so find something you enjoy, something that benefits your life – either by yourself or with others – and spend 30-40 minutes working on your health rather than your career.
If your job means that you’re pent up inside all day then some fresh air and sunshine could be the perfect change of scenery. While a walk in nature will combine this with the exercise we’ve just mentioned, simply some time in your own back garden will also do the trick when trying to shake off the workplace. This can be as natural as asking for help, when you reach out for therapy you’ll feel a sense of relief. The Body needs Vit D to feel good, this vital nutrient has been linked to almost every health condition under the sun, from bone and muscle health, to brain health, pregnancy, immune activity, cardiovascular functions and more.
Read a Good Book
Escapism is what we’re after when we get home from a tough day and there’s no better way to achieve this than getting lost in a good book. Engaging our brains with a gripping storyline or a well-written character can also give our brains a great mental workout. If you’re not a fan of reading them try watching a couple of episodes of a TV series, but bear in mind that it’s best to avoid technology and screens for at least 30 minutes before you intend to go to bed.
Listen to Music
Listening to music can have a real impact on our mood and, if you choose the right type of music, can help you to disconnect from the stress of work. Calm and soothing music will slow your heartbeat and your breathing, while loud and fast music may leave you feeling wound up. Unless, of course, you’re someone who likes to blow off steam with some air guitar and heavy rock while venting your frustrations – because that can work too!
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Some people hear the word ‘meditation’ and presume it means sitting cross-legged on the floor and chanting, but in reality it can be as simple as finding a place of serenity and peace, putting your feet in a footbath, lighting some scented candles and letting your mind relax. Meditation is one powerful way to help transform chaos into inner calm and frustration into joy. Meditation offers a variety of paths--from short to long, guidance to silence, imagery to mantras--so that everyone can find a practice that works for them.