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Just like any other emotion, sadness is a part and parcel of our life. At times, it knocks on the door with an invitation from unforeseen circumstances. On other occasions, it can come rather unannounced and without a serious cause or concern. In either case, we cannot ignore this emotion. Rather, we have to deal with it.
If you’re feeling the burden of sadness right now, then fret not. Because we’ve got your back with these 11 scientifically-backed suggestions that can make you feel happier RN!
1. Tune in to your favourite song
A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that listening to music releases dopamine—the feel-good hormone in your body. In short, music can evoke pleasure, motivate you, and make you feel great.
2. Dance your heart out
Dancing helps the body release endorphins, a chemical that triggers positive feelings and reduces stress. Dancing will also help you reduce the perception of pain and thus taking you to a better emotional state mentally.
3. Draw, paint, or sketch
Art is therapy in itself. It reduces the stress hormone cortisol in the body and releases endorphins, which further help you in combating stress and pain. When you paint or draw something it can give you a sense of fulfilment making you feel more positive. Don’t worry if art is not your strong suit—working with adult colouring books can also help.
4. Write down your thoughts
Writing what you’re feeling or thinking helps you better understand your emotions. It also improves mood and reduces stress levels. A research article published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin also suggests that writing about achieving future goals and dreams can make you feel happier.
5. Exercise! If not for your body, then for your mind
We’re sure you’ve heard this over and over again that exercising can make you feel better, but do you know what actually happens in your body when you exercise? When you are exercising your body releases endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid. All these hormones are associated with feelings of happiness! In short, exercising is a cure for your bad mood.
6. Cook your favourite dish
Have you ever felt happy while baking a cake or cooking something? If yes, then this is because spending time in the kitchen helps in reducing the stress and enhances mindfulness. The process of cooking improves moods and increases the feeling of satisfaction. When the end result is your favourite dish, then happiness is bound to come knocking.
7. Talk to someone you love
Maintaining relationships is an important part of life. Talking to someone you care about, and who cares about you, will not only help you feel better but can also have a positive influence on your overall mood.
8. Read your favourite book
Reading has a similar effect on you as meditating. It can put your brain into a pleasurable trance-like state. It also brings the same benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm which can help you feel elated.
9. Try breathing exercises
Controlling your breath has a very calming effect on the body. When you take deep breaths, it also allows for more oxygen to enter your blood. This calms down various parts of the brain, like the amygdala—the part that handles your anxiety response thus making you feel better and calmer.
10. Make a list of things you are grateful for
Writing down what makes you feel grateful facilitates the release of feel-good chemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. This will give you an increased feeling of happiness. Doing this regularly strengthens neural pathways and rewires the brain.
11. Journal your daily emotions
Journaling your emotions can help you improve your mood by helping you identify your problems and fears. This will also give you control over the triggers that make you feel sad.