by Kathy Smith
1 – Set Your Oven to 350 – Science shows that watching a treat rise in the oven is emotionally therapeutic. Plus, it boosts your confidence and you feel more accomplished when your goodies are ready to eat. For a double boost of happiness, share your creation with coworkers or neighbors. Where to begin? Try a few of my favorite recipes…Protein Brownies or Frittata Muffins
2 – Walk or Bike to Work – Traffic can be a real drain on your happiness. If changing your commute is possible, try walking or biking to work, because research shows that you’ll arrive feeling more cheerful! If it’s not in the cards for you to avoid traffic, then try listening to a podcast on your way to keep your brain stimulated during the drive.
3 – Cha Cha! – Shake it baby, shake it! A study from the University of Derby showed that depressed patients who took salsa lessons improved their moods. Click here for a 5-minute salsa video from my Latin Rhythm workout!
4 – Take It In – At the top of every hour, try this simple breathing exercise to lower your heart rate… Breathe in through your nose for four counts, hold your breath for one and exhale through your mouth.
5 – Pay It Forward – Treating the person in line behind you at the coffee shop can give you a bigger happiness boost than only paying for your own tab. Spending just $5 on another person can make a significant difference in your mood…and it will make them happier too!
6 – Do A Shot – Take a shot of my favorite ginger tea to stimulate the body and wake up on the bright side! Ginger root has been used for centuries to aid in better digestion, plus it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. Simply boil a cup of hot water, squeeze in a lemon, and add in a few few cubes of freshly-chopped ginger. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper!
7 – Walk Barefoot – Before breakfast, I enjoy a nature walk barefoot in the grass (I call this “grounding”). As silly as it sounds, studies have shown that grounding has remarkable health advantages, such as increasing antioxidants and reducing inflammation.
8 – Put On Your Party Pants – Dressing up and making yourself look polished tells your brain that you’re valuable. So take out those heels and go out for a girls night on the town!
9 – Get It Om – According to Harvard, “Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness, lower stress, even improve immune function.”
10 – Take a Wonder Drug – I call cardio a “wonder drug,” because it is proved just as helpful as anti-depressants. And, cardio activities such as running, cycling, rowing, using an elliptical, or hiking outdoors release a whole flood of endorphins and feel-good chemicals into the brain. When you do cardio, you activate the same parts of the brain that are involved when you fall in love, or when you listen to music that gives you that “chill” feeling of euphoria.
Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.