When it comes to finding happiness, there are many simple things that raise your positive emotions quotient (PEQ).
Here are 5:
- Own a pet: Turns out that pet ownership not only raises your levels of happiness or PEQ but is also likely to reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels and reducing obesity.
- Have a mid-day snack: Sometime between 1-3 PM is typically when the level of the brain neurotransmitter, serotonin falls and drive down mood so why not pick it up with a heart healthy snack. My favorite recommendations that not only boost mood but also lower cholesterol and blood pressure include a medium sized apple, a handful of your favorite nuts or a serving of dark chocolate.
- Do small deeds for loved ones: Doing small deeds for loved ones will not only raise endorphin levels but over time may reduce aging of your blood vessels. Small deeds might include helping your spouse around the house, filling up her car with gas and bringing her a warm towel on a cold morning.
- Enjoy laughter everyday: Laughing is among the single best activities that promote happiness and good health and my friends who practice laughter yoga tell me that they rarely develop illness and have generally never felt better.
- Appreciate yourself: Enjoy your own downtime each day by taking at least 20 minutes to recharge. That means no distractors, including cell phone, radio or TV. It might turn out to be the most restful and meaningful part of your day!
- Dr Michael Miller is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. You can read more about health, happiness and PEQ in his latest book: “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease“. All book proceeds are donated to the American Heart Association.