By Eloise King I First Published November 6, 2011
body+soul, The Sunday Telegraph
These small changes will get you feeling perky and positive.
Our top five steps for having a happy, healthy and unforgettable summer.
Dietitian Tara Diversi says eating a balanced diet and including foods that are high in the amino acid tryptophan will enhance your serotonin (happy hormone) levels.
“Foods that are high in tryptophan include bananas, nuts, soy, sesame seeds, turkey and milk,” Diversi says.
Ban fat talk
The simple act of baring more skin as the weather heats up can provoke anxiety. Some people will begin to obsess over the body bits they’re not happy with.
Diversi says fat talk about yourself and others is known to increase the likelihood of binge eating. “The word ‘fat’ should be off limits,” she says. “It’s an ‘F’ word and it is not helpful.”
According to a study published in the Journal Of Consumer Psychology, generating feelings of pride around the idea of resisting temptations will help you resist them in real life.
In the study, 40 per cent of people asked to feel proud about resisting chocolate cake actually resisted it when it was offered. In another group, who were asked to feel shame about eating the cake, only 10 per cent held out.
When Einstein had a difficult left-brain problem to figure out, he would drop everything to engage in a right-brain creative activity such as playing the violin. Life coach Pip McKay says we live in a left-brain-driven world, so getting creative is great for robust mental health. Try singing or writing a poem.
Seek out friends and nature
Many people focus on money and material possessions, but the things that truly bring us happiness are free, McKay says. “Our relationships and nature bring most people the most joy, so focusing energy into these areas can help us feel connected and truly grateful.”
Exercise educator Leila Lutz says outdoor activity is great for boosting your mood. “Just 30 minutes of exercise in the sun each day will help you connect with yourself in a positive way,” Lutz says.