31 Days to Waking Up Happy for Life
12. Learn How to Forgive
Studies have shown that forgiveness can lower blood pressure and heart rate and reduce depression, anxiety and anger. Oprah always remembers the person who told her the secret to releasing grudges saying, "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed."
13. Don't Stoop Around
Depression is a slump—literally and figuratively. Erik Peper, PhD, a professor at San Francisco State University, found that bad posture may only strengthen a vicious cycle of sadness and depression. It's another artifact of the brain-body link: We act how we feel...and we feel how we act.
14. Stay in Countdown Mode
The best part about vacation may be...the anticipation. Research finds that the weeks leading up to a break yield even more bliss than the afterglow of one. This may explain why your happiest colleagues plan miniholidays every three to four months (instead of, say, one long vacation in August), giving themselves more escapes to look forward to throughout the year.
15. Remember This Quote
"The bigness of the world is redemption. Despair compresses you into a small space, and a depression is literally a hollow in the ground. To dig deeper into the self, to go underground, is sometimes necessary, but so is the other route of getting out of yourself, into the larger world, into the openness in which you need not clutch your story and your troubles so tightly to your chest." — Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby
16. Put One Foot in Front of the Other—in a Brand New Way
Researchers found that people who strode down the street (long steps, arms bouncing) for three minutes felt "significantly happier" than those who shuffled (small steps, slumped shoulders, looking down).