Greater well-being of mind and body does not have to require extremely expensive yoga classes, expensive vitamin supplements or prohibitive vacations in spas and dream destinations. Here we propose some simple measures that you can take in your daily life and that can help you feel more calm, comfortable, healthy and happy.
FILL YOUR HOUSE WITH PLANTS
It has been shown that plants in the house help reduce the level of stress and enhance happiness. How? At a basic level, plants make your breathing easier by increasing the level of oxygen in your home: they absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. In addition, some plants help purify the air, filtering harmful chemicals. And, of course, the colours of flowers and plant leaves can illuminate a room and our own mood.
We are made of water: this liquid makes up 55% of the body of an adult woman and 60% of that of a man. We need it to function, so nobody will be surprised that staying hydrated can improve our health, raise our energy levels and improve our ability to concentrate. If you are someone who does not like to drink a lot of plain water, try adding a touch of natural flavour with a lemon wedge, a slice of cucumber or a little ginger.
TAKE CARE OF THE ORDER OF YOUR HOUSE
The state of our house has a huge impact on our mood, how well we sleep and on our energy levels. You can start with the bedroom: open the windows to circulate fresh air, let in so much natural light and put an order in the closets and the space under the bed.
If you want to take it to the next level you can leaf through a book about the ancient Chinese tradition of feng shui, which literally means air-water. The feng shui holds that health and wellness can be promoted by examining how the life force called “qi” flows through space. Even if you don’t feel the “qi” you will end up with a tidier and better-distributed house.
LISTEN TO THE BIRDS SINGING
It may sound like anecdotal, but recent research by academics at King’s College in London showed that listening to birdsong can improve our sense of well-being for several hours. The researchers asked the volunteers to record their mood in an application while walking through the urban landscape. The results showed that exposure to the song of birds, trees and the sky had a positive impact that was present several hours later.
“Short-term exposure to nature has a measurable beneficial impact on our mental well-being,” according to Dr. Andrea Mechelli, of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at that university. If you don’t have birds on hand, try listening to a recording of nature, with good headphones while you imagine a walk in the mountains.
YOU MAY LAUGH MORE
A good laugh can release the physical tension of our muscles, improve blood circulation and trigger the release of nitric oxide, which boosts the immune system. A good laugh can also reduce stress hormones and cause endorphins to be released, the chemical that makes us feel good and acts as a natural pain reliever.
So it is true: laughter can be the best medicine and in fact there are laugh therapies to improve mental health. Spend time with friends who make you laugh, go out to watch comedy, or, if you don’t feel very sociable, you can watch online videos of cats on skateboards and things like that.