HAPPINESS IS NOT FAR AWAY

Feeling out! Feeling down! This feeling wouldn’t leave me alone Bob wasn’t alone in that. Jamaica’s recent ranking as the 37th happiest country in the world may be a steep drop from our high of third happiest in 2009, but it’s still better than some expected.

With all the madness we’re dealing with now, it’s hard to keep our spirits up. But we have to try. We humbly offer a few things you can do to improve your mood every day:

1. Smile more.

It’s no laughing matter (#drumroll). Many studies show that smiling more can actually make you feel better. The act tricks your brain into releasing the hormones dopamine and serotonin, key mood boosters. Even fake smiles can help to reduce stress and lower your heart rate. The happier you are, the stronger your immune system is. And we certainly could use that.

2. Take a social media break.

Social media is great for keeping in touch with what’s happening in your world, but it can also be harmful. Social media overuse increases negative emotions, so be conscious of the amount of time you spend online. One helpful tip? Delete the apps from your phone. Most social media accounts are still accessible via their websites. Your account will still be there if you need it, except now you’re not just checking them out of habit.

3. Get good quality sleep.

We all know sleep is important. People who get enough sleep are happier and healthier. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get good sleep. Bad sleeping habits, like checking your phone before bed, can impact your ability to fall into the deep sleep your body needs to rest. Practice good sleep hygiene to get the best sleep possible; stop using the phone before bed; ensure your room is as cool and dark as possible and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. 

4. Remind yourself of the good in the world.

There’s a lot of bad news today. While it’s important to stay informed, watching just three minutes of bad news is enough to ruin your day. Try to balance that by looking for good news stories. Sites like Upworthy and Good News Network are dedicated to telling the kind of feel-good international stories that make you feel a little less down, and Good News Jamaica captures good news closer to home.

There’s not much we have control over in this world. We hope with these little tips you can regain some control over one thing: your mood. Come on get, happy!