How To: Feel Great About Yourself!

by Wonmi Chang, , May 20, 2010

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We've all had those days: no matter what you wear it doesn't look good on your body, no matter how much makeup you put on your face it just doesn't seem to sit right. My friend Lauren was upset the other day over something that she had absolutely no control over. She was upset that her boyfriend of six months decided to break up with her for no apparent reason. I thought to myself, why does something like this completely change a woman's mood? Why is this a deciding factor on how women spend an average day? Well, all women deserve to feel great about themselves 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I brainstormed a few ideas about what makes someone happy and what they can do to keep themselves happy.

So what makes someone happy? A release of endorphins. What are endorphins? Endorphins are neurotransmitters produced in the brain that can reduce pain and induce euphoria. Here is a list of fourteen "happy" things we did these past two weeks.

Day 1) To initiate the release of endorphins, we started with a small, 30-minute exercise regime a day! A quick jog in the morning or 30 minutes on the elliptical can be great for you but there are other, fun ways to work out for 30 minutes without making it seem like a chore. Take classes at your local gym! It can be spinning class, yoga, tai chi, hip-hop dance, Pilates, or even pole dancing classes! All of these classes can be an enjoyable way to spend the 30 minutes of exercise. If you're too busy to take time out of the day to go to the gym there are many things that you can do around your house. There are many things you can do with a yoga ball, an iPod and weights. You can lie on a yoga ball to do simple sit-ups, you can run up and down your stairs at home, you can lift weights and do repetitive sets for your triceps and biceps. The possibilities are endless.

Day 2) Haven't you ever heard that laughter is the best medicine? Well it's true! After sitting with my friend Lauren for 15 minutes, we started talking and joking about all the good times we've had together with each other and our other friends. She was laughing in no time, and for that moment forgot about her unpleasant situation. Every single day this week you're going to think of a happy thought. Monday, think about what makes you happy. Tuesday, day dream a little! Wednesday, Hump Day! Your friends can be the best thing to put you in a great mood. Surround yourself with those that make you laugh and laugh with your friends until your stomach hurts. Thursday watch a funny movie. Friday think of the last time you laughed until you cried; surely it will put a smile on your face once again. Saturday tell yourself a funny joke. Sunday watch a comedy show.

Day 3) Especially when it's cold outside, it's hard for you to get up and embrace the sun's rays outside. One day this week on a sunny day, promise yourself that you will take 15 minutes out of the day to take a walk and enjoy the sunshine on your skin. Sunshine and fresh air have also been proven to release endorphins. Not just the sunshine but the warmth provides a sense of comfort for many people. "Whether lying on the beach in the midday sun on a Caribbean island, grabbing a few minutes in the sauna or spa after working or sitting in a hot bath or Jacuzzi in the evening, we often associate feeling warm with a sense of relaxation and well-being," Dr. Lowry wrote in a recent edition of the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Day 4) Try new things, especially things that are healthy for your body. Try an exotic fruit like a pomegranate. Pomegranates provide 40 percent of an adult's recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, and are a rich source of folic acid and vitamins A and E. One pomegranate also contains three times the antioxidant properties of red wine or green tea. Antioxidants are used prevalently in disease prevention and used in medications for brain injury. So why not drink something that's tasty and good for you at the same time? This is a quick and simple way for you to feel good while being good.

Day 5) On your birthday or on a special occasion, when you receive flower, don't you feel so warm inside? A recent Rutgers Behavioral Study has proven that flowers are nature's way of helping us enhance our emotional well-being. They bring about happy feelings. Buy yourself a bouquet of the most gorgeous roses. Do cut the stems a little and put the flower food into your fresh water. This will ensure that they will live longer and make you smile longer. Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers.

Day 6) The holidays are a time where everyone feels elated and nostalgic of their childhood. The memories that you have tied to the holidays bring out that warm feeling inside. Your childhood brings out the great sensation of being carefree. Take that feeling and run with it! Take out your old decorations and put a few up! Buy the Christmas cookie candle and light it in your kitchen. This will surely make you feel like you're 10 years old again!

Day 7) Help others. This is an important point that I cannot stress enough. This is the ultimate goal that will make you feel good about yourself, because it isn't technically for yourself. If there's a donation box, donate. If you see someone fall, try to help them up. If someone sneezes, be courteous and say "God bless you". It is the smallest things in life that can give you pleasure and can make you feel good about yourself.

Day 8) Go shopping and splurge a little! Buy yourself something you have been dying to have or just treat yourself to something that will make you happy. Buy an outfit for a special night out on the town!

Day 9) Treat yourself to a spray tan! This is a way for you to get the healthy summer glow without the harmful UV rays! You'll look great in the mirror and feel great, too.

Day 10) Take a night to go out with your favorite girlfriends. Only surround yourself with the best company and hit the hottest spot! Try on the outfit you bought and prepare to turn heads! You'll look great considering you've been working out every day and you just got that amazing spray tan!

Day 11) Have a "YOU day". Buy yourself a facial pack and aromatherapy candles. Go home and light the candles all around your place. Rub the facial on and relax. Let the aroma from the candles fill your room and relax your muscles.

Day 12) Watch your favorite movie. There's a reason that it is your favorite! Veg out on the couch curled up with your favorite movie and a blanket. My favorite movie is Elf with Will Ferrell. I laughed because we had no other worries than watching the movie.

Day 13) Learn something new. Let someone teach you or seek new information that surprises you or makes you think twice. Learning new things can be a great way to expand your horizons.

Day 14) Get a manicure and pedicure. Pamper yourself because you deserve it. You will be relaxed while getting beautiful. The five of us decided to do this together too. It not only made it something fun for us to all do together but getting pampered was a great feeling!

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