Makeover Your Life -- Today!
Makeover Your Life
You don’t need to be ambushed by a list of must-dos in order to makeover your outlook on life.
From fashion to self-confidence, we’ve got simple tricks that will get you armed and ready to take on the world in a moment.
Bonus: We promise you won’t be able to stop smiling.
1. Update your closet
Go through your clothes and ID those items that make you feel frumpy, sloppy or less than confident. No matter how trendy or fashionable the piece, if it immediately puts you in a bad mood, it’s not worth wearing or storing.
2. Light scented candles
Studies have long shown a connection between fragrance and emotions. Sure, you can try a new perfume, but a cheaper option is to fire up some mood lighting. If you’re feeling sluggish, try citrus scents, which have been shown to boost mood.
3. Surround yourself with close friends
Schedule regular dates with someone you love for exercise, dinner or a walk in the park. The laughs, shared stories and camaraderie are proven happiness elixirs.
4. Ditch artificial sweeteners
A study from Yale University suggests that fake sugars -- like aspartame and saccharin -- can trigger your appetite and cause you to overeat. Researchers believe that chemical sweeteners don’t activate the brain’s reward center in the way that natural sugars do. Stick to the natural sweet stuff -- in moderation.
5. Beam when you enter a room
Studies have shown that smilers are perceived as more intelligent, outgoing, attractive, interesting and confident. In social situations, even if you’re a wallflower, you’ll up your odds of meeting new people because you’ll be more approachable and friendly.
6. Focus on the task at hand
A new study published in Science found that “a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.” Researchers used the Track Your Happiness iPhone app to determine that about 47 percent of our waking hours are spent thinking about something other than what we’re actually doing. All that daydreaming prevents us from engaging in and enjoying everyday activities.
7. Have a laugh
Turns out that having a good chuckle does more than reduce depression, ease stress and instantly perk you up; it can also protect against heart disease, according to research from the University of Maryland. If you need inspiration, sign up online to receive a joke of the day.
8. Sit under a tree
A breath of fresh air can energize you as much as a cup of coffee, according to Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. His research shows that you don’t have to go hiking or take a three-day camping trip to feel more alive and in touch with nature. Just a quick break on a park bench can be just as revitalizing.
9. Make a lunch date with a mentor
Women who play by the rules on the job are less likely to develop a politic network that will help them get ahead, according to Lynn Cronin, co-author of Damned If She Does, Damned If She Doesn’t. Take control of your career by connecting with an influential colleague who can champion your success.
10. Snack on pumpkin seeds
These seeds are packed with fiber, magnesium, protein and L-tryptophan, and nutrition experts agree that adding them to your daily diet reduces cholesterol, wards off depression and prevents a variety of diseases, including cancer. In the short term, it packs enough protein to keep you away from the vending machine between meals.
11. List what you love about your partner
Gratitude journals aren’t just for boosting your own happiness anymore. Research published in the journal Personal Relationships found that noticing the little things he does, like making a special dinner or giving a compliment, can heighten romance and keep you feeling connected.
12. Perk up your space
A cluttered environment can make you feel anxious, stressed and distracted, especially where you work. Zen your office by clearing the chaos, then add instant pick-me-ups -- such as a bouquet of flowers and your favorite photo -- to bring a sense of calm and happiness.
Photo Credit: @iStockphoto.com/o_sa
Stacy Baker has written for InStyle, Shape, Self, Fitness, Family Circle and Prevention. She was previously Sephora’s editorial director and the executive editor of Life & Style Weekly. Baker collaborated with author Tosca Reno to write Your Best Body Now.
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