5 Self Care Ideas For A Happier Life, According To Science

@katiecung

Looking for some self-care ideas to help you love yourself this February? With the season of love firmly in our minds, it’s time to give a little bit of that love to yourself!

If you’re looking for a reason to treat yourself, look no further. Self-care can help undo a stressful week, a tense convo, and just get you ready to bring your A-game. Self-care to the rescue!

1.

Open your front door

As often as you can, go outside. Swapping the comfort of your home for the outdoors will improve your mental and physical health. Try to go into more green spaces, even if you have to take your workout outside for a bit, this is the ultimate act of self-care.

Why it works: Research suggests that being in more green spaces benefits the brain in a similar way to regular meditation. It can also make you feel more invigorated and alive. Working out outside will decrease tension, anger, and depression!

 

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2.

Get a hit of oxytocin

Whenever you can, try to be helpful. If you see someone struggling, offer to help. Pay it forward, buy a stranger their coffee order, go forward and be kinder. Try not to think about what’s in it for you, and instead, focus on what you can do for others.

Why it works: Volunteering and helping others is proven to positively affect self-confidence, self-esteem and general wellbeing. Acts of kindness can release hormones that contribute to your mood and overall wellbeing. The practice is so effective it’s being incorporated into some types of psychotherapy.

3.

Pick the right scents

Aromatherapy is important. You’ve probably picked out just the right scents for your home, and yes, de-stressing candles are essential. However, if you want to give yourself the ultimate act of self-care, take a deep breath of some aromatherapy oils that benefit you. For focus try peppermint oil, to improve your concentration and cognitive function it’s got to be lavender (which might be the opposite of what you thought). If breathing deep in a calm environment sounds like one of the better self-care ideas, this is definitely for you!

Why it works: We know that breathing techniques can help us relax. But what we breathe might be just as important as how we breathe. A study in 1990 showed that smelling peppermint essential oil enhanced alertness, focus, and concentration. Lavender increases concentration and some scents even help protect against flu! Find the research here.

4.

Stress less 

Stress is really bad for your health. If you’re trying to take care of yourself, you need to learn to deal with stressors better. The more stressed you think you are, the worse it is for your heart. You can use a journal like the Stress Less journal to cope with stress better and limit the effects on your body. This is one of the self-care ideas that everyone can get behind,

Why it works: The Stress Less journal contains CBT techniques that help you deal with stressors and re-wire your own brain. You can learn to self-soothe and deal with unhelpful thoughts. You can’t eliminate stress, but by learning to limit its effects on your brain and body, you can lessen the chances of heart problems and high blood pressure.

5.

The best therapy is retail therapy 

Treat yourself to something every once in a while, set some money aside to go shopping and enjoy your day treating yourself. As if you needed an excuse, the best kind of shopping to do is outdoors (and not behind a computer), so get out and get ready to shop ’til you drop.

Why it works: Studies suggest that purchasing new clothes can lift a person’s mood, shopping can be a rich source of mental preparation. As people shop, they’re naturally visualizing how they’ll use the products they’re considering, and in doing so, they’re also visualizing their new life. And, as many great athletes will attest, visualization is a performance booster and anxiety reducer.

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