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8 Easy Ways To Get Happy

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Grin, like you mean it. You might look like you’re on day release from a local institution, but forcing yourself to smile – even when you don’t want to – really does pay off. According to research at Clark University, Massachusetts, students who were induced to smile actually felt happier. Think Cheshire cat and you’ll be on the right track.

Break with routine. Sancerre on a school night? Don’t mind if we do. Dinner al fresco? It would be rude not to. Kettlebells over dumbbells? Go on, we’ll give it a go. Flats instead of heels? Hmm, we’ll see. Any change in routine, no matter how small, will take you out of your comfort zone and give you a mini-makeover of the mind. Besides any excuse to indulge in a chilled glass of white is worthy of a smile or two in our book.

Listen to muzak. This isn’t something we’d ordinarily encourage, but according to Atlanta-based anesthesiologist Fred Schwartz, chill-out tunes have the same calming effect on anxious patients as 5 milligrams of Valium. With that in mind, a medication-free mood boost is worth a subscription to Spotify. Stat.

Laugh at yourself. Remember that time you walked around the office with toilet paper tucked into your skirt or that time your father-in-law walked in on you naked? Share it with a friend. Not only will you make her laugh, but by offloading your tale you automatically reduce your embarrassment levels by 43%. Okay, we made that last statistic up, but detaching yourself from the mortification and sharing it will definitely make you feel better.

Go Red. A pop of colour on the lips is an instant game-changer. It’s like wearing heels, but minus the bunions. You’ll stand straighter, walk taller, smile more and be instantly uplifted. Granted, there’s a large chance you’ll get it on your teeth or end up looking like the Joker, but that, in turn, will make other people smile, which will lift the mood in general. It’s win-win.

Lose the shoes. Walk barefoot on the grass or better still on a sandy beach. Failing a close proximity to a nearby shoreline, patter your pedi in some freshly cut grass. Sunlight naturally stimulates the production of serotonin; the happy hormone and getting plenty of natural light will boost your mood and your energy levels.

Go off diet. We’re not suggesting going on a Brie binge every evening, but give yourself enough leeway to ditch the calorie counting and thigh measuring occasionally and indulge in something truly delicious. It’s good for the soul. Party in your mouth. Dress code: casual.

Get organised. Paying the Property Tax is about as much fun as getting passed up for a promotion; having the boiler serviced is as titillating as watching your toenails grow. However, channeling your inner Martha Stewart and getting on top of mindless chores will help you feel more in control and therefore put a spring in your step.

Senior Editor Rosie McMeel is clearly practicing all of the above or is a damn fine actor. For more laughs @bigmcmeel

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