People who chew sugar-free gum after lunch consume 60 fewer calories during their afternoon snack, one study showed.read more
BY: Gabrielle Gayagoy
Call it the end-of-summer blues: After all the requisite R&R that comes with summer, returning to the daily grind of a work schedule can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy, proven ways to lift your spirits year-round. Here are a few of my favourites:
1. Spruce up your workspace.
Getting in touch with your inner Martha Stewart can be a good thing, according to research from the University of Exeter. In a study of more than 2,000 office workers, those who personalised their work area reported feeling happier and were up to 32 percent more productive than people stationed in bare spaces. Opt for decor that’s sure to make you smile, be it a potted plant or a framed photo of George Clooney.
2. Join the conversation.
Whether you’re swapping secrets with a friend over dinner or debating over Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap at your next book club meeting, it pays to seek out substantive discussions. Research shows that people who have more deep conversations are happier than those who engage in fleeting small talk. Got good news to share? Try telling it in person or on the phone next time rather than dashing off a quick email or tweet.
3. Revel in the little things.
Spend a few minutes each day making your partner feel special, says Bonnie Jacobson, author of Save Your Marriage in Five Minutes a Day. Cuddling your spouse at random, or giving them a reassuring back rub for a few seconds, will boost your happiness and theirs. And don’t forget to show gratitude for all the nice things your spouse does -- from cooking dinner to giving you a hug when you most need it. This can help you feel more satisfied about your relationship according to studies. Recognising little gestures that may have become routine (pouring you coffee, say) with a warm “Thanks” can go a long way toward making you both feel appreciated.
4. Spend on memories, not stuff.
Research from San Francisco State University has found that funneling money toward experiences, such as eating out or seeing a play, resulted in greater happiness than buying material goods. This may be because experiences are more likely to be linked with happy memories. So on your next fun outing, snap a photo while you’re at it!
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