Windy winter days are the perfect excuse to treat yourself to some rest and relaxation. Even better, research reveals that your favorite pleasures increase your well-being! Check out these quick health tips to learn more.
Closing your eyes solves sticky problems.
When you are looking for a solution to a problem, try this health trick: close your eyes and relax for 10 minutes. Doing so is more likely to come up with an ingenious solution than active brainstorming, AARP experts say. Letting her mind wander allows her to piece together unrelated information in new ways.
Protect your heart with a brush.
Do you enjoy painting, knitting, playing the guitar or participating in other hobbies? Regularly finding time to enjoy your favorite leisure activities reduces the risk of serious heart problems and stroke, reveals a study by Japanese researchers from the journal Atherosclerosis. This is because fun pastimes reduce stress and relieve pressure on blood vessels, which allows your heart to reach twice as much blood as if you didn’t have time for hobbies.
Capture a sunset.
The best health tricks are the ones that encourage us to go out! Being outside for 30 minutes a day while watching the sunset – or just doing nothing – can reduce the risk of heart-damaging cholesterol problems, Harvard University researchers report. Daily relaxation reduces stress hormones that interfere with cholesterol control in the liver.
Increase the joy with shop windows.
For a surefire smile, check out that cute new craft store at the mall or go online and browse your favorite stores. Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that you will notice a significant increase in good feelings by mentally selecting the products you like, no need to buy! This is because making decisions (even small and fun ones) gives you a sense of control, which makes you feel more confident and satisfied with your life.
Bonus: A separate study found that window shopping and choosing items to put on your wish list exerts brain areas related to decision making, giving them a boost.
Dip your feet.
Do you need a simple relaxation technique? Try this health trick: take a warm foot bath with two or three ginger tea bags and soak your feet while reading a book (or your latest The world of women magazine, of course).
Experts explain that when ginger’s stimulating compounds (called shogaol) are absorbed through the skin, they can lift morale and relieve inflammation.
And if you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, try a pre-packaged salt bath! We love this flower essence bath from Facial Lounge (buy from Facial Lounge, $ 29).
Relieve aches and pains by browsing the photos.
Scrolling through images on your smartphone or in old photo albums rekindle warm memories of past birthdays, holidays and holidays. An additional advantage: according to a Frontiers in psychology relationship. Why? Nostalgic memories increase optimism and a sense of control, which in turn makes the discomfort feel less noticeable.
Retrieve a friend.
Calling, texting, or sending a “thinking of you” card to a friend can strengthen your relationship and ease the pain, explains The New York Times. Social bonds and pain share a common neural pathway in the body, which means that feeling closer to loved ones reduces the pain signals sent to the brain!
Refine your memory with a short snooze.
A postponement of midday sharpens the memory, say scientists at the University of California. They found that short snoozes improved memory by 20% in children by increasing slow-wave activity in the brain.
Bonus: Regular naps for up to half an hour (and not much more) can reduce the risk of dementia, as explained in a BMC Geriatrics item.
Open a novel.
Women who read remember more words and have better language skills than others, Canadian scientists say. And it doesn’t have to be highly educational! Fiction books improve your verbal skills by engaging you in the storyline.
Lose weight by deciding on dessert first.
You can have your own cake and eat it too! First, choose a dessert, then choose your meal. As a University of Arizona study shows, knowing ahead of time that you will treat yourself will make you more likely to opt for healthy foods and smaller portions during your meal. This helps reduce overall calorie consumption.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.