Mood Boosters

Next time you need a pick-me-up, try one of these simple happiness-enhancing tricks

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Practice the healing breath

Before bed or when you feel tense, try focusing on your breath, and breathe deeply and slowly. Try this simple breathing exercise: Sit comfortably, with your hands resting on your belly button. Take a deep breath in for a count of 3, feeling your belly expand beneath your hands. Hold for 5 seconds, and then exhale for 7 seconds, compressing your belly button toward your spine.

Photo Credit: Corbis

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Drink more herbal tea

“These teas are delicious, have no calories, and offer tremendous healing properties,” says Tieraona Low Dog, MD, a Prevention advisory board member and the author of Life Is Your Best Medicine. She likes tea with ginseng for an afternoon pick-me-up, peppermint to help with digestion, and chamomile to relax before bed.

Photo Credit: Dirk Rees/Corbis

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Unplug

“We’re far too habituated to texting and e-mailing constantly,” says Dr. Low Dog. “There’s a reason almost every religion has a day of rest.” People who resist the trend are less stressed and more productive—and have healthier heart rates. Dr. Low Dog’s prescription: Commit one day a week to staying offline.

Photo Credit: Corbis

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Get a massage

Regular rubdowns can help relieve stress, curb anxiety and depression, ease muscle pain, and even control blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Massage relaxes the fight-or-flight stress response, slowing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and alleviating anxiety.

Photo Credit: Alina Vincent Photography/Getty Images

The secret to being happy starts small. Incorporate these mood-boosting tricks into your day and feel lighter in a snap.

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