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5 Unlikely Ways to Feel Happier

When we’re feeling down and need a mood boost, we often turn to solutions that are more obvious or tried-and-true. We search for funny videos on YouTube, eat our favorite comfort foods, or get a haircut. But there are other ways to improve your mood and while some of them can seem insignificant or strange, you shouldn’t count them out. Here’s a list of unusual ways you can get a happy hormone dosage.

Cracking your joints

When you stand up or stretch and your joints crack, it feels good for many reasons. Apart from relieving some tension or pain that’s been building up from bad posture or holding a position for an extended period, cracking joints causes the release of endorphins. If you’re into the habit of cracking your knuckles, this is possibly one of the reasons you’ve made a habit of it in the first place. While cracking your knuckles is neither beneficial nor harmful, there are many other joints in your body to crack and many healthy ways to hear them pop.

If you’re working at a desk for the whole day, make sure to get up and stretch every so often. Medical experts recommend doing this every 30 to 60 minutes. Other things you can do that’s sure to crack your joints along the way are exercising, stretching, and dancing. Stretching first thing in the morning will help relieve any tension from sleeping and energize you. It’s a great way to have a dose of happy hormones to start your day. You can also try assisted methods such as getting chiropractic treatment or a massage.

Sneezing

While it’s not the most graceful action, there’s no denying that sneezing feels oddly satisfying. This is because the release of tension following a sneeze prompts the release of endorphins. Sneezing is also a natural reaction that you shouldn’t try to suppress. It’s your body’s way of purging bacteria and irritants such as dust from your system.

The point of this isn’t to tell you that you should actively make yourself sneeze, but to tell you to stop holding in your sneezes. While the chances of your eyes popping out of your skull are very low, holding in a sneeze has other possible consequences such as rupturing eardrums, vertigo, aneurysms, and ear infections to name a few.

It can be embarrassing to sneeze, especially in certain circumstances, but don’t be ashamed of it. To sneeze safely, sneeze into a handkerchief, tissue, or the crook of your elbow.

child crying on the floor

Crying

While it doesn’t seem very dignifying, sometimes crying is the best way to cope with stress or pain, especially if done in the right setting. Tears of great emotion contain toxins, so it’s one way for your body to detoxify itself. Crying also allows you to release physical and emotional tension. When these are purged from your system, they can improve your mood.

So if you’re feeling helpless or upset and find that you need to cry, take a few private moments to cry. Again, this isn’t to say that you should actively expose yourself to situations that make you cry but to remind you that there is no shame in crying. If you’re alone or with a select group of people you trust, it’s more than alright to succumb to the urge to cry.

Watching sad movies and listening to sad songs

The more obvious solution to a bad mood is to watch or listen to something that has a good vibe to it. But the opposite is also true – watching or listening to something sad can also help us to feel better. It’s also good if this is done in the company of others. Scientists have found that watching sad movies with others can increase endorphin levels, social bonding, and pain tolerance. Communal emotional experiences – whether positive emotions or negative – make you feel closer to others.

Passing gas

While this can be the most embarrassing one on our list, passing gas or farting is one of the most relieving feelings – provided you’re alone or with your closest circle. There’s even scientific evidence to prove that the odor of the gas we pass can be good for us as they can protect us from illnesses. Holding in farts can also feel very uncomfortable, causing discomfort and even indigestion or heartburn.

Related: 6 Things Your Farts Can Tell You About Your Health

There are many other more conventional ways to boost your mood or feel instant relief. The methods we’ve listed might be strange and some even downright embarrassing, but we hope that this reminds you not to feel shame about them. After all, these are all natural functions of our body.

References

“6 Things Your Farts Can Tell You About Your Health.” Health.com, May 7, 2020. https://www.health.com/condition/digestive-health/what-farts-say-about-your-health.

“Is It Just Me or Is Holding in a Sneeze Going to Make My Head Explode?” Health.com. Accessed November 8, 2020. https://www.health.com/condition/cold-flu-sinus/is-it-just-me-holding-in-sneeze-bad.

“Watching Sad Films Boosts Endorphin Levels in Your Brain, Psychologists Say.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, September 20, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/21/watching-a-sad-films-boosts-endorphin-levels-in-your-brain-psychologists-say.

“What Are the Benefits of Stretching in the Morning?” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group. Accessed November 8, 2020. https://www.livestrong.com/article/430886-what-are-the-benefits-of-stretching-in-the-morning/.

Cirino, Erica. “Is Holding In Farts Healthy for You, Or Are There Side Effects?” Healthline. Healthline Media, May 20, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/holding-in-farts.

Govender, Serusha. “Crying: The Health Benefits of Tears.” WebMD. WebMD. Accessed November 8, 2020. https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/is-crying-good-for-you.

Hedge, Alan. “Workstation Ergonomics: Take a Break!” SpineUniverse. Accessed November 8, 2020. https://www.spineuniverse.com/wellness/ergonomics/workstation-ergonomics-take-break.

Hodgkins, Kelly. “Farting Makes You Happy, and Science Has Proof.” Digital Trends. Digital Trends, July 27, 2016. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/fart-gasotransmitter/.

Jewell, Tim. “Back Cracking: What’s Happening and Is It Okay?” Healthline. Healthline Media, July 29, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/back-cracking.

Marcin, Ashley. “9 Benefits of Crying.” Healthline. Healthline Media, April 14, 2017. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-crying.

Villazon, Luis. “Why Does Sneezing Feel so Good?” BBC Science Focus Magazine. Accessed November 8, 2020. https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/why-does-sneezing-feel-so-good/.

Zelman, David. “Does Joint Cracking (Popping) Cause Arthritis?” WebMD. WebMD, October 15, 2020. https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/joint-cracking-osteoarthritis.

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