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Health & Balance

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10 Morning Mood Boosters

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8. Envision the negative.
You’ve probably heard that gratitude is a mood elevator, but here’s a surprising twist to that tactic: Think about a positive event from your life—how you got your dream job or met your ideal partner, for instance—and then imagine what your life would be like if the event hadn’t happened. Though it seems like this would have the opposite effect, it actually improved the mood of one study’s participants more so than simply thinking of the positive event itself.

9. Breathe in some mint.
Researchers found that sniffing peppermint enhanced mood and attention while also fighting fatigue. Try keeping a bottle of peppermint essential oil or bag of peppermint tea on your nightstand so you can inhale the positive scents right as you wake up. Another happiness helper is chewing gum, which elevated the moods, alertness and attention spans of another study's participants. Pop a piece of peppermint gum after breakfast for a double-duty perk-up.

10. Smile.
There’s one thing you can do just about anywhere: Smile. “Remember,” says Dr. McKay, “smiling is a simple way to change your mood—and the mood of those around you, too.” So spread your good-mood wealth by baring those pearly whites as often as possible in the morning as well as throughout the day.

Originally published on November 1, 2012

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