Dealing with a seasonal mood change as we go from summer to fall? Scientists discovered a few surprising tricks to boost your energy, quash anxiety, and improve your outlook.
Tired? Drink pink.
Next time you feel your energy dip, drink something pink! New research out of the University of Westminster in England found that rosy-hued beverages like pink lemonade or guava juice instantly boost outlook and energy.
The curious reason it works: The brain associates the color pink with sugary treats like cotton candy or icing on a cake, which spurs energy, explains study co-author Sanjoy Deb, PhD, This creates an effect similar to a “sugar high,” but without the blood-sugar crash afterward. No pink drink on hand? Sipping any beverage from a pink cup works too!
Feeling blue? Press “the 11s.”
When you’re in a bit of a funk and can’t seem to shake it off, try this to get a mood boost: Make a frown, then place a finger between the furrows that form the two little lines between your brows that dermatologists have dubbed “the 11s.” Relax your forehead, then rub this spot with gentle pressure for three minutes.
University of Miami School of Medicine research suggests this simple move lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol by up to 31 percent and boosts the release of feel-good brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine by nearly 33 percent. It’s no wonder this key pressure point has been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine to lift mood and spirits.
Can’t sleep? Sniff a tomato.
Japanese research suggests smelling the skin of this fruit before bed works as effectively as prescription anti-anxiety drugs at calming a restless mind. Credit goes to a compound called linalool, which researchers found tamps down stress levels like Prozac does. How? It lowers activity in the sympathetic nervous system by 40 percent, plus it calms heart rate and blood pressure. The payoff: Sweeter, stress-free slumber and a mood boost.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.