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6 Ways to Feel Happier, Be Healthier

How a positive attitude really can make a difference

Picnics at national parks, like White Sands, New Mexico are good way to boost your mood and your self-esteem.

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is a great place to visit to gain the health benefits of the great outdoors. — Nadav Kaner/Gallery Stock

4. Get Back to Nature

Head for the great outdoors to boost your mood and your self-esteem. Researchers at the University of Essex in England found that people who participated in outdoor activities were significantly less angry, depressed and tense.

"We evolved in the natural world, and it remains an integral part of our health and well-being," says Yale University social ecologist Stephen Kellert.

Natural settings stimulate the mind. "Exposure to the outdoors facilitates our ability to concentrate, helps memory and restores us," Kellert explains.

Physical exercise and increased stamina associated with being outdoors yield important benefits as people become more sedentary with age. Walking, gardening, fishing, boating and cycling all count. Don't fret if you're not near a mountain range or the ocean. Your own backyard, a local park, a nearby botanic garden or a green oasis in the middle of town will do just fine.

To take advantage of what nature has to offer, choose a specific destination for an outing and make it part of everyday life.

Next: Happiness Tip No. 5: Lend a hand. >>

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