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Well, you’re reading this, so you might be a bit cranky. The testosterone, estrogen and progesterone shifts we experience during menopause and andropause (AKA manopause) have a way of messing with our moods, explains Tasneem Bhatia, a board-certified integrative medicine physician and author of Super Woman Rx. A less-than-dreamy night’s sleep can put the screw-face on you, too. And the energy it takes to be irritable, sad or pissed off is getting in the way of your focusing on what you want to do. If you can pinpoint what that is. Sometimes, lack of focus or boredom is the buzzkill. No worries. AARP surveyed the science on attitude adjustment. Any one of these proven tricks below can scrub that scowl off your face pronto. C’mon, get happy!
1. Pop a vitamin and “B” happy. Regularly taking a B-complex vitamin can help boost mood, Bhatia says. No, this won’t take effect immediately. But walking to the wellness cabinet will get your blood circulating and your mind off your worries.
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2. Breathe s-l-o-w-l-y. Stanford University scientists have identified a group of nerve cells in the brain stem that “spy” on our respiratory rate. These cerebral sentinels relay messages to the locus coeruleus, a structure that drives brainwide arousal, including stress and panic. Slow, controlled breathing signals to your nervous system that all is well, which triggers tranquility — even if you’re faking it until you make it.
3. Try aromatherapy. Use lavender or sandalwood oil, Bhatia suggests.
4. Push “play.” Multiple studies show that enjoying music enhances self-awareness, a sense of belonging and regulation of mood and arousal. Researchers pinpointed that tunes helped mature listeners to feel less lonely, reminisce about happy times and relax.