Most everyone has come to think of therapy as something specific done by a medical, holistic or alternative practitioner to treat and heal a disorder. While seeing a professional is certainly a good option, it’s not the only way to feel better. Having cold ice cream on a hot day, walking in the woods, or doing a favorite hobby are all things that can boost your mood.

There really are many sources of therapy right at our fingertips. Here are three that can work wonders at helping us feel good every single day.

 

Laugh It Up!

Think about the last time you laughed long and hard at a really good joke or some hilarious situation in a TV show or movie. As you hooted, guffawed or snorted, you were healing. Laughter and humor have amazing restorative powers.[1]

  • Humor helps us cope with stress and provides actual physical and emotional relief from tension.
  • We can gain a sense of perspective on our problems.
  • Laughter can actually boost the human immune system, allowing you to fight off both germs and future stress.

The next time you’re frazzled or down, popping one of your favorite comedies in the DVD player could help you feel better!

 

Tune In

If you’ve spent any time around teenagers, you know that some like to turn the music up really loud–especially after a fight with a parent, sibling, or significant other. Besides blocking out the sound of a parent’s voice, they’re using the music to feel better. Loud or soft, music is effective therapy for many people.

A recent study in London showed that music is a very effective way to calm those who get nervous when traveling by air. Breathing in time to music with a tempo of about 60 beats per minute will slow the heart rate and blood pressure enough to lessen the anxiety of flying.[2]

Certain songs or types of music help us open blocked feelings and encourage us to take a look at our relationships as well as our own life situations.[3] More than many other therapies, music touches our mind and our emotions to help us heal mentally, physically and even spiritually.

 

Do Unto Others

Remember the old adage that the best way to forget about your own troubles is to help someone else with theirs? It turns out that helping others is also a great healing therapy.

In fact, research has shown that people who regularly help others receive some great benefits including reduced depression, increased calm, less pain and better overall health. Brain imaging revealed that giving to charity actually stimulates a pleasure center in the brain.[4]

The good news is that you don’t have to spend lots of money or time to get the positive effects of this particular therapy. Simply opening the door for someone or letting a merging car into traffic in front of you will produce the same results as writing a large check for the local homeless shelter.

Try any of these therapies for a day, and you may notice yourself feeling better on any number of levels. Make them part of your everyday actions and you may live a healthier–and potentially longer–life.