While we all know the benefits of healthy eating and exercise in helping improve our mood, there’s another overlooked factor that can help you feel cheerier during the dark, winter months – your wardrobe.
We’re calling it serotonin style – adding a touch of happiness into your clothes every day, which can in turn trigger a dose of those feel-good hormones that we’re so low on at this time of year.
This may sound like bunkum but science backs it up. Research has shown that looking at certain colours has a positive effect on our brain. As Andrea knows, brighter colours such as red or pink release dopamine, which makes us feel happier, while colours such as blue, make us feel calmer. So with this in mind – here’s how to inject a little bit of happiness into your wardrobe – and life – this month…
First up, it’s time to ditch the black. Yes, we know it’s a suits-all-makes-you-look-5-pounds-lighter shade, but it’s also a tad depressing. Inject some colour into your wardrobe and you’ll be smiling like it’s July!
You don’t have to get all Joseph and his Technicolour Dream Coat with your wardrobe, but slinging on a yellow sweatshirt, red shoes or a pink jumper can help lift your mood. Oh, and great news for all of you going through the menopause – bright emerald green is good if you’re susceptible to hot flushes as it helps to balance out your complexion.
We’ve all got those ‘special’ clothes that lurk in the back of the wardrobe, waiting for a special occasion. Wait no more! Drag them out and see how you can wear them in your everyday outfits.
For example, a sequinned skirt, bought for a party, can look great with trainers and tights. A ‘dressy’ dress can be worn everyday by slinging a jumper over the top and teaming it with boots or wearing over a pair of jeans or leggings. A polo neck is your friend in these occasions – bung one under a velvet jumpsuit or silky slip dress and you can wear it out every day.
Wearing something special – especially something you have fond memories of – can make you feel really great, especially when you get lots of compliments!
If you’re anything like us at TGIOF towers, the feel of an item of clothing is almost as important as what it looks like. From soft cashmere to gorgeous cooling silk, wearing items that feel nice will in turn make you feel nice.
Cold winter days call for merino wool or cashmere roll necks. Have you ever tried cashmere trousers? They’re divine and make you feel like you’re going out in your duvet. Choosing natural fabrics will also help with hot flushes and allow you to feel calmer going about your business – a silk shirt is the ultimate in feel-good dressing.
Never underestimate the power of a good accessory. My best friend and I often refer to a legendary pair of shoes she bought many years ago that we named her ‘happy shoes’. They weren’t particularly practical or cheap, but every time she wore them, they bought a smile to her face.
If shoes aren’t your thing, snap up some cheerful bright statement earrings, or a cool animal print scarf. It’s a cheap way to inject colour and add something new to your wardrobe, and once you’ve found your happy item, slinging it on with your every day outfit, will help make you smile.
One final tip for feeling happier is to get playful with your wardrobe. So often in our busy lives, getting dressed is just a requirement. The fun goes out of fashion the older we get but it really shouldn’t.
Take all of your clothes out of your wardrobe and see what you’ve got – could you wear items in a different combination than normal?
You’ll probably find you’ve got many more ‘outfits’ than you thought you had and wearing things in a different way will help trigger positive feelings in your brain, making you feel more confident and hopefully happier.