By Nataly Kogan

How lunchtime can make you happier

Tags Living Happier

More and more people are eating lunch at their desks. Not only is this not a pleasant experience but it doesn't really give you a break, which you need to be productive and energized in the second half of your day. So here are 5 simple tips to make the most of your mid-day break:

Stop and eat. Don’t just have lunch at your desk or in your car or over the sink. Stop. Sit down. Enjoy your food while you’re not doing anything else. Your food will taste better, research suggests you’re less likely to overeat, and you’ll feel more satisfied for the rest of the day.

Go for a walk outside. Even if you only have a few minutes, get up and stretch your muscles and get some fresh air. Recent studies have shown that taking a walk during lunch — even a slow-paced one — helps improve how you feel for the rest of the day.

Chat with a friend. Call your spouse, text a friend, or chat with your favorite coworker (but not about work). Make a point of reaching out for a personal connection as part of even busy days. (Once you start doing this, you may be amazed to discover how little you used to break for “frivolous” interaction throughout the day, and how much better it makes you feel.)

Treat yourself. We all have those busy days when we can only take a long enough break to run errands or go to the doctor or take the kids somewhere. It happens. On those days, make sure you do a little something nice for you in there. Stop for your favorite beverage, listen to your favorite music in the car; it doesn’t matter what it is, only that it’s a treat for you.

Take a pause for one minute of breathing. If you have time for yoga or meditation, all the better, but whether you do or not, try taking a minute or two midday to consciously re-ground yourself through breathing. You don't need to do anything fancy -- just pause, close your eyes, and take a few really deep breaths. You may be surprised to discover how great it feels.


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