WRITERS UNBLOCK

Writing tomorrow’s to-do list is one of the most effective cures for insomnia, which will, in turn, significantly improve your state of mind the next morning.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

DON’T MIND YOUR MONEY

Financial health may affect physical and mental health. To avoid overspending regrets, refrain from handling cash. A study in Personality and Individual Differences found that touching money increased testosterone, which heightened risk-taking behaviour among non-narcissistic men, compared with handling blank paper. Practical applications? Use a credit or debit card to buy chips in a casino, and keep cash in a wallet rather than in a pocket money clip so you’re not constantly touching it while shopping.

SLEEP COUNCIL

HEART HEALTH

Coffee likely won’t raise your risk of cardiovascular diseases, and compounds in coffee may ease blood pressure, found a 2017 review in Planta Medica. There’s also some indication that coffee might improve your blood flow, according to an American and Swedish review.

OUT OF OFFICE

One study found that people with stressful jobs were 70% more likely to develop a mental illness. That bloated salary won’t buy you happiness.

Lancet Psychiatry

EASY ENERGY

Caffeine is an alkaloid in the same class of compounds as nicotine and cocaine; it works on your neuroreceptors to block relaxing adenosine. Quite unlike the other two, however, every weekly cup also reduces your risk of heart failure by about 7 percent compared with those who don’t drink coffee, according to research in the journal Circulation.

SWEAT IT OUT

Energy can be in short supply when you’re low, but overcoming fatigue to exercise triggers the release of endorphins, creating feelings of happiness.

University of Turku

MAGIC TOUCH

Whether it’s a bro hug or an overdue cuddle with your dad, human contact promotes feelings of trust that elevate ailing mental health in seconds.

UC Berkeley

BRIGHT BEDROOM, DARK MOOD

Too much light at night may double your depression, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. How much light is too much? Five or more lux, a measure of illumination within a space, which is equal to about normal mid-twilight levels. If your bedroom is brighter than that, researchers say you may be impairing melatonin secretion, disrupting sleep/wake behaviour, and disturbing overall sleep, all of which are linked to depression symptoms. Try special blackout shades, turn off the TV, and get rid of night-lights.

SCREEN TIME

Smartphone addiction increases levels of GABA, a chemical that slows down brain signals, resulting in side effects such as depression. Switch off.

Korea University

TEXT GILBERT WONG PHOTO 123RF