joy and happinessThink outside the box and try one or more of the following exciting activities, from the wonderful folks at MindBodyGreen:

1. Try kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding.

It’s impossible not to feel good when you’re peacefully gliding across the water — especially when you can explore the stunning sea caves and coves around Channel Island National Park. No wonder: Turns out negative ions — invisible air molecules found in abundance near beaches — have been shown to increase levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin in the body, acting as a natural antidepressant. The mood-boosting air particles are also found near waterfalls and rapids, so explore nearby lakes and rivers if you can’t get to the beach.

2. Practice aerial yoga.

Feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Take a load off with an aerial yoga class. Not only will you get a great workout (a major mood booster), but also the weightless sensation of dangling from the ceiling in a soft silk hammock is incredibly freeing for the body and mind.

3. Ditch your car.

Moving at a slower pace, you’ll see and appreciate more traveling on foot than you do driving in your car. Plus, many towns like Ventura offer plenty of activities in easy walking distance — from wine bars and boutiques to historic sites, live local music and happy hour drinks with views of the sun setting over the Pacific.

4. Take an art class.

Artists get a bad rap for having tortured souls, but tapping into your creative side can actually make you feel more positive. According to research from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, people who reported feeling happy were more likely to be doing something creative at the time. Sign up for a painting or pottery class — or skip the TV marathon and visit a local art gallery with friends for some creative inspiration.

5. Shop the farmers market.

Nothing feels better than nourishing your body with fresh, organic foods. Ditch the grocery store and get to know the local producers at your farmers market. You’ll have access to quality food and make connections with your neighbors that make you feel like a bigger part of your community. Ventura’s rich history of ranching and farming makes its farmers markets some of the best in the country where you can buy ocean fish fresh off the boat. Visitor can also visit the town’s Agricultural Museum to learn more about its foodie history.

To see five additional ideas, visit the original article at MindBodyGreen.

Source: MindBodyGreen

Image Source: greg westfall

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