10 Easy Things You Can Do To Improve Your Happiness
Happy mind, happy life. Sure clapping your hands along to Pharrell’s “Happy” is one way to get a quick pick-me-up, but that high only lasts 4:02. Don’t fret: to improve your happy state all day through, all you really need to do is go back to basics - and erm, stick to them. From practising your million-dollar smile to revisiting Mother Nature, we’ve got 10 easy things you can do to improve your happiness - cause who doesn’t love happy people!
1. Daily Affirmations
Short, positive statements which describe a goal in its completed state (e.g. I am happy as opposed to I want to be happy) are a powerful tool for change. Repeated throughout the day, either out loud or written down - they can help improve your happiness. Muhammad Ali said it best: It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.
P.S. When practicing morning affirmations, choose one (or maximum 2) to focus your mind on. Say the affirmation out loud in your confident voice a few times. To add more power, look at yourself in the mirror while saying your affirmation. They key here is repetition, so don’t be afraid to say the affirmation during the day which will flood your brain with positive thoughts!
By now, everyone and your mother is espousing the virtues of meditation. But, you still haven’t taken the plunge? Hint hint: now is the time. Thousands of studies have shown that meditation has an enormous amount of positive benefits, and best yet - it only takes a few minutes out of your day. We’ll admit that sitting still for even 3 minutes can be a challenge - but like anything meditation is a skill, and to perfect a skill you need practice. So be patient, happiness is only a short session away.
3. Spend Time with People You Love
It may be a tad captain obvious - but spending more time with the people you love can improve your happy state. Who is the most awesome person in your life? Your sister, bestie, boyfriend? Then surround yourself with them! If we start to make time for the people that make us happiest, then we’re bound to feel guuud. Go on, give ‘em a call!.
Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Hey, if El Woods said it - we believe it. By now, we should all be aware of the infinite health and physical benefits of exercise. Running, walking, swimming, dancing - getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day can spike your endorphins, making you feel happy as a clam post sweat sesh!
5. Read a Feel-Good Book
And they lived happily ever after. Reading a few pages of an inspiring/feel-good book can help feed your mind and boost your mood. Think about it: one minute you’re feeling down in the dumps, and the next you’re glued to the pages of that inspiring book you can’t put down. Soon enough you’ll be so far into the pages you won’t even remember what mood you were in in the first place.
6. Put it in Writing
Most of us had a diary in high school that was one of our most cherished possessions. Well as grown ups we’ve forgotten the miracle that is - writing down how you honestly feel. Whether it’s your work, family, significant other or whatever that’s put you in a bad mood - writing down your feelings can help you clear your mind and improve your happiness. Go on, try it!
7. Try Something New
Sometimes we feel most alive when we test the limits of our comfort zones. If you’ve wanted to learn to sew, or plan a trip, or maybe even give that dusty Zumba video a go - trying a new activity can boost your mood. The moment you experience new things, you’re introduced to new creativity, new perspectives and some fun (and maybe slightly embarrassing) memories! Whatever it is you want to do - don’t hold back.
8. Deal with Hard-Stuff, First
Save the best for last. When you’re writing down your to-do list for the day, be sure to place your most dreaded (and totally not fun) task right at the top. Not only will checking it off your list first, make you feel a whole lot lighter emotionally - but you’ll be a whole lot more excited to take on the fun stuff (baking chocolate cupcakes, anyone?) you’ve got planned later in the day!
9. Go Outside
When in doubt, go to the beach. Making time to go outside and visit Mother Nature, even for a measly 20 minutes has been proven not only to boost a positive mood, but it also broadens your thinking and improves your memory. And let’s face it - is there anything better than sandy toes and the smell of the sea? We think not.
10. Practice Smiling
Just before you think we’ve gone totally bananas, hear us out. A study led by a Michigan State University business scholar found that people who smile as a result of “cultivating positive thoughts” (think tropical vacay or your nieces’ ballet recital) not only improve their mood but actually make work more productive! What are you waiting for? Smile like you mean it!
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