Developing a happy mind can be a life long project, but there are plenty of quick pick-me-ups to sustain you through bad hair days and tax audits. These baby steps will have you smiling in less than 5 minutes.
Steps to Take by Yourself
Your posture affects your state of mind. Straighten your spine and pull your shoulders back. As you take the strain of slouching off your lungs and heart, you’ll breathe more easily, decrease stress, and radiate more energy.
Listen to your favorite tunes during routine tasks. Housework and data entry will seem more pleasant.
Some scents soothe our brain or invigorate our senses. Wear perfume or spice up a whole room with an air diffuser.
Let in More Light
Exposure to light makes us livelier. Open a window or eat breakfast outdoors.
Just imagining yourself lying on the beach or strolling through a garden can lift your spirits. For more impact, treat yourself to the real thing with a long hike or a boat ride.
Fill your mind with cheerfulness. Focus on what you have to gain when you’re facing challenging circumstances.
Be present in the moment. Devote your full attention to cleaning the bath tub or writing an office memo. Worries will fade as you focus on what you’re doing.
Laugh Out Loud
Your facial expressions shape your emotions. Even if you have to push yourself to smile and laugh, the effort will soon become natural.
Steps to Take With Others
Offer a Compliment
Praising others makes you feel good too. You’ll receive instant gratification from knowing that you’ve brightened their day, and they may want to return the favor.
Share a Secret
Lighten up by revealing something that you’ve been embarrassed about. Maybe you mispronounced a certain word for years or forgot to turn the oven on before a dinner party.
Let others know how much you appreciate them. It will help to remind you of your profound blessings and take your mind off minor irritations.
The odds of being very happy rise 12% for those who volunteer every two to four weeks, according to researchers at the London School of Economics. Sign up to tutor kids or visit patients at your local hospital.
Play with your Dog
Your pets may be experts on how to be happy. Look at how delighted your dog gets over taking a walk or retrieving a ball.
Call a Friend
Supportive friends contribute a lot to our overall wellbeing. Stay in touch with your old college roommate, and reach out to make new connections with colleagues at work or other parents at your child’s school.
Talk to Strangers
Studies show that small talk relieves stress and makes daily experiences more enjoyable. Ask other shoppers at the farmer’s market about which sellers they like. Take a break while jogging to chat with someone who’s cleaning the park.
Pick up the Tab
Studies also show that we receive more satisfaction from money we spend on others rather than ourselves. Pay for lunch or buy your sister a gift.
Patch up misunderstandings before they grow. Take responsibility when you slip up and ask for forgiveness.
Count to Ten
Protect your happiness by avoiding impulsive actions. Cooling off can help you resist overspending or making comments you might regret.
Happiness comes from within, so you have the power to add more joy to your life. Make small changes that produce big results.