We can all feel a bit down but sometimes all we need is a small pick me up. It can be anything from a power nap, a cup of tea or maybe a hug from a friend. If you want to find out a few simple steps on how to increase your happiness, keep reading.
Start a gratitude journal
Take time each day to catalogue several things you are thankful for in a paper notebook or journal. The act of writing out grateful thoughts by hand reinforces them more strongly than typing them out, and writing them on paper means that you won’t be distracted by emails, social media notifications, or other attention-grabbing technology If getting started proves to be difficult, think of something large you might usually take for granted - clean water, access to housing etc. You can also start on a more granular scale and write about something small you might not usually pay attention to, like not getting stopped at any red lights on your way to work. You can also choose a person, organisation, or company that you are grateful for and write them a note of thanks for what they do.
Get your sweat on
Most of us know that getting regular exercise is key to maintaining a healthy body, but that’s not all it’s good for. Working out is also great for mental health! If hitting the gym isn’t in your wheelhouse, try following along with beginner level workout videos on YouTube, attending a yoga class, or going swimming at a local pool. Exercise creates a feeling of accomplishment and self-worth that can help make you feel happier in the long term; in the short term, each exercise session produces endorphins and dopamine to help you look on the sunny side of life. Physical activity is not a cure for unhappiness or clinical depression, but it is a valuable tool in coping with both.
Do yourself a favor
Think about what causes you the most stress in your daily routine. Maybe weekday mornings are hectic, or cooking dinner after work always feels like a slog. Next, brainstorm ways to streamline the tasks you dislike most. If mornings are a struggle, choose an outfit the night before, and sure you have an easy breakfast option on hand. If weeknight cooking is just too much, cook large batches of foods like rice, beans, and chicken on the weekend and freeze for easy weeknight meals. You can also plan to eat store-bought frozen dinners or takeout a few days a week - it’s more important to be realistic with your goals than to be perfect.
Improving your own life and feeling happier starts with you, and it can start today! It’s as easy as looking within and reaching out to those around you.