Have you ever felt as if happiness is something that you have to wait to come to you?
Do you ever wonder why other people are happy, and you’re not?
The good news is that being happy is more of a choice than you might think.
Happiness doesn’t have to be an elusive idea that only some fortunate people are able to obtain. Here are seven simple things you can do to increase your happiness.
- Remember the last time you felt peaceful. Think about where you were, whom you were with, and what was around you. Remember the sounds, the feelings and the scents that surrounded you. What was the light like? Was there a breeze? Try and re-experience that feeling for a minute.
- Say one kind word or do one kind action to/for the next person you meet. It could be sincerely wishing them a nice afternoon or paying the bill for the person behind you at Starbucks. It could even be a kind word to yourself.
- Hold your tongue. The next time you get angry or frustrated don’t react. Give yourself space to calm down before doing or saying something you will later regret. This may not cause happiness in the moment, but when you calm down, you’ll feel good about not saying or doing something out of anger.
- Step outside. Being cooped up all day, especially in artificial lighting, can bring down people’s moods. Even if it is freezing and snowing or hot and humid, spending time outdoors can make you feel better.
- Catch someone doing something good. Try and see an act of kindness. Maybe it’s a neighbor playing with his dog, or a stranger holding the door open for a child. Look for the good in the world, and you’ll see it. You’ll also be happier because you noticed.
- Have positive physical contact with someone. And this doesn’t mean sex necessarily, although sexual intimacy is a great way to increase ‘feel good’ hormones. Cradling a baby, hugging a friend, or holding a lover’s hand can all make you feel happier.
- Love an animal. As I write this, I have one bird on my head, one bird on my shoulder, and a snoozing Boxer next to me on the couch. Every time you interact with an animal in a loving manner, you’ll feel calmer and happier. Animals can be a great source of peace and unconditional love.
Everyone is different, and some people are simply born with a happier disposition than others. Everyone reacts to various stresses differently.The above ideas won’t change your entire outlook on life, but they will bring a bit of light into your world.
photo from Shutterstock
Last reviewed: 3 Sep 2013
Harmon, J. (2013). 7 Things You Can Do NOW to Make Yourself Happier. Psych Central.
Retrieved on March 3, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/your-life/2013/02/7-things-you-can-do-now-to-make-yourself-happier/