Happiness for some may be hard to define, but we all know what it feels like.  On the other hand, many of us also know what unhappiness feels like.  So what do we do when we face those times when we can’t find our happy place?  Here are a few suggestions to get you back on the happy train.

  • Smile

Everyone knows a smile is contagious.  If you’re feeling down in the dumps, force a smile and keep smiling.  If you don’t give into that feeling of wanting to smile, you will eventually get the giggles from looking so silly.

  • Smell something that makes you happy

The sense of smell is very powerful and can trigger several moods and reactions.  Why not smell your way to happiness? Sniff your favorite flower, inhale your favorite fragrance, or indulge in the aromas of your favorite food.  When I’m feeling down, I tend to smell lavender.  I not only enjoy the smell, but it also has some calming and relaxing properties. 

  • Do something good for someone else

If you can’t put a smile on your face, put a smile on someone else’s.  Doing a good deed will often result in that good bubbly feeling of joy. When you’ve made someone’s day, how can you avoid a smile?

  • Do something you enjoy that you haven’t done in a while

Remember that feeling of complete happiness when the wind blows in your face as you swing on a swing, or when you play a good game of baseball, or make a nice batch of cookies?  Well, get up and get moving!  There is no pick-me-up like doing something pleasurable you haven’t done in a while.  Think back to little things that have made you happy and explore those again.

  • Laugh, laugh, laugh

Just as a smile is contagious, so is laughter.  Watch a funny movie or reminisce about something funny and just laugh.  If you can’t think of anything to laugh at, just start laughing and keep thinking.  You’re bound to eventually think of something funny or continue laughing at yourself.

  • Be grateful

If at the end of the day, all of these little techniques fail and you find absolutely nothing to smile about; be grateful.  Think about all of the positive things in your life and don’t forget the little things.  If you find yourself struggling with that, just be grateful you are alive and have another day to discover what makes you happy.

These are a few suggestions, but happiness and unique and so is your path.  Find what makes you happy today and live life to the fullest.

Edith Wharton was quoted saying “if only we’d stop trying to be happy, we’d have a pretty good time.”  Stop trying to be happy or thinking about being happy, and challenge yourself to do what makes you happy.  Find what makes you happy today and live your life to the fullest.

Smiling man photo available from Shutterstock.