Happiness is a practice, a learned skill – something you can participate in actively, and which gets stronger the more you commit to it. But even the happiest people sometimes wake up on the wrong side of the bed (especially after Daylight Savings rearranges our circadian rhythms in the springtime). Here’s how to boost your happy levels in just a few minutes.
1. Go outside (or at least open the curtains)!
Could it be as easy as letting a little sunshine hit your skin? Volumes of research and your own instinct will tell you: yes, it really is that easy. So let the light in!
There’s a trick to making this one work – you can’t fake it. So find a happy thought and focus on it, and give yourself a big, genuine smile. Your brain will respond in kind.
3. Stretch, move and breathe.
Too often, we forget to focus on what truly makes our bodies feel alive and vibrant: activity! Yoga and some simple stretching will wake up your muscles, while deep breathing will fill your brain and veins with oxygen. Want to really cheer yourself up? Get your heart pumping. Go for a run or a walk – or do a few dance moves.
4. Indulge with some chocolate.
Why do we still think of chocolate as “sinful”? Research is now telling us that it’s very good for us, especially for our happiness. The darker the chocolate, by the way, the more happiness-inducing polyphenols it contains – so just a few bites can completely elevate your mood.
5. Say “thanks.”
Practicing gratitude doesn’t just help you to focus on the positive – it also creates positivity in the people around you. So take note of what you’re grateful for, and don’t forget to share it!
6. Be generous.
One of the most lasting ways to create happiness for yourself is actually to make others happy! Sharing a kind word or deed, donating to charity, volunteering your time or just calling a friend can completely turn your day or week around.
Are you ready to #FindYourHappy? Take a few minutes right now to do some of these suggestions, and you’ll be well on your way.