I read 10 Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science and I agree. Not just because there are studies done, but because of personal experience.
3. Move closer to work
4. Spend Time With Friends and Family
5. Go Outside
6. Help others
7. Practice Smiling
8. Plan a trip – but don’t take one
10. Practice gratitude.
My thoughts on each one:
1. Exercise relieves stress, and when I work off some energy, I feel better for having done it. Plus, the monotony of repeated movements can free your mind, like when jogging, to think about things. All the added oxygenated blood can’t hurt. Plus, you know you helped your body and are getting or staying in shape. Your confidence soars.
2. Sleep is good. Sleep helps your body heal. Sleep puts distance and time between you and your troubles. Sleep can help you figure out how to solve your problems, giving you a fresh start on them the next day.
3. I have a long commute. I kind of like it when I am thinking. It allows me process, debrief from the day while alone in my car. Sometimes I sing loudly. But some days it is a long drive. I can see both advantages and disadvantages.
4. Don’t regret not doing things with people. Make dinner dates, go to movies or concerts, and you will feel less alone. Sometimes talking to a friend puts your problems in perspective.
5. While sometimes the weather is inconvenient for this, I find the outdoors relaxing. Take a moment to watch a butterfly, firefly, or bird in flight. Stare at ripples in a lake. Put your feet in sand. Taking a moment to enjoy nature slows down the frantic clock of rush, rush, rush and the stress that comes with it.
6. This is also about connectedness. (And it goes along with number 10.) Do something to help someone else, even something small. They might thank you, give you a smile, lift your spirits, or help you back.
7. Real smiles are better for everyone.
8. Plan lots of things; breaks, trips, vacations, mini dates. While big vacations can be stressful, remember that life both goes on while you are gone, and will be the same when you get back. I find planning integral in stress relief because it is organizing and seeing how to tackle problems.
9. Meditation is like prayer for me. You think about, say, point out all the things that bother you, and then let them go.
10. Not taking everything for granted like a spoiled child will improve your outlook on life. It will make people happy to hear thank you more often. You will appreciate the small things you have. You will realize that you have it pretty good, after all.