I am a happy person by nature. I feel lucky that I am able to see the good in most people and most situations and I think that really contributes to the sense of happiness that I experience daily. Having said that, life isn’t all-good, all-the-time. We all have our moments (or months) where pick-me-ups are necessary. I believe happiness is absolutely a choice, but sometimes we need little reminders as to how to keep the positivity flowing.
I’ve started making a mental list, over the last month or so, of moments where I feel a real ‘hit of happiness’. You know those moments where endorphin levels are through the roof and you feel yourself smiling from the inside out? THOSE kinds of ‘hits’.
I thought it would be a fun idea to jot down the ways that I inject my days with little doses of happiness. Some of these are maybe the ‘less obvious’ techniques for when you have 5 minutes or less and want that shot of happy.
Maybe you’ll feel inspired to add some of these to your own happiness hit-list or (if I’m super lucky) maybe even just reading through the list will be the mood boost you need for today.
15 ways to add happiness to your day!
1. Listen to a young child’s laughter
Like, really listen. And watch the expression on their face. When I tickle my daughters, or I’m being totally silly with them, and they laugh that real out-of-control laughter, I can’t help but smile from ear to ear.
2. Step outside
Rain or shine, step outside for 2 minutes and take 10 really long deep breaths. Breathe in the air and think of how truly fortunate you are that you can step outside and take deep breaths of air. Enough said.
3. Go for a walk
Alone, with a furry friend (or even with a not-so-furry-friend) put on your boots (or shoes) made for walking. It just feels nice.
4. Listen to some upbeat music
Music can really dictate my mood. I get into whatever it is I’m listening to. So, for good vibes, I throw on the upbeat tunes. I am a sucker for the “Charting Now” station on Apple Music. (It’s playing as I write this post!)
5. Dance break
While listening to that upbeat goodness, throw in a mini dance break. Even if it’s just some head-bobbing, shoulder-shaking or hip-twisting in your office chair or driver’s seat, it’s fun and will likely release some of those happiness endorphins we all love so much!
6. Eye contact with someone you love
Lots of it. Nothing to add here.
7. Hug it out
Work a big, long hug into your day-plan. 20 seconds of this will surely send you straight to your happy place.
8. Do your body good
Attend an exercise class. You may not feel overjoyed while you’re pushing yourself physically, but you’ll feel so proud of yourself afterward. Oh, and… exercise because you LOVE your body, not because you hate it.
9. Call someone you miss
Whether you saw them before you left for work this morning or you haven’t seen them in way too long, soak in their voice and notice the smile on your face as you imagine them there by your side.
Allow yourself 5 minutes to drift off to another world. You never know… this may even inspire some life goals which are always fun to work toward.
11. Set goals
See above. They don’t need to be the same as the daydream goals, but those ones sound like some good ones to me!
12. Seek comfort
Some of us have a favourite food, others a favourite sweater they love to wear. My comfort is a hot cup of black tea with milk and honey. Whatever your comfort may be, infuse your day with it and really enjoy it in the process.
Sounds obvious (I know!) but laughing is one of the ultimate mood-boosters, if you ask me. Think of how you feel after a good laugh. Good, right? If you need a laugh but neither a chat with your best friend or watching a rom-com are in your foreseeable future, cue up a funny cat video on YouTube or a 4 minute clip of your favourite stand-up comedian. LOL.
14. Be present
It’s so easy to ‘go through the motions’, especially when kids are in the picture. There’s just so much going on, at any given time, and it’s not always easy to notice how special everyday experiences are. Slowing down is key. It allows us to melt into the moment. When it is done slowly, something as regular (or even mundane) as walking home from school becomes a memory you and your kids will both cherish. I will never forget picking up chestnuts on walks home with my grandma. When I look back now, it must have taken us at least an hour to walk 3 blocks, but we were given the time to explore and be a part of the commute home. Being present makes life so much more fulfilling (and it also makes memories). We don’t ALWAYS have the time to take long walks, but slowing down can come in a form that suits you and your schedule in some way.
15. Like, Comment and then Unplug
After you finish watching vacuum cat (and reading this post 😉 ), power off and power down for a little while each day. Sometimes social media can fuel the wrong kinds of feelings. I’m guilty of walking directly into the “their lives look so much _____ better/fancier/more fun than mine” trap every now and again. Shut down those unwarranted emotions (we all know Instagram is a highlight reel, right?) and shut off your phone for a couple of hours.
And, when in doubt, compliment a coworker or be extra kind to a stranger. Those aforementioned endorphins will skyrocket, I promise!