1. Write out a quick list of what you are grateful for at the end of every day.
Journaling has been linked to a better sense of self, and an abundance of positive emotions. Focusing your writing on what you are grateful for after each day amplifies this benefit, and contributes to an overall sense of joy.
2. Try to share what made you happy on a given day with close friends and family.
The process of sharing what you were grateful for each day has been proven to significantly increase your potential for happiness, as well as increasing social bonds. Sharing is a two-way street, however, so encourage your friends to also share with you.
3. Surround yourself with the color blue.
One of the best ways to stop feeling blue is to embrace the color with all your might. Blue has been proven to increase reaction times and awareness, all while promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. Guess Eiffel 65 was on to something.
4. Fit meditation into your schedule.
Meditation requires some investment, but the gains are potentially unrivaled. Studies show that meditation can actually rewire practitioners’ brains to permanently reduce stress levels while increasing feelings of contentment. Here’s a handy meditation guide.
5. Spend your money on others.
Simply accumulating money for the sake of having it does very little to improve your mood. Spending it on others, though – whether in the form of gifts, food, or simply treating someone to a movie – has been shown to increase positivity and promote happiness.
6. Devise a workout schedule, even if it is only something quick.
Exercise has been linked to significant gains in happiness while reducing overall stress levels; even quick exercise carries this benefit. It has also been proven to improve one’s own body image, even if no visible change was observed.
7. Make sure you’re living in the moment.
Living in the moment has been counted as one of the most important traits required for living a happy life. Too much dwelling on the future or the past can trigger anxiety, while focusing on the present helps to promote overall positivity.
8. Make sure to stay plenty hydrated.
Studies show that even mild dehydration can lead to increased irritability and decreased happiness. Luckily, just drinking the recommended amount of water – around eight glasses a day – can provide a solid happiness baseline.
9. Get a good night’s rest.
Enough sleep has been shown to increase natural resilience against negative emotions, as well as enabling the body to release anti-stress neurotransmitters. Just don’t go overboard, oversleeping has been linked to depression.
10. Treat yourself to time outside.
Limited time outside, as little as a thirty minute walk, increases your overall happiness and sense of well being. It also increases your bodies production of Vitamin D, which helps prevent health problems ranging from osteoporosis to cancer.
11. Set yourself achievable goals.
Setting and achieving goals is one of the most basic ways to improve your overall mood every day. The goals don’t have to, and shouldn’t be, overly ambitious or grandiose to work. The simple act of planning and making small goals will lead to a feeling of accomplishment and happiness. You could even set double-whammy goals like ‘meditate for ten minutes daily.’
12. Try your best to smile.
Smiling won’t lift you out of a depression; however, if you’re having a neutral day the simple act of smiling can tilt your emotions towards being happy. A smile at others will also likely prompt a smile in return, leading to a happiness loop.
13. Listen to your favorite upbeat songs.
Listening to upbeat music when upset can help blow away the blues. The trick is, you have to be actively listening to the music with the intention of having it make you feel better; music that is on in the background does nothing to help contribute to a positive mood.
14. And finally, spend less time on Facebook.
Studies show that higher rates of Facebook lead to an overall decline in happiness amongst young adults. Now you finally have an excuse to get off the computer! Not a moment too soon, either, with all these other positive changes you’re going to start putting into practice. Right?