Happiness is, most of all, about the right way of looking at the surrounding reality. But that’s not the whole secret to it. It is also the result of some specific actions that you can introduce…
I have prepared for you 10 simple activities and exercises that take less than 10 minutes each and, if done regularly as happiness habits, will have a great impact on the level of happiness your mind creates.
Below you will find the list of things that you can consciously choose to do systematically to make you feel happier. You can pick a few of them and start doing them every day, or try a different activity each day. I have decided to put two or three of these happiness habits into my daily schedule, while the rest of them I do once in a while.
Most of them are simple happiness habits that can be introduced straightaway. I suggest you look into them and make yourself more familiar with the topic, as some of the proposed activities will give you a good laugh :)
- Make a gratitude list. Take 5 minutes every day to think about every moment for which you feel grateful. Recollect even the simplest situations, such as a smile from a stranger, a tasty meal or a comfortable seat on the bus. You will find more about gratitude in the article Daily gratitude list.
- Provide yourself with positive stimuli. You can do it in various ways such as watching funny or inspiring videos on youtube or reading positive articles in the Internet. Just a few minutes a day spent doing something that will even slightly brighten up your mood can make a huge difference. In the long run, such small injections of happiness can have surprisingly astonishing effects. You can also work on anchoring your emotional states.
- Consciously choose positive thoughts. And I don’t mean feeding yourself with a dose of motivational platitudes but - literally - making a conscious decision that for the next ten minutes or so you will think only in a positive way. For example, when you are commuting by car or public transportation, tell yourself that from now on for fifteen minutes you will think only about the good things that are going to happen in the coming month. Or about the most special moments of the past year. In this way, you beat the neural pathways in your brain that we want to activate more often.
- Work on your limiting beliefs. They often keep you away from feeling true happiness. Especially the beliefs about yourself, which usually start with "I should ..." or "I'm too ...". Only when you change your thinking about yourself, your thinking about the world can change, too. Once a week, take some time to discover beliefs that trigger these unpleasant emotions, and then start to change them using a method of your choice, for example, the work or NLP. It's one of a really powerful happiness habits.
- Play sports. The feeling of happiness kicks in when endorphins (happiness hormones) secrete in your brain simply making you feel great. Every physical activity creates a huge endorphin rush, so try to make it a big part of your life. Doing just a few squats after getting up in the morning can be a great idea! I have been running regularly for a long time now and I can literally feel the influx of positive energy after each run.
- Practice relaxation. Just as in the case of exercises, relaxation is the matter of endorphins, but it isn’t only about that. By teaching your body how to relax, you attain the ability to release all tension. In this way, even if you feel stress in your body, instead of holding it for the whole day, you will be able to let it go in the blink of an eye. In addition to this, relaxation is the best way to recharge your internal batteries.
- Practice emotional intelligence. By becoming more aware of your emotions, you will be able to let go of these unpleasant feelings and learn how to invoke the most pleasant ones. In practice, it is about consciously observing your emotions and asking yourself the following questions: where did this emotion come from? where did it start in my body? how is it developing? how long does it last and when does it fade out? When you learn about the dynamics of these processes, you will gain control over your emotions.
- Plan special things in your life. If you don’t create attractive images about the future on your mind’s timeline, you will most probably end up dwelling on feelings of hopelessness, rather than happiness. So, take the time to lay out in your head the most fabulous future you can imagine, and then practice visualizing it regularly. Allotting just a few minutes every few days for such visualization will suffice to anchor this vision in your mind and make you feel even more positive about the future.
- Enjoy the pleasures of life. It sounds obvious but it’s not. In fact, many people, when indulging themselves, get into a cycle of constant feelings of remorse. They are telling themselves that they are not allowed to eat this bar of chocolate, or that, instead of going to the cinema, they should do some more work, or that relaxing with a good film is something bad. Therefore, make sure, whenever you allow yourself for some kind of pleasure, to stay in the moment and enjoy it. Let go of any guilt-tripping yourself, which is usually generated by the personality of a "man of success". Don’t let this perfectionist identity turn you into a slave and get the most out of indulgences that are an incredibly important part of life!
- Pass happiness to others. Throw a smile, lend a hand, start a small talk. Share some fun fact, pay a compliment, say thank you. Everything you do comes back to you, often with a vengeance. Make such attitude an inseparable element of building relationships with others. You will see very soon that the kindness you show others will return boost your level of happiness.
I have tried out each of the methods described above many times and I can honestly say that they all really work :) Put together your own set of the most effective happiness habits and make them part of your life.
If you have an idea for a happiness habits which have not been mentioned here, share it with us and leave a comment!