We are living in some pretty dark times. There is a lot going on and a lot of negativity out there that seems to put a dark cloud over our lives. Still, we only get one shot at this life, so we need to find some forms of happiness to make each day worth living. Even if you are struggling to keep your head above the water, you should reward yourself for doing the little things that seem like climbing mountains.
Here are a few ways to bring happiness into your life:
Studies have shown that doing a few minutes of exercise each day can help to improve your mood. This doesn’t mean that you have to sweat and tire yourself out. Instead, go for a brisk walk in the sunshine, take a yoga class that helps you to find some calm, or take a kickboxing class to let out some of your anger.
Find the type of exercise that works for you – sometimes being around people doesn’t make us happy, so focus on a more solitary type of exercise. If you aren’t happy because there aren’t many people in your life, consider taking a workout class.
2. Enjoy Art
Art isn’t for everyone, that’s a given. However, walking around a well-lit museum or taking in a movie can help to improve your mood. You’ll be able to focus your mind on something else and let go for a few minutes – even if you don’t really understand art at all.
Everyone thinks about art differently, so if seeing the latest comedy movie makes you feel better, do what you want.
3. Try Something New
Opening up our horizons can give us a sense of happiness. Trying something new doesn’t mean you have to go crazy. Instead it can mean changing up your daily schedule – go to that local coffee shop instead of Starbucks; go to the gym in the morning instead of at night; wear your hair up if you never do. Even just a little change can pull you out of the rut and make you feel better.
If you do try something new and it doesn’t work out or you don’t feel comfortable, you can always walk away.
4. Have Some Chocolate
If you have a sweet tooth, indulge it in some chocolate. You have to take care of yourself and if eating a few squares works, then go with it. Don’t go overboard, but keep it as a treat for those moments when you don’t feel your best. If it worked for Harry Potter when he was attacked by Dementors, it can work for you too.
5. Eat Healthier
Feel terrible? It could be because you are eating processed foods and too much sugar. These foods can impact the stress levels and mess up your hormones, making you feel worse than you are. In some rare cases, what you are eating can actually make you sick! Pay attention to the way you feel after eating certain things to test if they are having an impact on your health and wellness.
6. Listen to Music and Dance
Sometimes we just need to let go. Whether you put on the latest hits or you want to dance around to the Spice Girls, putting on music and dancing is a great way to lift your mood. The phrase “Dance like no one is watching” really comes into play here – you’ll get some exercise, enjoy some art, and feel better when it is all over.
Coloring has really made a comeback in the last few years. With a plethora of adult coloring books available in almost all stores, you’ll have your choice of books and designs. Focusing on selecting the right colors and staying precise can take your mind off of whatever is bothering you.
Even though it is fleeting, coloring can lift your spirits and make you look away from your phone, which is probably a big source of your stress.
8. Hold a Baby
If you like kids, holding a baby can make you feel better almost instantly. They have an extremely calming presence and holding something that innocent can make you feel better about the world.
Plus, your friends will love that you gave them a break.
Don’t know anyone who has a baby? Call your local hospital and see if you can volunteer. Increasingly, they need volunteers who are willing to rock babies who are born addicted to drugs.
If that isn’t your speed, there are many other ways you can volunteer. Serve with Meals on Wheels to help the elderly, pick up trash in the park, or work at the local humane society.
10. Pet a Dog
Is there anything better than giving a dog a belly rub? Most dogs are extremely affectionate and would just love for someone to pay attention to them. Take a few moments to really just enjoy all of the unadulterated love that you get in return when you pet a dog.
What are your favorite ways to bring happiness into your life?