This post was published a couple of years ago, but they serve as reminders for me today. I’m not always blissed out, but I do know that when I’m feeling low these are the things that can help me regroup, re-energize and feel a bit better. Worth doing, for sure.
It really is the simple stuff that can make us the happiest. A child’s laugh. A stunning sunset. The bite of the perfect doughnut. But, we can’t sit and wait for those moments to hit. We’ve got to engage in life. Cultivate good moments. And notice the goodness when it shows up.
In Monday’s post, I list five ways to feel happier. Here are five more. Add them to your To-Do List and do what it takes to boost your mood.
1. Work hard. Do something every day that requires some effort from you. Clean out that closet that’s stacked full. Finish the tough work assignment, paint a picture, though you’ve never painted before. Take piano lessons. We glean the most satisfaction when we are challenged. Passion starts there too.
2. Give to others. Good deeds will benefit both you and the recipient of your kindness. This is powerful stuff when you are struggling yourself. By doing something to help another, you help yourself and it’s a sure way out of a funk.
3. Stand big and tall. Our posture influences our feelings. When we are in a blue mood, we tend to slump down and sit in a closed position. When we stand big and wide and open, our bodies react by creating feelings of confidence and power. We feel more capable and when we do, we also feel happier. So which posture are you going to pick?
4. Move it. Get off the couch. Go for a walk around the block. Do stretches on the floor. Go for a swim or a jog. Move your body. There is plenty of science that shows movement and regular exercise ward of depression and a lot of other icky things. But, if you are in a funk, even a 20-minute session can be uplifting.
5. Grab the M&Ms. Alright don’t go all jumbo-bag crazy on me, but there is evidence that indicates comfort foods are really, er, comforting. During stressful times our serotonin levels can drop – that’s the natural chemical our bodies use to create feelings of calm and comfort. So, next time you’re wigging out enjoy a square of chocolate or a couple of crackers and you’ll feel happier.
Look for perspective. All of these tips will help you take a wider view of your own experience. It is not all woe-is-me – it’s not even all about you. Once you remember that, it’s easier to see that the world is probably not going to end because you have PMS or someone cut you off on the freeway. A little perspective is a good way to remember that this too shall pass, and happiness is possible.