We all want to be happy, right? But many times that’s not exactly the case. Life brings us hard situations, we have problems we don’t know how to solve, people we love sometimes hurt us, and sometimes it so happens that we weren’t even taught how to be happy.
Maybe no one told you that your universal right is to be happy. It’s also something no one can take away from you, because happiness is a state of mind, and unless you’re a robot, you have all the power to make your day happier yourself.
It takes 21 days to create a new habit. That’s not really a lot, if you consider your lifetime. But it means all the difference, if you create a habit that positively affects you. And why not train yourself of new habits that will make your days happier and more fulfilling?
Here are just 15 things we’ve come up with that will make your day happier. If you implement at least 1 or 2, you’re on the right path to becoming a happy person:
1. Put a smile on your face – I know it may sound weird, but physical smile can and will produce positive changes in your body, and before you realize it, you’ll be smiling without having to fake it. I actually tried it myself. I first forced a smile whenever I remembered, and because I felt so stupid for doing that, I started laughing at myself and what do you know, I was suddenly changing my whole state of being. It works!
2. Kiss or hug someone you love – It is scientifically proven that hugging increases levels of the “love hormone” oxytocin. A 20-second hug lowers your level of stress hormone cortisol. But if, for instance, you don’t have loved ones by your side, you can always send them a kiss or a hug via phone, email, Facebook, twitter…(you get where I’m going with this). When sharing your love or affection, you also feel better yourself.
3. Do the happy dance – Now, don’t get all into the »I can’t dance« argument, because I am not interested in your grooves and moves. Frankly, it doesn’t matter, as long as you move your body in order to free your frustrations, tensions and worries. In native shamanic communities, when people came to see the Shaman when they were sick, he first asked them 4 basic questions: When did you stop dancing, When did you stop singing, When did you stop being enchanted by stories, and When did you stop finding comfort in sweet territory of silence. Because you see, that’s what we all ought to do, to keep our spirit up. If our spirit is down, we’re not happy.
4. Be empathic – When a person opens his heart, he can see many things that are not visible with his eyes. If you always keep in mind that people are all the same deep down inside and that all that each of us wants, is actually to be loved, you will be capable to see that in each person. Never mind his negative approach, his nagging, unpleasant personality, all that there really is to it, is the feeling of understanding and empathy that people are searching for. It’s not that hard and you will both feel better.
5. Random act of kindness – Helping a random person in a random situation is one of the things that can surely make your day happier. You probably pass the same places on your way to work and back home, and most of the time, you meet the same faces, even if you don’t know them. I like to surprise people, like the cashier in the local store that is clearly tired of her boring job, with a smile and a nice hello. I can see her mood change in an instant, when I approach her with a kind attitude. Wish your waitress a pleasant day after leaving the cafe, and maybe you’ll create a chain reaction.
6. Change your usual ways – We all know that routine can have a dreadful impact on our lives. I personally am afraid of routine. So, I sometimes practice the »change your way« style. It means I don’t take my bus at the same station, I change the street to work, I break my daily habits of going straight home after work, and I meet a friend instead. Anything that you usually don’t do, do it!
7. Say no – It may sound a bit strange, but saying no to something, can make you happier. Because we often say yes, even if we don’t mean it, just to please others. But what about pleasing yourself and taking a stand? On the other hand, maybe you can also turn it around, and say YES to something you usually say no to. Think about the reasons why you don’t want to do something and admit to yourself if it’s because of fear, denial, or perhaps something else. Be honest with yourself and respect yourself.
8. Call a friend – Sometimes we need friendly advice, a meaningful conversation with someone who really knows us. That’s what friends are supposed to be. So, cherish them and show them you care for them. Even calling them or spending an evening of watching TV shows, playing video games or just having tea or a beer together can make a difference.
9. Find a hobby – There are so many things one can do in this world, that I simply cannot understand how some people can get bored. I mean seriously? If you don’t enjoy your job so much, it is essential to have a hobby, in my opinion. Something you can get good at, or just enjoy doing. It often can also distract your mind from your everyday routine and make you forget all the troubles of that day.
10. Get involved in a sport – As I said before, hugging can increase the levels of happy hormone in your body. Well, so does participating in sports. Believe me, I know. There was a time in my life when I was feeling completely down and if it weren’t for sports in my life, I’d probably end up depressed for the rest of my life. I’ve even increased my exercise, and so it was easier for me to deal with my problems. The hardest part is getting up from that chair, but once you start running or doing some squats and those little hormones enter your brains, believe me, you won’t want to stop.
11. Forgive – A very heavy word. We often tend to suppress our feelings, or forget bad things that happened to us by ignoring them. But with that, we’re not doing ourselves a favor. If somebody disappointed you, it is not wise to hold that grudge for the rest of your life. You don’t have to face that person, you just have to forgive him or her. Release those old energies and go on with your life.
12. Inspire – Who, me? Yeah, you. Anybody can be an inspiration to others. Many times we aren’t even aware of it. Every time someone says to me that I make him do that and that I inspired him for certain actions, I am so touched. And it makes me do it even more. I take it as a responsibility. Always be aware, no matter how quiet or invisible you think you are…that is only your perception of yourself. Maybe someone is watching you every single day, looking up to you, without you even knowing. Do often, what you’re good at, and think about how many lives you may be changing and inspiring.
13. Treat yourself with something – Are you on a diet and you simply cannot forget about that delicious chocolate cake? Go for it. Did you think about how healthy it is for you to be all miserable and cranky because you are forbidden to do something? Being in a bad mood is actually worse that gaining that extra gram. And most importantly, don’t ever regret it. Be conscious about what you did and why you did it, and get over it.
14. Volunteer – Engaging yourself in a meaningful activity can make you happier. Did you know many people aren’t happy because they often lack purpose in their life? That’s right, boredom can be devastating too. So think about what kind of person you are, and join an organization. Maybe you care about animals, maybe you want to save the planet, maybe you can help kids with their school problems, or just spend time with senior citizens that would love your company. Giving your share back to society can make your life much more fulfilling and happy.
15. Buy a coffee for a stranger – Of course we must not forget where it all started. Our movement »Suspended Coffees« is all about making this world a better place, reminding people that we are all supposed to be good to each other, in order to empower our society. If the core is sick, so is the whole system, but if we take care of that core and nourish it with random acts of kindness, we can make this world grow into a healthy one.
Never forget we are all in this together. If you will learn to make yourself happier, you can teach others to do so, too. If you can inspire one person at a time, we are all heading towards a brighter future. And last but not least, »Keep it simple, keep it cool!«, life is not that complicated.
By Maja Horvat