Quick Ways to Get Happy
We have all experienced being down in the dumps for this or that reason. It’s part of the human experience. Of course, some problems may be heavier than others and require additional attention. But here are some surefire ways to instantly lift ourselves up from unhappy times that have worked for me.
1. Gratitude for 5 Things in Your Life
Gratitude instantly turns our focus away from what is wrong or bad to what is good. It may be difficult to get started finding something to be grateful for amidst the unhappy feeling. But if we can find one thing to be grateful for, more ideas will surely follow. I usually find at least five things because that seems to be the amount that really starts ramping up my mood.
2. List 5 Things You Like about Yourself
Our bad moods usually have something, in some shape or form, to do with not liking ourselves, whether we want to admit that or not. So, thinking about (or writing) positive traits about ourselves will make us feel better not only in the present but also in the long run. Keep it simple as to not get deterred by things we wish were better. Maybe, we like our hair or color of our eyes; that we said hi to a stranger, didn’t get mad at the driver who cut us off, or remembered a friend’s birthday. Again, about five things really gets the feel-good energy moving.
3. Make a Joy To-Do List
I have a tendency to get caught up in things I have to do, as many people do. This list reminds us to make time for joyful activities. The list also reminds us that we do have good, happy times which may just be covered up by a focus on our problems. Activities on the joy to-do list don’t have to be big, ultra-exciting activities. The point of the list is to remind ourselves of things we enjoy. A list could include things, such as, listening to music, exercising, sitting in nature, talking or texting with friends, doing a craft project, reading an inspiring book, watching a funny show. This will be a very personalized list. Remember the point is not what we are doing, but that we are making a deliberate effort to think of things we enjoy.
It is difficult to skip and remain unhappy! It doesn’t necessarily need to be skipping. Any form of physical movement has a way of boosting our mood. Whether it is a whole workout, a silly dance move, or just a couple minutes of motion, the benefit is instantaneous.
5. Do Something for Somebody
This can be as simple as holding the door for someone, a friendly chat with a neighbor or co-worker. It could also be helping a close friend or family member where they need some assistance. It could even simply be nice thoughts or prayers directed towards someone. The act, per se, does not matter. It’s the generous, thoughtful attitude that makes the difference. Doing something for someone else takes the focus off of our problems. It doesn’t mean we are denying the existence of our problems. But by temporarily disregarding them, it gives us some respite. After focusing on another person, we sometimes then gain new perspective about our issue or even a new idea of how to handle it.
These are ways to rapidly shift our perspectives from unhappy problem to light-hearted enjoyment. The goal isn’t to solve our problems, but to take our focus off of what is troubling us. Once we shift our thoughts to better feeling ones, our problems have a way of working out in ways we hadn’t previously imagined and we get to have some fun along the way.