5 Ways to Increase Happiness

I believe living a happy life is a worthwhile pursuit for every person!

The good news is we can do things to boost our happiness and appreciation each and every day.

All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within.

– Horace Friess

It is important to consciously incorporate activities that increase our happiness. I find it very empowering to know that if I incorporate certain practices into my daily routines I am more likely to foster happiness.

Though I am also a advocate of scheduling special play days too. To really give yourself a break from your normal life and play. Some examples of this for me, might be going to the beach or to the amusement park and ride roller-coasters or going dancing are all activities that bring me great joy and aren’t a part of my normal routine.

Try a few of these and let me know how you feel:

  1. Stop Complaining; it is remarkable how often we get used to complaining about things… which is really a useless use of our time and energy. The only time it’s good to complain is if you are speaking to someone who can do something about the problem. There is a great book “Complaint Free World” if you are interested into diving into why it makes us unhappy to complain and practicing a complaining fast!
  2. Exercise; it does seem exercise is good for everything. But there is a good boost in mood even by walking for 20 minutes. I like a quick HIIT workout. Enough to break a sweat makes me feel my best and definitely seems to elevate my mood for the whole day! You have probably heard of the runners high this is from the endorphins released during exercise which happens even with shorter exercise (you don’t have to run marathons). Endorphins are our feel good neurotransmitter released from the brain. Studies have even started to show that exercise can be as effective as anti-depressants which is great statement for how much it can improve mood and increase happiness.
  3. Practice and Attitude of Gratitude; This is a wonderful companion to no complaining when you focus on being grateful for the things in your life, it greatly increases happiness. Even the things that often go un-noticed like getting out of bed in the morning, a beautiful meal, having a roof over us, clean water to drink and the people in our lives.  The research on gratitude shows how it will elevate our attitudes.  In a study where participants wrote about either something they were grateful for or irritated about they found very positive results for the thankful group. After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
  4. Meditate; The research on meditation states that like exercise it pretty much helps every aspect of life. I have been working toward meditating regularly and I always feel my best when I make the time to do it. It starts my day off in a great way with feeling grounded and focused. I do utilize apps to meditate sometimes just the insight meditation timer sometimes a guided meditation like headspace. Finding a good meditation teacher is a good idea as well, check local yoga studios or meetup. Give it a try for awhile and see if you notice a difference in your life. There is a Zen proverb that says: “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day, unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour”.
  5. Massage; you would have been surprised if I didn’t say massage. But getting a massage lowers stress and anxiety and also releases endorphins. This is a great infographic on how massage increases happiness.