Everyone wants to be happy – especially when they’re not. The good news is that no matter how “stuck” you feel, you can make small changes to immediately improve your happiness and boost your mood. But oftentimes, when we’re feeling stuck we don’t feel like taking action to feel better – that’s why we call it being stuck! But there are small things you can do to help yourself out of it. Here are five evidence-based ways that you can improve your happiness quotient no matter how you’re feeling.
- Look for opportunities to laugh. Laughter helps the body release endorphins which give us an overall sense of well-being. Laughter is also a great way to relax, decreases stress hormones, and can protect against heart disease.
- Improve the quality of your sleep. Poor quality sleep or lack of sleep is linked to anxiety and depression. Lack of sleep is also linked to weight gain. On the flip side, good sleep hygiene is linked to optimism and greater self-esteem. If you wake up without the use of an alarm clock and you feel rested, that is an indication that your sleep habits are healthy. Check out these top 7 natural ways to improve the quality of your sleep and increase your energy levels.
- Turn to music. When you listen to music your brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter which contributes to feeling good. So turn on your favorite tunes and make a daily investment into your happiness account.
- Stay away from the news. Did you know that watching the news causes your body to produce stress hormones, which may lead to lead to nervousness, fear and aggression? Doesn’t sound all that happy does it? And of course, the news is rarely, if ever, good news. Put yourself on a news diet for six months. Be selective about what you allow yourself to watch and listen to. You may find that you are in a better mood not listening to “bad news”.
- Be grateful. Practicing gratitude can increase your happiness. Counting your blessings is a clichéd as it comes but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective in raising your happiness level. Take time to acknowledge your gratitude towards others for support, friendship, or a kindness shown. In turn, make it a daily practice to be grateful for one thing.
If your own personal happiness project seems a bit daunting, try one of the five suggestions listed above. Once it is well-established add on another. If your habits fall by the wayside, just simply start again, and again. And don’t forget to be happy about being willing to try to incorporate new ways to gain and maintain happiness.
What do you do to boost your mood when you’re stuck in a rut?
Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,