By CysterWigs’ Contributor
Everyone feels down every now and again. It’s natural. Sometimes our moods will affect our productivity and even the quality of our lives. Fortunately, there are many ways to counter negative feelings. Being happy doesn’t have to involve a complete overhaul of your emotions. There are simple things you can start doing that will completely revitalize your outlook on life. Each one is easy and enjoyable. Implementing these habits and activities will only take 30 minutes to an hour a day and have been proven to bring a little more happiness to people’s lives.
1. Starting A Gratitude Journal
Starting a gratitude journal is one simple thing that you can do to help you focus on the positive things in your life. Sometimes, it’s easy to let a bad experience or two dictate how your day will go. But this simple technique can help you end the day on a positive note.
Every night before bed, write down three good things that happened that day. By consistently reflecting on the good moments of your life, you will develop a positive perspective going forward. This exercise helps cultivate gratitude, which plays a pivotal role in how happy you are. In no time at all, you’ll be able to see things in a positive light. If they are comfortable with it, get your friends or family members involved. Ask them to share three positive things they experienced that day. Sharing and recording these good memories will help bring you closer together and lighten things up before you go to sleep. As an added bonus, you’ll have an entire book of good memories to read through next time you’re feeling down.
2. Taking A Walk In the Sunshine
Taking a walk outside is an easy way to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air and get in a little exercise. Sunlight stimulates your brain to create serotonin, the chemical most closely related with happiness. The rays of the sun also tell your body to produce vitamin D, which is crucial for health and brain function. Meanwhile, exercise is the number one way to boost your mood and energy levels. Exercise does not have to be EXTREME or super-intense for you to benefit from it either. Something as simple as a walk can reduce stress, while increasing your positivity and productivity. Getting even just a little bit of exercise will also improve your sleep, which will help your brain get refreshed so you can wake up in a positive mood.
3. Calling At Least One Person Important to You Everyday
Socialization is one of the most important factors of human happiness. Even though we might have those days when we don’t want to see or talk to another person, communicating with loved ones reinforces our feelings of contentedness and gratitude. No matter how introverted or distant you feel, calling at least one family member or friend a day will improve your mood and life. It’s very easy to do, especially with a hands free headset. Turn walking your dog, doing your dishes or grocery shopping into a time to catch up and connect with other people. Planning who you are going to call can also help since science suggests we are happier when we have something to look forward to. Verbal connection is a simple human desire that will do wonders for your outlook on life.
4. Writing A Thank You Letter
Studies have shown that one of the most scientifically sound ways to boost your levels of happiness is to express gratitude. In fact, a 2012 study showed that practicing gratitude could increase you happiness by as much as 25%! This is because gratitude is the emotion that takes delight in the things we already have. Starting a gratitude journal is a good way to begin developing this emotion. The next best thing you can do is share your gratitude with a loved one. If someone has meant a lot to you in the past, start writing an email or handwritten letter for them, it’s an activity that will bring joy to both of you. It doesn’t matter how small their deed or role was. Thanking people in your life and telling them what they mean to you is a surefire way to increase your happiness.