16 Happy Habits to Fit Into Your DayErin Whitehead
We all want to be happier, right? And while you might think that there’s not much you can do to influence your own happiness other than wake up on the right side of the bed, there are certain habits happy people have that you can put into practice to increase your happy quotient.
There is nothing worse than waking up in a funk. Whether it’s because of a poor night’s sleep, or just a grouch-fest that came out of nowhere, you shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. You should be able to take charge and grab happiness by the horns! So when I saw this article on the habits of supremely happy people, I took the habits and turned them into action items you can put on your to-do list right now to support your happiness—every day!
Incorporating these to-do’s into your life won’t guarantee you a trip to Happy Town, but they certainly won’t hurt. If you need ways to turn that frown upside down, read on for the ways you can incorporate these happy habits into your own day.
16 Happy Habits To Fit Into Your Day 1 of 17
Come on, get happy!
Mix With Happy People 2 of 17
One of the first rules of happy people is that they spend time with other happy people. Do you have any Negative Nancies or Debby Downers in your life? Sure, we all complain about our days here and there, and being a good friend means listening when your friends struggle. But if you have a friend who is always complaining, always seeing that dark cloud, and always bringing you down, trade time with her in favor of a happier buddy!
How you can do it: Throw a party and watch a gut-busting comedy with friends so the joy can spread throughout the room.
Photo credit: lululemon athletica, Flickr
Smile 3 of 17
Apparently, thinking happy thoughts and actually smiling about them can increase your happiness.
How you can do it every day: Think of a different happy memory every day and smile about it! Whether it's your favorite vacation, how you felt the first time you went to Disney World, or a time your child said something truly hilarious, stockpile great memories to pull out for smiles on gloomy days.
Photo credit: mac.rj, Flickr
Bounce Back 4 of 17
We all get knocked on our butts now and then, but the trick for happy people is that they bounce back. Resilience helps you get over tough times and move forward.
How you can do it every day: The next time you spill milk, ding your car, or literally fall on your butt — laugh it off, bounce back, and carry on. Shake it off. I like to do a full body shake, literally, to rid myself of bad vibes!
Photo credit: limaoscarjuliet, Flickr
Try It On For Size 5 of 17
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Even trying to feel happier can help you do just that!
How you can do it every day: The next time you find yourself having negative thoughts, acknowledge them and consciously flip it for the positive. Have to get a cavity filled? Be happy you've got a full set of teeth! Boss got you angry? At least you have a job! Try to get in the habit of turning negative thoughts into positive ones.
Photo credit: lululemon athletica, Flickr
Appreciate The Good 6 of 17
It's often easier to notice the things that go wrong, rather than the 99 percent of the day that went right. But taking the time to appreciate the good every day can contribute to a great outlook and a good mood.
How you can do it every day: Take a few minutes each day — maybe during your lunch break — to appreciate all the good things that have happened in your day. Appreciate the positives and the simple pleasures. Your boss is out of town! The server got your coffee order right! You managed to avoid stepping in the puddle in the pouring rain!
Photo credit: metaxin, Flickr
Give 7 of 17
Volunteering and donating time have been associated with better physical health and less depression. You could give time or money, but even little gestures can give you a happy boost.
How you can do it every day: Buy coffee for the person behind you at the coffee shop. Help someone cross the street. Hold the door open for someone.
Photo credit: [Duncan], Flickr
Lose Track of Time 8 of 17
Getting immersed in an experience or activity and finding yourself carried away is a huge happiness booster.
How you can do it every day: Find something you love to do and set aside time for it every day. If you love to read, make a habit of shutting off electronic devices at a certain time to read a page or two. If you love to play piano, make it a point to practice for just a few minutes every day. Carve out the time to do the things that bring you pure joy.
Photo credit: Orange42, Flickr
Have Deeper Conversations 9 of 17
Truly expressing your feelings in conversations — rather than just shooting the breeze — is one way to increase your happiness quotient. Don't just talk either — truly listening has been linked to increased well-being and strengthened relationships.
How you can do it every day: Don't just idly chat when you're with your loved ones. Set your electronic devices aside, turn off the TV, look each other in the eye, and truly engage. Enjoy the old-fashioned conversation!
Photo credit: Kathleen Tyler Conklin, Flickr
Make Real-Life Connections 10 of 17
Sure, technology and social media make it easier to keep up with friends, but real, personal interactions go a long way toward maintaining quality relationships. Plus, actually touching can reduce stress.
How you can do it every day: Make a coffee date with a friend. Give someone a hug.
Photo credit: h3h, Flickr
Jam 11 of 17
Music is so powerful that one study showed that patients who listened to music had the same decreased anxiety symptoms as those who got 10 hour-long massages.
How you can do it every day: We all have our favorite pump-you-up songs. Choose at least one to listen to every day while you're on your commute or as you get ready in the morning. It could set the tone for your whole day!
Photo credit: shankar, shiv, Flickr
Step Away 12 of 17
Cell phones can raise your stress levels — the boss is always at your fingertips! — and the brightness of the screen has been shown to mess with sleep. Doing a little unplugging can do wonders for your ability to recharge. Plus, getting spiritual can help with your sense of purpose and connect to the bigger picture.
How you can do it every day: Set a time each night to turn off your digital devices so you can breathe, meditate, pray, talk to your spouse, or read a book or just go to sleep early!
Photo credit: tiagonicastro, Flickr
Walk Sprightly 13 of 17
One experiment showed that those who took long strides while swinging their arms and holding their heads high reported feeling happier after a stroll, than a group who took short steps while watching their feet. Maybe looking up makes us feel lifted, too?
Photo credit: H o l l y., Flickr
Work Out 14 of 17
Ever heard of a runner's high? It's true: exercise can improve mood and energy levels and has been linked to lessening anxiety and stress.
How you can do it every day: Make it a priority to work out most days of the week. Even a brisk walk or 5-minute workout can get you sweating and keep you in the workout habit!
Photo credit: Carolyn Coles, Flickr
Get Outside 15 of 17
Fresh air can make you feel more energetic, and just a small dose can make you feel more vital, a study showed.
How you can do it every day: If you work at home and don't have to leave the house, make it a point to get outside a few minutes each day for a quick walk around the block. If you work in an office but only get outside going to and from the office, do a lap at lunch or make it a point to head outside for an evening stroll.
Photo credit: treewoman8, Flickr
Sleep 16 of 17
Nothing gets me grumpier than missing out on quality sleep. With two kids, I'm oh-so-familiar with this occupational hazard. I definitely get frustrated more quickly and have a shorter fuse when I'm short on zzz's.
How you can do it every day: Make sleep a priority. Have a set bedtime and turn off those devices to wind down for the night.
Photo credit: Meneer Zjeroen, Flickr
Laugh 17 of 17
Laughter has a lot of benefits on top of just feeling good. While researchers aren't sure whether it's laughter that makes people feel better or whether it's just that a good sense of humor and positive attitude that are beneficial, laughter certainly doesn't hurt and might help sleep, blood sugar levels, relaxation, and blood flow.
How you can do it every day: Find your funny. Whether it's a funny blog that makes you laugh out loud all the time, a favorite stand-up comedian's clips on YouTube, or a daily joke sent to your inbox, seek out a quick laugh every day.
Photo credit: LaurenDaveyx, Flickr
Also from Erin: