Ways to get happy, FAST!

So here we are. Christmas is over and the winter is coming on strong.

If you feel your mood and energy levels slipping, here are nine ways to lift your spirits from Gretchen Rubin’s article in entitled, “Nine tips for dealing with a happiness emergency.”

Gleaning its highlights:

1. Boost your energy: Stand up and pace while you talk on the phone or, even better, take a brisk 10-minute walk outside. Research shows that when people move faster, their metabolism speeds up, and the activity and sunlight are good for your focus, your mood, and the retention of information.

2. Reach out to friends: Make a lunch date or send an e-mail to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Having warm, close bonds with other people is the key to happiness, so take the time to stay in touch.

3. Rid yourself of a nagging task: Answer a difficult e-mail, do an errand you’ve been putting off, or call to make that dentist’s appointment. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a big rush of energy and relief.

4. Create a calmer environment: A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent. Try to get in the habit of using the one-minute rule?i.e., never postpone any task that can be completed in less than one minute.

5. Lay the groundwork for some future fun: Studies show that having fun on a regular basis is a pillar of happiness, and anticipation is an important part of that pleasure.

6. Do a good deed: Make an e-mail introduction of two people who could help each other. Or set up a blind date. Or shoot someone a piece of useful information or gratifying praise. Do good, feel good? This really works.

7. Act happy: Put a smile on your face right now. Research shows that even a fake smile has a positive influence on your emotions–turns out that just going through the motion of happiness brightens your mood.

8. Count your blessings. Take 10 minutes to think about all the things in your life that are going right, about all the things that other people do to help you, about all the things that you’re thankful for.

9. Perform an action that reflects your values. Do you think organ donation is a good idea? Sign up online to be one yourself; it takes less than a minute. Worried about climate change? Refill your water bottle from the tap instead of buying a couple of bottles throughout the day? Living up to your values will help you “feel right.”


About genemyers

Gene Myers is a New Jersey poet, music journalist and columnist who learned to walk twice. His weekly column is called The Joy of Life. He was awarded first place in Arts and Entertainment Writing by The New Jersey Press Association.
This entry was posted in depressed, happiness, holidays, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), The Joy of Life, winter and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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