Use this list to kickstart your happiness, starting now.
1. Choose hope. Hope isn’t the same thing as optimism. Hope is believing the future will be better than the present, and working to make it so. Pick a goal you are excited about, and write down two things you can do to make it happen.
2. Look for your child’s spark. Connect with your children on a deep emotional level by looking for their essence. What are your kids’ positive qualities? What is your child really interested and invested in? Make a list.
3. Take your sweat session outside. The great outdoors and exercise have something in common—both improve your mood and reduce stress. Now you can reap all the benefits to your mental and physical well-being by working out in nature.
4. Write a To-Do list that boosts your productivity. Overwhelmed by your To-Do list? Break down bigger projects into steps that feel the opposite of overwhelming. Don’t stop until your list turns into a “gladly do” list.
5. Name your mood to improve it. Just by saying “I’m worried” or “I’m anxious” to friends or family can dissipate those negative emotions according to researchers. Share away.
6. Read happy. Surround yourself with the positive influences and associations and read a book from our Live Happy book list.
7. Cultivate compassion. Acknowledge your mistakes and remind yourself that mistakes are something you share with every other human on the planet. When you are compassionate with yourself, you can be more compassionate toward others.
8. Eat happiness-boosting foods. Eggs, seafood, nuts and leafy greens all contain happiness-boosting nutrients. Not sure what to do with these ingredients? Here are some easy, delicious recipes that will point you in the right direction.
9. Find your flow. Positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term flow—being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. Finding yours can make you happier. When do you lose track of time or feel totally in the zone? That’s your flow activity. Make sure it’s on your calendar.