Happiness is the gateway to success, but like most good things in life, it also takes some work. Roll up your sleeves and put some effort into becoming a happier you. Here are 11 things you can do to enhance your happiness today. (For all of you happiness over-achievers, click on the headings below for more information on each tip!)
If you aren’t sure of your passion as an adult, revisit your youth for clues. Perhaps when you were a child, teenager or even a young adult, there was something that you were passionate about. Maybe there was something you loved to collect, a place you loved going, or an activity that you loved doing. Bring those old experiences back into your current life.
A sense of awe may help you fight depression and inflammation. Find awe by visiting a natural wonder. Listen to your favorite music. Lose yourself in an art museum. Go in search of what inspires you deeply.
Our relationships can have an almost magical effect on our happiness. Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb feels fulfilled when she’s collaborating and connecting with others. You can find inspiration in others, too.
Things are nice, but the joy we get from experiences lasts longer, causes less waste and probably has a smaller negative environmental impact. Walk to a destination with your family to enjoy the outdoors and connect through conversation. Take a hike in nearby hills. Plan an exciting trip together. All of these things will give enjoyment that you can anticipate, experience and then savor afterward.
5. Get a pet
Your new dog can make you more active. What's more, our pets bring bundles of emotional benefits to the humans who love them, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Identify your strengths and the areas in your life where you could be a little more courageous. Start working on those areas where you could use a little improvement.
Recent research by psychology professor Barbara Fredrickson shows that even casual positive interactions with acquaintances can cause a major lift in spirits.
Kick off your next office meeting with a compliment roundtable. Pay a compliment or say a kind word about a coworker or employee. Employees feel more valued, happier and more productive when there is a focus on what they're doing right.
Do you see your glass as half-full or half-empty? If you choose to see the world optimistically, you can more fully appreciate everything and enjoy your life more. We can't always choose to be happy immediately, but we can always choose to work toward being happier.
10. Get a happy app
Start your happiness track backed by science on Happify. Each day you can participate in fun and easy-to-follow activities, like taking a Savor Quest or relaxing for a few minutes in a Serenity Scene. Explore different tracks to stay on course to living the good life.
11. Strike a pose
Research shows that even standing in a "superman" pose (standing tall, hands on hips, legs slightly apart) a few minutes before a job interview can actually improve performance. Fake it till you make it!