The pursuit of happiness may be one of humanity's most intrinsic rights, but in today's world people are more commonly stressed, depressed, rushing, and distracted than they are happy. As you rush from work, to home, to meeting, to after-school activity, to bed, squeezing in time for things that make you genuinely happy isn't usually a top priority. But it should be. In fact, being happier with your life doesn't always require a dramatic upheaval. Sometimes, a implementing few genius little life hacks that guarantee you'll be happier is all it takes. And the good news is, you can start applying these hacks to your life right now.
In an age where an estimated 6.8 million adults in the US suffer with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, as noted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of American (ADAA), being intentional with the things you allow into your life, body, and mind is one of the most effective ways to battle anxiety, stress, fatigue, and more.
Whether you're in a particularly stressful season, you're struggling with depression, or you just want simple ways to brighten up your normal routine, making these simple changes a little bit at a time is scientifically proven to do just that.
1. Add Some Greenery To Your Home
It seems too good to be true, but that little succulent you've been keeping alive may actually increase your happiness. Psychology Today noted that filling your home with greenery, or even looking at plants outside, can boost your mood, increase your concentration, and reduce stress.
2. Wear More Orange
Orange is reportedly the happiest color and, according to 99designs, wearing it and other warm tones is proven to increase your mood.
3. Keep A Gratitude Log
Keeping a gratitude log or journal may seem like a time consuming practice, but according to Huff Post, it's one of the easiest things you can do to increase your happiness. The idea is simple: write down the things you're thankful for each day. You can write them down as you notice them, or all at once each night, but either way, it can only cause you to be more thankful for the simple pleasures in your life.
4. Eat More Fruits And Veggies
You read that right. Filling your plate with more fruits and veggies can actually make you happier. Better Nutrition noted that studies have shown that the amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables a person consumes is directly related to their overall satisfaction with life.
5. Log Off Of Social Media
Not surprisingly, social media, the very thing that's meant to connect people together, often makes them feel most alone. If you catch yourself comparing your life to the seemingly perfect squares of your friends on Instagram, consider logging off for a few hours each day. It's Time To Log Off noted that simply logging off of your smartphone everyday can decrease anxiety, increase happiness, free up your time, and increase your productivity and attention span.
6. Make A Date ... With Yourself
Regardless of personality type, Huff Post noted that most people benefit from spending time alone to do something that makes them happy. Be it a bath after the kids go to bed, a full blown spa day, or time with a favorite book, make alone time a priority and you won't regret it.
7. Go Outside
According to research published in U.C. Berkeley's Greater Good Magazine, simply getting outside every day can increase your happiness, as well as make you kinder and more creative.
8. Open Your Blinds
NY Mag reported that, on days when getting outside for a long period of time won't happen, simply opening your blinds to let in the sunshine can decrease depression and increase happiness.
9. Exercise Just A Little Bit
Happify noted that exercising for even 20 minutes can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.
10. Put On Some Music
A study published in the Journal of Nature found that people who were generous with their time and money were happier.
12. Skip The Sugar And Processed Foods
As important as adding more fruits and veggies to your diet is, Healthline noted that it's equally important to know what to avoid. Refined sugars and carbohydrates can slow you down, and cause your blood sugar to go on a roller coaster. They may taste good, but they won't improve your immediate or long term happiness.
13. Stop Focusing On Money
Not to say you should forego all notions of a budget and forget about money altogether, but shifting your priorities can increase your happiness. According to Today, people who focused on how they spent their time, instead of how they spent their money were happier.
14. Have More Sex
Not that I have to tell you, but having sex can drastically increase your mood and happiness. However, as NPR noted, it's quality over quantity that matters most.
And no, not just because the creepy guy on the corner says to while you walk by. Scientific American noted that smiling, even when you don't feel particularly jubilant, can increase your mood.
17. Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier
Sorry, non-morning people, but according according to a study conducted by the University of Toronto, waking up even a half hour earlier every morning can increase your happiness throughout the entire day.
18. Take A Buying Break
Forbes suggested that people who are chronically unhappy spend too much time acquiring possessions that they don't really need or want. Conversely, buying only what you need with the occasional "want" thrown in can increase your happiness instead of leaving you constantly wanting more.
19. Cry When You Feel Like It
People are socially groomed to suppress their feelings, but studies show that the behavior only does harm to overall happiness. One study from Science Daily found that putting names to our negative feelings can make them less intense, while acknowledging your positive feelings can heighten them.
20. Find A Positive Person To Spend Time With
NPR reported that, according to a study conducted by by researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, happiness is literally contagious. So, it makes sense to spend time with your friends and loved ones who look on the bright side of things!
21. Embrace Routine
As much as you may rebel at the thought of routine, Psychology Today noted that healthy, daily habits are the key to happiness. Although there is definitely a needed balance between routine and unscheduled time, when you establish routines, you use less of your energy to get through the day, leaving more room for happiness and spontaneity for the "free moments."
22. Eat Breakfast
On the site Healthy Happy Eating, cognitive scientist Sebastijan Veselic of the University of Vienna explored studies that shows eating a filling, nutritious breakfast can improve your mood and help ease your anxiety. They don't call it the most important meal of the day for nothin'...
As depressing as cleaning can be, Fulfillment Daily suggested that there's scientific proof supporting a connection between organization and happiness. According to Fulfillment Daily. "A study done by The University of California showed that coming home to a messy house can interfere with the body’s production of the de-stressing hormone cortisol, primarily because people believe that they had to clean up the mess, and therefore stress about it, even if they didn’t have the motivation to actually clean up."
Sound familiar? When your home or office is more organized, it requires less upkeep, and cleaner spaces can boost your mood in return.
24. Read A Book
According to The New Yorker, bibliotherapy is an ancient form of therapy that uses literature to increase people's happiness. Whether it's a scholarly article or your favorite romance novel, picking up a book to read can work wonders for your happiness.
25. Get Over Your Money-Blocks
Money blocks are items that you feel guilty about buying because you feel that it's selfish or irresponsible. And, of course, they're healthy to an extent, but money blocks can also cause you to be unhappy. Every Dollar noted that embracing the mindset that it's OK to spend money on yourself is both healthy, and happiness-inducing.
26. Watch The Sunrise Or Sunset
Psychology Today noted that watching the sunset or sunrise can improve your mood, increase your empathy for others, and improve your physical health.
27. Set A Very Specific Goal For Yourself
Need a quick boost in motivation? Huff Post points to research from Stanford University, the University of Houston and Harvard University showing that that setting specific goals for yourself (not general goals like "get healthier") and then making progress towards them is one of the easiest, most surefire ways to increase your happiness and productivity.
28. Say No
One of the quickest way to add stress to your life is to say yes to everything. You'll soon realize that you're over committed, spread thin, and exhausted. Instead, Upworthy suggested that people who learn to say no when they need to are happier.
29. Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Good
Another piece from Huff Post suggested that choosing clothes that fit well and you feel confident in can increase your happiness and self-image.
30. Take A Nap
Feeling that afternoon slump? An article from the Independent noted that short naps can actually increase your productivity and happiness.
31. Find Something You Love About Yourself
Women tend to focus on the negatives, especially when it comes to their body or well being. But, Time noted that adopting a positive mindset and focusing on even one or two things you love about yourself can increase your overall outlook.
32. Delete And Unsubscribe
Much like logging off of social media can increase your happiness, unfollowing and unsubscribing from people or accounts that don't uplift you can work wonders as well.
33. Change Your Perspective
It sounds overly simplified, but Huff Post noted that there is power in simply thinking positively instead of negatively. Start small, and then work your way up, slowly changing your mindset and you'll realize that you have many reasons to be happy.
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