The happiest people I know appreciate what they have, keep an open mind to new ideas and ventures, use their leisure time as a means of self development, and love good music, good books, good pictures, good company and good conversation. In other words, they do small things every day to nurture their happiness.
It’s a lot easier than it sounds. Anything that helps you feel more positive and joyful is self-nurturing. The result? A happier, healthier you. Here are 40 simple ideas to get you started with nurturing your happiness.
Act like today is already an awesome day. – Do so, and it will be. Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact we often feel because of the way we act. A great attitude always leads to great experiences. Read The How of Happiness.
Make yourself smile first thing in the morning. – It’s difficult to feel down when your face is happy. Fill your bathroom or bedroom mirror with post-it notes of your favorite quotes, goals, mantras, photos, etc., and then reflect on them for a minute or two when you first wake up.
Spend time with people who make you smile. – Who nourishes and supports you? Surround yourself with these people. Spend time with those who reflect the person you want to be – people who do good things and make your life a little brighter simply by being in it.
Try something totally new. – Go somewhere you’ve never been. Do something you’ve never done. It will shake up your vision of what the world is like and give you a fresh new perspective on things. Variety truly is the spice of life. You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once. As a result, first time experiences usually leave a reflective mark in our minds for the rest of our lives. So spice it up! The more experiences you have, the richer your life will be.
Work on something that’s meaningful to you. – Engage yourself in a meaningful personal project, or pull the trigger on doing something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t yet had the resolve to do. Life is short. Today is the day to take action.
Dream big. – You can do anything you set your mind to. Visualize your dreams coming true and work at making them a reality.
Listen to your inner voice. – Your instincts are good. It’s important to listen to your own head and heart. Don’t always listen to others. Do what you know in your heart is right, for you.
Trust yourself. – You are kind. You are smart. You are important. Your choices are just as valid as anyone else’s.
Truly appreciate those around you. – Tell your friends you adore them, say thank you and mean it, flash your biggest and most sincere smile at strangers on the street, hug people for longer than normal. The more love you give out, the more it builds inside of you and the more you’ll get back.
Give out compliments. – Give sincere praise every chance you get. Compliment and cheer for those who deserve it. You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone, because when the person you compliment smiles, you’ll smile too.
Be vibrant and colorful. – Express yourself. Inject energetic colors into the atmosphere at work and at home. If not in dress, then in words and deeds. The world has enough grey! Be the antidote! Read The Happiness Project.
Be silly. – Sometimes we take ourselves entirely too seriously. Let go. Be spontaneous and outrageous. Sometimes you just need a good laugh to lift your spirits.
Slow down. – When you’re living your life at top speed, you’re missing most of it. Stop and take a breath. Look for ways to adopt a more humane pace. Pay close attention to what you’re doing. Don’t waste time juggling forgettable tasks. Instead, concentrate on a few things that really matter. Engage fully in each day. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Be present. – Life is happening right now. Instead of dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future, just practice being and living in the ‘now.’ You can’t learn something new or uncover a new opportunity that’s happening now if your mind is stuck in another time. Remember, right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. Don’t miss it.
Disconnect from the world for a little while. – Shut off your electronics, phone, computer and television. So many of us use technology to distract ourselves and keep our minds busy when we would be far better served by just sitting still and learning to relax. It’s not healthy to be plugged in and accessible 24/7.
Move your body. – Run, jump, climb a tree, take a dancing class, power walk – anything that feels good that gets your blood moving. The only limitation: it has to be fun. Don’t get on a treadmill if you hate the treadmill.
Stretch. – Take a few minutes for a good muscle stretch. It gets the blood moving, fires up your brain and it gives you a few moments to unwind and get grounded before you start the next task. Plus, it just feels good too.
Take a walk without a destination. – A brisk walk is a great way to get some exercise and clear your mind. Enjoy the breeze, breathe the fresh air, and be mindful of what you see, hear and feel.
At least once a week, do something that’s only for you. – Remember that hobby that you used to have time for, or that food that no one else in your house likes? Indulge in it. Reclaim it for yourself.
Dress up and do something fun. – Get all dressed up and go out dancing, or to an event. It’s a good way to inject a little excitement into your routine and let loose.
Listen to good music. – Listen to music that motivates you. Put on your favorite song, turn it up loud and sing.
Do, watch, or listen to something that makes you laugh. – Laughter is the best medicine. And some of the most memorable moments in your life will be moments spent in laughter.
Get more sunshine. – Go to the beach or park. Bask in the warming rays of the sun.
Get enough sleep. – Everything is harder when you’re tired. An exhausted mind is rarely happy and productive.
Stand tall. – Your spirit can’t soar when you slouch. You will feel much more powerful and capable when you stand up straight and look the world in the eye.
Declutter your space. – Purge everything in your life, both physical and mental, that you don’t honestly need, use or love. The excess distracts you from your true intentions and bogs you down. Read The Joy of Less.
Purge bad habits and negative influences. – Anything that doesn’t nourish or support you – unhealthy foods, cigarettes, a miserable work environment, toxic people – get these things under control and do what you have to do to set boundaries and demand the highest quality of life. You deserve it.
Plan ahead. – With a few minutes of organizing your time and to-do’s, you will be better prepared to take on the day.
Stop procrastinating. – Start taking action to tie loose ends. Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier.
Allow yourself some private time each day. – Even if it’s only for a half hour, go on a fun excursion by yourself, read a book or spend time with your pet.
Get things off your chest. – Bottling everything up indefinitely will end badly. Say what you need to say. Do what you need to do. Also, write in a journal. Write down anything that calls to you, ideas, experiences, dreams, frustrations – get them out of your head and down on paper.
Be kind. – Be nice to someone else. Help them. Trust me, it will help you smile, and you will have made the world a better place.
Tell someone you love them. – We often forget to say it out loud. It matters.
Make a new friend. – People are interesting creatures, and no two people are exactly alike. So meet someone new today. Find out what makes them tick. They’ll likely open your eyes to fascinating ideas and perspectives. And you never know, they just might change your life.
Spend quality time with children. – Children live by their instincts openly and without hesitation. They are enthusiastic about life, eager to learn, and curious about everything. Watch how they play, how they live, how they create, how they ask questions, how they daydream, etc. Play with them and admire their innocence.
Cut yourself some slack. – We sometimes hold ourselves to impossible standards and then beat ourselves up when we don’t meet them.
Take pride in the hard times that you have overcome. – What didn’t kill you made you stronger. It wasn’t easy, but you got through it.
Keep your words positive. – Happiness and negativity cannot coexist.
Make your home a haven. – Your home should be a place where you can take a breath and really relax. If it isn’t, you may have some work to do.
Volunteer or make a donation. – Can you offer time, money, your voice or influence? In life, you get what you put in. Being reminded that the world is bigger than your bubble can inspire and uplift you. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less. I promise, it will be an extremely rewarding experience – one you’ll likely remember forever. If you want to make a big difference in someone’s life without leaving your computer chair, check out GoFundMe.
Forgive someone and reconnect with them. – Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. If there’s someone in your life who deserves another chance, give it to them. If you need to apologize, do it. Give your story together a happy ending.
Read something that inspires and motivates you. – Would I be out of line if I recommended this blog.
Smile and notice what’s right, right now. – Everything that happens in life is neither good or bad. It just depends on your perspective. And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should. Either you succeed or you learn something. So stay positive, appreciate the pleasant outcomes, and learn from the rest.
And remember, happiness is often found by enjoying the small things in life all while chasing after the big ones. Take life one step at a time, breathe, and enjoy the journey.