1. Friendships: Quality over quantity.
Having a bunch of friends won’t make you happy. It may actually make you feel the opposite. Put more time and effort into a few good friendships.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Little things try their hardest to make you unhappy: Worry, grudges, comparing yourself to others, and more. Ten years from now, will it matter? One hundred years, will it matter? Do your best to move on.
3. Work on your relationships.
Learn what friends you can count on and will always be there for you. Have a handful of friends that know who you truly are and what to do when you’re down in the dumps.
4. Order some takeout (or hire a maid).
Spending a little bit of money reduces some stress. Order some takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant, or hire a maid for the next house cleaning.
5. Take a daily nature walk.
Taking time to get out in nature can make you a happier person. It decreases stress, improves mood, decreases anxiety, and promotes creativity. Get outside and find a good trail.
6. Get romantic.
A relationship may not bring happiness, but adding a little bit of the romance to the equation can give you a boost. Do something sweet this week.
7. Get your exercise.
Exercise has been proven time and time again to improve mood. It increases circulation, releases happy chemicals in your brain, energizes the body, and gets rid of stress.
8. Buy yourself something nice.
Waking up and seeing flowers on the kitchen table can refresh and revamp the entire room. Plus, a study by Rutgers University found that having flowers in the home increases happiness, reduces depression, and anxiety.
9. Pick up a good book.
Certain days everything in your world is going wrong. Reading something that helps you escape from your problems is perfect for those days.
Marriage won’t make you happy, a happy marriage will make you happy. Higher quality relationships will make you a happier individual. You don’t have to get married!
11. Embrace your feelings, don’t fight them.
Bottling your feelings means they will come out at a later time. Take them head on so you can learn to let go and get back your joy.
12. Take a selfie.
Smile for the camera! Try to take one selfie a day, wherever you are, smiling with friends or in a new place. If you get into a slump, you’ll be able to look back at those pictures and remember that you can make your own good times.
13. Listen to your favorite music.
Listening to your favorite song can make you feel happier and improve your health by slowing heart rate and controlling blood pressure (unless you’re dancing, of course).
14. Pick up a hobby.
Hobbies are things that you WANT to do. You do them because of the fun and enjoyment they bring you. It’s not a hobby if it doesn’t make you happy.
15. Try not to buy ‘things’, buy experiences.
The happiness attached to ‘things’ quickly fades. You get used to new possessions, and then you want the next best thing. Focus on experiences – they shape who you are.
16. Get a puppy.
Pets have an effect on happiness and dogs can help reduce stress. Playing fetch or petting your pup can release feel-good oxytocin in your brain.
Your hometown can start to seem mundane in your daily life. While on vacation you’re given the opportunity to make new friends, detox from social media, and get some ‘you’ time.
18. Practice self-care.
Taking better care of yourself! “Me” time is important when it comes to your happiness. It reboots your brain, helps you unwind, increases concentration, gives space for self-discovery, and so much more.
19. Decompress without electronics.
Negativity is everywhere – social media, your group chat with your besties, and especially the news. Take some time out of each day to put the phone down. Earbuds might be damaging your hearing, texting might be hurting your neck, and it might even be doing damage to your closest relationships.
20. Give back.
Giving back is one of the biggest secrets to happiness. A Chinese proverb says: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” Happiness is found in helping others.