You really like feeling happy, right? Me too. I know a lot of very unhappy things happen in the world, and because of some upsetting news that has been all around us this week, I thought I would share my next round of happiness tips (clicky click to see part 1 and part 2). I think it's important to remember that finding ways to make yourself happy doesn't mean you ignore the negative parts of life. But I also think it's important to find the good in what's around you, to keep your life meaningful and worthwhile. It is possible to acknowledge and reflect on the sadness in the world while also implementing happiness habits in your life to keep yourself on a healthy path. Here are the most recent happiness tips I have written down in my journal. I hope they liven up you day!
Get lots of sleep. This changed for me a lot since I was younger. When I was in high school I would only sleep about every other night. Literally, I would go two days without sleep all the time, just because I wanted to. I didn't do anything particularly exciting. I just knitted or created some weird piece of art, sewed, or read. I was maybe a little weird. Anyways, times have changed a lot. I feel kind of like an old woman, but my mood changes drastically depending on how much sleep I have gotten. If you get a good night's rest, you wake up more refreshed and ready to take on the day. Waking up motivated means I will have a productive day. Waking up and wanting to crawl back into my bed usually means a slow, sluggish day. Plus sleep helps with your stress level, health, weight, and skin! So get lots of zzz's!
Focus on the good. I know this is hard when so many devastating things are occurring around us. The news is filled with sad stories, especially this week. I think it's important to be aware of those happenings but to also see the good things around you. I know you have some really awesome parts of your life, and those should be always appreciated.
Turn off the TV. You know, after you watched the news. If I turn the TV on after dinner, I will probably sit and watch it until I go to bed. But if I work on a project or go out after dinner, I am so much more productive. Looking back on the day and having a product to show for it is really powerful for me. I feel so much happier if I have done something with my time other than stared at a mindless reality show.
Compliment others. I mean genuinely compliment them with something specific. If you like someone's dress, tell them! If you think they did a really good job on something, let them know. I guess this was driven into me when I was earning my education degree, but it is important to make compliments sincere and unique to the person. Don't just say "good job." Tell them why you like what they did and what they did specifically to earn your attention. This is not just for students. Compliment your friends/co-workers/family members because of something that is meaningful and specific to that person. It will make them feel good, and making other people feel goods makes you feel good, too.
Practice healthy habits. I already mentioned getting a good night's sleep, but there are other important habits to develop if you want a happy and healthy lifestyle. I am specifically thinking of eating healthy and exercising. Eating healthy food in appropriate proportions will make your body healthy, which will in turn make your mind healthy. And a healthy mind is a happy mind. I will even add in that a vegetarian lifestyle will improve your happiness because you are not only helping out your body, you are helping out animals and the environment (but those are details for another time). Exercise makes such a difference, too. It can be really hard to find the motivation to go out and exercise, but I promise that once you do, you will feel better all around. Once again, you will have a healthier body, and being active will improve your brainpower and energy level. Even though sometimes I don't want to, I do always feel better if I go out for a nice walk in the evenings. The fresh air does me good, and I am happy with myself when I get in some extra exercise.
Have goals. You have to be working toward something. It can be big or small, long-term or short-term. Be content with your life while also pushing for more. Never stop improving by settling for what you have. Whether it be career, fitness, personal, etc, have a goal that you can measure and work toward. Some examples might be to run a 5k, plan a fundraiser, complete a crossword puzzle, start an online business, or lose 5 pounds. Just continue to push yourself, because when you stop pushing yourself, life will get really boring.
Be nice. I know I have touched on this before and probably made very similar points to this one. But I found this picture today, and I thought it was really perfect. It is easy to be nice to other nice people, but what about the rude ones? I'll be the first to say that I have a temper. If someone cuts me off, gives me a dirty look, or is rude, I get defensive. I am working on it. I have found that it really helps to smile and pass your happiness on to them. Who knows if it will work or not. My hope is always that if I am really nice to them despite their behavior, they will maybe realize that they are being rude. Maybe if I am overly nice to them, they will take a hint. My mom use to tell me to "kill 'em with kindness." The phrase itself is kind of ironic, but I think she meant that you should be so nice that the other person will have no choice but to be nice back. Additionally, someone who is not being nice might have a reason for their mood. It's very likely that they are having a bad day, in which case they need someone to show them some kindness, right? I think so.
Stop with the comparisons. Not everyone is the same. People have different amounts of money. People have different kinds of homes. People have different families, different jobs, and different habits. Do what makes you happy, not what makes someone else happy. You have more than some people and less than some people. I'm not really a big fan of finding happiness in the idea that "it could be worse." It could also be better! But it is what it is, and you have some great things in your life. Look around and acknowledge them for what they are, not what they are in comparison to someone else.
Treat yo' self. Massages. Mimosas. Fine leather goods. Ok, those are examples from Parks and Recreation. Anyone get that reference? Anyway, you deserve to be pampered. I am not necessarily talking about splurging financially (although I did recommend that in a past happiness post!). I am saying treat yourself to something that you don't do everyday. For me this might be getting a venti passion tea lemonade at Starbucks instead of a grande. Or it might be getting a pedicure, taking an afternoon nap, or taking a day off work. Whatever it is that makes you happy, make time for it. You work hard, and you have earned it.
Hope these help! Have a great Tuesday!