Being happier doesn’t have to be a long-term ambition. You can start improving your mood right now. In the next 30 minutes, tackle as many of the following suggestions as possible.
- Raise your activity level to pump up your energy. If you’re on the phone, stand up and pace. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Put more energy into your voice. Take a 10-minute walk.
- Take a walk outside. Research suggests that light stimulate brain chemicals that improve mood. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.
- Reach out. Send an email to a friend you haven’t seen in a while , or reach out to someone new. Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness.
- Rid yourself of a nagging task. Deal with that insurance problem or make that long-postponed appointment with the dentist. Crossing a tough chore off your to-do list will give you a rush of elation.
- Create a serene environment. Outer order contributes to inner peace, so spend some time organizing bills and tackling the piles around the house. A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent.
- Do a good deed. Introduce two people by email, take a minute to pass along user information, or deliver some gratifying praise.
- Save someone’s life. Sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family about your decision. Do good, feel good – it really works.
- Act happy. Fake it ’til you make it. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile boosts your mood. And if you’re smiling, other people will perceive you as being friendlier and more approachable.
- Learn something new. Think of a subject that you wish you knew more about and spend 15 minutes on the internet reading about it or go buy a book about it.
Research shows that happier people are more sociable, likable, healthy and productive – and they’re likely more inclined to help other people. By working to boost your own happiness, you’re making other people happier too.