Many of us have grown up to believe that happiness is an outside force we can’t control. We go about our lives waiting for happiness to happen to us! We believe if we perhaps find the right partner, wear the right kind of clothes, have the dream job, or go on vacation, we will achieve the happiness we long for. However, the reality is that happiness is a choice, a decision you can make to take control of your well being, and enjoy life to the fullest. They say money can’t buy you happiness and that is absolutely true! Here is a short list of 10 free things you can do to turn that frown upside down and start embracing happiness in your life!
1. Soak up some sun
Not only will you look radiant as your skin takes in sun rays, but you will literally be increasing the “happy hormone” aka Serotonin levels in your body. You will be left feeling giddy and energized, ready to face whatever comes your way!
2. Enjoy a delicious chocolate bar (or a square at least)
Yes! You read correctly. You now have one more (very legitimate) excuse to eat that yummy chocolate bar you love. Eating chocolate releases neurotransmitters in the brain that absolutely lift your spirits. One of these neurotransmitters is Phenylethylamine aka “the love drug” which arouses the same feelings you experience when you are in love and who isn’t happy when they are feeling in love?! Enjoy a guiltless treat but remember, everything in moderation!
3. Acknowledge your higher power
Humans have this insatiable need to live for something greater than themselves. Take the time to appreciate and trust that your life is being guided by something greater than yourself. Understand that every stage of your life is part of a stunning master plan that will work for the greater good of those around you. How can you not feel beyond happy when you embrace the idea you are contributing to the greater good?!
4. Make a motivational play list
Music has the power to life your spirits like nothing else! Just make sure the songs you include are full of hope and inspirational messages. Here are three to get you started:
When you log in time at the gym or on a run, your brain releases endorphins which are responsible for fighting stress and lifting your mood. In addition to making you feel better, the benefits are most definitely long lasting. Researchers at the University of Vermont found that “mood benefits of 2 hours of exercise can last up to 12 hours!” But, if you do not want to believe research, then at least listen to the lovely Elle Woods: “Exercise gives you endorphins…endorphins make you happy!”
6. Write it down!
Feeling overwhelmed with life? Take the time to write it down. Having clarity of mind can most definitely lower stress levels, allowing you to enjoy yourself and embrace happiness in your life. Next time you are utterly frustrated take a piece of paper, pen and write everything that comes to mind. You are literally taking a brain dump, but it will leave you feeling rested and with some additional space in your brain for happy thoughts!
7. Go on a date…
With yourself! Really, pack a little basket with some yummy strawberries, perhaps some chocolate, head over to the nearest park and take yourself on a picnic. While sitting there, embrace the purity of the moment. Enjoy how the wind plays with your hair, and watch how dogs walk their owners. Take in all that is around you and feel grateful for the opportunity of being alive and having all your senses intact. Make a conscientious effort to choose happiness for your life at that very moment, own your feelings and emotions. Get high on life!
8. Listen to a good motivational talk
Listen to Les Brown, Zig Ziglar, Kevin Snyder, Lisa Nichols, really, the list is endless! Nothing like a good motivational talk to lift your spirits and teach you to enjoy the little things in life. You will learn you have the capacity to alter your attitude and embrace happiness despite your circumstances.
9. Do something nice for a stranger
Bake a batch of cookies and hand it to a homeless mother and child. Smile at the taxi driver. Greet the people in the elevator enthusiastically. Embrace everyone around you, strive to make everyone feel alive, and you will most definitely feel happier.
10. Don’t give up
Don’t ever give up on happiness. Despite how difficult life may get, it is still a precious gift. Even if living gets tough, happiness is just a choice away. Always smile and know that you are in fact, the master of your joy!