The secret to a happy, fulfilled life does not need to be complicated or involve winning the lottery. There are lots of simple things you can do to lift your mood, most of which are easy to execute and do not cost a penny. Here are some tips to feel happier every day of the week.
Take a walk
Getting off a bus stop earlier or taking a brisk walk around your local park is not only good for your health but it also releases mood-boosting endorphins, helping to erase stress, release tension and raise your spirits.
Watch a sad movie
You might think a laugh-a-minute comedy would be the only film genre to raise a smile on a dark day, but a recent scientific study found that watching a tearjerker can also spark real bursts of happiness.
The act of crying releases feelings of angst and stress, leading to a general mood increase once the weepie is over. What a great excuse to watch Ghost again.
Phone a friend
They say a problem shared is a problem halved – and if you’re feeling like you’ve got the world on your shoulders, the best solution could come in the form of picking up the phone to a trusted friend.Talking over concerns or worries can alleviate feelings of anxiety, which in turn makes for a happier, more positive outlook on life.
Wake up happy
Not getting enough shut-eye can have a real impact on your mood. Research from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School showed that not sleeping enough (fewer than four hours per night) can lead to anxiety and lower levels of optimism.
However you choose to get your quota of sleep, whether catnaps, power snoozes or a solid eight hours, you’ll wake up refreshed, revived and, most importantly, happy.
Treat yourself to a bar of chocolate when the going gets tough and feel the tension melt away. Yes, really. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love, and it encourages the release of feel-good, happiness-inducing endorphins. Keep a bar in your bag for mood emergencies.
Pick the right colours
There’s something about wearing bright colours that makes you feel good, but they can also have an impact on your happiness. A study from the Vrije Universiteit (Free University) in Amsterdam discovered that adults felt happier when presented with objects in hues of yellow and green.
Maybe it’s time to change up moody shades of blacks and greys for vivid yellows and vibrant greens and let your inner happiness shine through.
Relax your mind
Make time in your diary to switch off and find inner calm. Tuning out the noise of everyday life can bring great mental benefits and can contribute to feelings of contentment.
A recent study found that after only eight weeks of meditating for about an hour each day, six days a week, subjects reported they had become happier.