Joy. Delight. Giggles. Laughter. Pleasure. Satisfaction. Fun. Enjoyment. Smiles. So many words describe our desire to be happy. Some of us seem to find happiness naturally. Others have to work at it. Here are some ideas to bring more happiness into your life.
A lot of studies reveal that exercise promotes happiness. When we exercise, our bodies produce endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline. Endorphins are also known as the “feel-good hormone” and dopamine is called the “happy hormone.” Adrenaline boosts our energy. Exercise also stimulates the endocannabinoid system. These receptors in our nervous system may be responsible for inducing that sense of euphoria some of us experience during intense exercise. Combine all of them together and they serve as an enormous boost to our happiness level.
That’s why exercise, even short bursts, improves our mood and outlook on life.
2. Infuse your social circle with happy people
Ever notice how it takes just one person to ruin the fun? That’s why it’s important to spend time with other happy people. Happiness tends to rub off and the more time you spend with happy people, the more you’ll begin to feel the effects of their influence.
3. Watch comedy
Remember the feel-good hormones called endorphins in #1? Well, another way to release endorphins is by laughing. Whether we watch a sit-com, listen to a funny podcast or go to a comedy club, laughter can change a mood from dark to light in just a few minutes.
When we step up to help an organization that improves the lives of human beings, we can’t help but feel good about it. Volunteering benefits us in many ways. Not only does it enhance the environment and lives around us, but it also provides us with a sense of accomplishment. We can take that feeling and build upon it, too. Volunteering tends to inspire us to do more good!
According to a 2017 Pew Research poll, the average household has multiple digital devices. That includes smartphones, tablets, and computers. More and more we’re also streaming media straight to our televisions. Whether we are gaming, checking social media, working or watching videos, we spend an enormous amount of time on these devices. All this time contributes to a drain on our energy, impacts our sleep habits, and results in a not so happy mood. By disconnecting, we provide our bodies and minds an opportunity to engage with those around us, to get more physical activity, and generally do the things that make life enjoyable.
Whether you’re a cat person, dog person or a reptilian person, it has been scientifically proven that our pets bring us joy. Once again, hormones are at play. This time, the hormones include dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin helps reduce anxiety and makes us feel more relaxed. It also reduces blood pressure. When we combine these results, it paves the way for an increase in happiness.
Holding grudges increases anxiety and stress. When we have to spend time with the person who has wronged us, that anxiety and stress increases. Letting go of those feelings may not be as simple as forgiving the person, but it is a start in the right direction. This action may take time and a little effort, but forgiveness has a way of healing us and allowing us to make room for happiness.
When life is cluttered, we feel uneasy. And no one feels happy when they’re uneasy. Whether we clean a room in our house, the garage, our yard or desk at work, the satisfaction of a job completed brings us happiness. At the same time, we remove annoyances. A messy closet where we can never find what we’re looking for becomes organized. We’re able to find our favorite shirt or shoes when we need them. Our clean and orderly bedroom becomes a sanctuary for rest. All of these results lead to more happiness in our lives.
Meditation is not an instant boost to happiness. It requires a consistent daily routine of meditation allowing us to focus on positive feelings. Over time, we train our brains to think and feel differently. Mediation also requires deep breathing which brings more oxygen to your bloodstream. You can find guided meditation sessions through any podcast medium or through video streaming applications, too.
10. Get outdoors
Fresh air and sunlight improve our energy levels with a boost of oxygen. It also increases those serotonin levels making us feel more relaxed and lowering our blood pressure.
11. Follow National Day Calendar
Not only do we Celebrate Every Day, but we supply you with numerous ways to infuse fun and joy into your life. And we do that every single day, 365 days a year. Our goal is to bring joy and celebration into everyone’s life. While also providing useful (and sometimes not so useful) information, National Day Calendar helps us to do many of the things on this list.
Whether it’s in a group, in the shower or the car, singing improves our happiness level. Like meditation and exercise, we take in more oxygen when we sing. We expand our lungs and take big gulps of air, which is then transported throughout our bodies. Singing also releases endorphins, those feel-good hormones we love so much. So sing away! Belt out your favorite tune or sing the ABCs as loud as you can while you wash your hands. However you choose to sing, do it with gusto!
13. Be creative
When we craft something with whatever skill we have, the result is a sense of accomplishment. That satisfied feeling can come from painting, carpentry, writing, or many other creative mediums. Go to the kitchen (that you just cleaned) and create a masterpiece dish. Garden or put together a model car. Braid someone’s hair or get artistic with some sidewalk chalk. So many crafty ideas require very few supplies, too! You can even take a class to learn a new artsy skill.
14. Throw axes
This one may seem a little off target, but this type of physical activity offers several reasons for increasing your happiness. Ax throwing arenas are growing in popularity around the country and with them the enthusiasts who enjoy them. It doesn’t take a lot of skill to throw an ax at wooden target, either. Hitting the bullseye, well, that’s another story. But once you’re in the arena, taking turns with friends, you’ll feel the increase in joy. Yes, it gets some of that aggression out of our systems, but it also gives us a way to focus our energy without taking it out on someone else. It’s physically demanding, but not too physically demanding. You don’t have to be in tip-top shape to start. It also increases our competitive drive, which helps us to motivate toward a goal. All of these add up to a boost in happiness.
Increasing your daily dose of happiness is just a few steps away. Try one or all of these ideas to set you on the path to greater joy.