There are a lot of things in life that can get us down.
A lot of them we cannot control, either. I’ve learned over the years that there are small simple things that can be implemented into my everyday routine that have a huge impact on how I feel. The point is that it is impossible to be happy every single second of the day. Sadness, frustration, anger are inevitable and part of life. However, it is not what happens, but how we react to it. Here are some simple but incredibly useful tips to be a happier person:
- Go outside. Probably the most simple tip on this list, but so so important. If you are spending lots of time indoors, take a break for yourself to go outside, enjoy nature and breathe. Go to a park if you live in an industrial area. Summer is the perfect time to get outside and let the sunshine hit your skin. It has been scientifically proven that sunshine makes us happier. This is why Wintertime Depression exists; people do not see the sun for several months if they live in a cold climate. One solution for this is buying a sunshine mimicking lamp and using it each morning during the winter months. Vitamin D releases neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for making us feel happy. You don’t have to tan for hours; 15 minutes is enough time to get the effect.
2. Even better than going outside, exercise outside. Most of us exercise in a gym where it is crowded and there are tons of people. It’s always better to exercise than to not exercise at all, however exercising outside has a plethora of health benefits. Particularly when it is a nice day outside, doing a circuit, jogging, or doing some light yoga outdoors can reduce stress, reduce blood pressure, calm our central nervous system, and help us sleep better. Even going on a walk around your neighborhood is enough. Not only are you getting the physical benefits of exercise, you are also getting the mental benefits from being outdoors.
3. Establish a night time routine. Sometimes I get in the habit of staying on my smartphone until very late at night, and this makes it difficult for me to go sleep. I struggle with insomnia and OCD tendencies at night, so it is very important for me to establish a bedtime routine so that I can get into my bed calm and relaxed. There are several things I do for this routine. One is to take a nice shower or bath before going to bed. I love “rinsing away the day” and getting into my bed feeling cleaned. Next, I like to write down in a journal everything I am grateful for on that day, and also any worries/anxieties that are going through my head. By writing down your anxieties, it helps you get them out on paper rather than thinking about them as you are trying to fall asleep. I also wear light blocking glasses to block the blue light emitted from my smartphone or laptop. I have a cup of tea that promotes sleep, like chamomile or tea with Valerian root. I also diffuse sleep inducing essential oils in my diffuser to create a calming atmosphere. Osmia Organics has a night body oil with sleep promoting essential oils that I have fallen in love with. Spraying my bed and pillow with essential oil sprays and applying some lavender to my neck and temples really helps me relax. Essential oils like Lavender, Cedarwood, and Frankincense all have a calming effect that induces sleep. Going to bed relaxed helps you feel more happy the next day.
4. Practice small acts of kindness. Anything counts. Compliment someone. Donate old books/clothes to a homeless shelter. Prepare a meal for your loved one. Hold the door open for someone. Volunteer somewhere. The universe gives back to you what you give to it. I am huge believer in energy and positivity, and I believe the more positive energy you put in the world, the happier you become. Look up “The Law of Attraction.” It is a very interesting and worthwhile concept I think everyone should learn about.
5. Start the day on the right note. Get out of bed, make your bed, set your intentions for the day and get a move on. Don’t hit snooze constantly and sit in bed moping. Try to avoid your phone for the first hour you wake up. This will make you feel lazy and unproductive. It helps to write down a list of things you want to accomplish that day first thing in the morning. Doing some light yoga stretches and sun salutations also helps you feel refreshed. Open the shades and let the sunshine into your room, which signals the body to wake up. Splash cold water on your face and tell yourself it’s going to be a great day, and that you are an amazing person. Positive self affirmations may sound silly, but they have been shown to rewire how you view yourself as a person. Telling yourself that you are beautiful in the morning, that you are an incredible person, that you are capable of so much greatness, can have incredible impacts on your mood and self-esteem.
These suggestions are all quite simple, but over time, they have a profound impact on how you view yourself and how you view the world. Bad things do happen to us, but what matters is how we move on from them and become better people from them. If obstacles did not exist, none of us would be diverse, interesting, strong people. Nothing is handed to us for free, we have to work on it. Put kindness, compassion, gratitude, humility into the earth and your life will be filled with happiness.