Updated: Apr 21
All of us have days when we are out of sorts. You wish you were in a better mood. You have had days like that, haven't you? Perhaps you tried to get yourself into a better state of mind but struggled to achieve it. We used to sing the song If you are happy and you know it, clap your hand. Fewer hands are being clapped these days.
An Overview of Happiness
Happiness seems to be a fleeting thing to some people; others seem to have a good grasp on it and seem to be able to hang on for dear life!
Happiness means different things to different people, but some similarities have led scientists to believe that there is much people can do to assist themselves in their pursuit of happiness.
Most people who are truly happy have a true sense of purpose in their life. What is your passion, and are you living it? For many people, faith in God brings them happiness, hope for the future, and a sense of purpose.
Happy people generally are giving people; giving does bring the giver joy if it is sincere with a genuine attitude of providing for the sake of giving. Happy people are also thankful for the things and the relationships in their lives. Nurture your unique relationships with family and friends and think about dumping negative associations that do nothing except bring you down.
Optimism doesn't come naturally to some people, but the happiest are optimists, always looking on the lighter and brighter side of life. So take it easy on yourself-lighten up!
If you are online often, have a joke-of-the-day sent to you. Don't be afraid to laugh; laughing releases endorphins in your brain that make you genuinely happy-as does exercise.
Consciously look for the bright side in every situation throughout the day; instead of instantly thinking something won't work, think about how it could.
Sometimes we get stuck in our emotional dumps and forget how easy it is to feel happier, so here are seven simple ways to lift your mood. Many people have found them helpful. But, some of them may surprise you!
1. Go for a walk.
Most people know that going for a short daily walk is one of the best forms of exercise. When you are feeling down, it is even more beneficial. If you can, go into a natural environment with plants and birds. Can you think of such a setting not? What do you notice first? The different shades of greenery, the fresh smell of country air, the sounds of birds, or the sunlight shining through the trees? Make it real by taking a short stroll.
2. Listen to quality music.
Music can shift a listener's state within moments. Its effect can be nearly magical. So dig out that CD you haven't listened to in ages or tune in your radio to something you've never listened to before.
3. Open yourself to discovering something new.
Read something (printed, not on line) different than what you would typically watch. There are a ton of different types of magazines you can get these days. Visit your local library or browse through a magazine rack. Pick up or buy a magazine you wouldn't usually buy. You may discover something incredible.
4. Find something that makes you laugh.
Laughter is one of the best ways to lift your spirits. So find a humorous book, or watch a comedy. Even better, try to learn a few new jokes and tell them to others.
5. Simple breathing meditation.
Breathing meditation is a great exercise that you can do anywhere. First, allow yourself to sit comfortably with your back straight. Now close your eyes and become aware of the flow of air into and out of your nostrils. That's all there is to it. Do this for 10-15 minutes. Notice how pleasantly surprised you can be at how you feel afterward.
6. Doodling for the fun of it.
Most people can remember when they were young and used to doodle for hours. Kids love drawing silly little pictures. But, drawing is not just for kids or artists. So, whoever you are, get some pens, pencils, crayons, or whatever you have and draw for the fun of it. Notice how your state of mind shifts.
7. Think of others less fortunate.
The fact that you are reading this article suggests that you are probably much better off than most people on this planet. At times this may be hard to believe, but if you can read and have access to the internet, just those two things alone mean you are better off than most people in the world. Many human beings barely have access to the basics of survival. There are people in lots of pain. Allow your compassion for them to grow.
Be mindful of how blessed you are; got a job? Be thankful. In a good relationship? Be thankful. Thankfulness will lead to happiness every time.
These are all pretty simple. There's nothing profound or life-changing, but when all you need is a quick pick-me-up, these may be just the thing you need. Putting simple ideas, methods, tools, and techniques into action will help you achieve change more quickly and easily--surprisingly so at the time-- than you imagine.
Dr. Pat Bracy