Being happy isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Sometimes it comes naturally, like when you’re kicking back with a friend and realize how perfectly content you are in that moment, but other times it takes a bit of work. Life throws so many curve balls at us, and we often get caught up in all the difficulties it brings. That’s why it’s helpful to have a few tricks up your sleeve to give yourself that extra boost of happiness you deserve. Check out these 15 tips to bring a jolt of happiness into your year.
Celebrate your victories
Too often we set goals for ourselves and by the time we reach them we’re already racing toward the next milestone. It’s good to stay ambitious but equally important to celebrate your achievements when you reach them. Whether they’re personal or professional, be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Let your friends and family know that you’re kicking butt so they can celebrate with you, too! So, take a moment and reflect — what have you accomplished recently?
The years always seem to zip by, but a good way to slow down time is by staying mindful and being present in the moment. This doesn’t have to be about new age mantras and meditation, but could be as simple as putting down your devices and going for a long walk. What can you do to be more “here,” now?
Plan a trip
The anticipation and excitement that comes with planning a trip is almost as good as travel itself. Even if you don’t have the time or money to go anytime soon, planning details like accommodation and activities can give you the motivation to start saving!
Take a class for that thing you’ve always wanted to know how to do
We all have something we’ve been dying to learn, from learning how to knit to salsa dancing. You’ll never know unless you give yourself a chance to learn. Sign up for a class and maybe you’ll discover your new passion! You can usually find classes at a local community college, on GroupOn, or through your city’s recreation center.
Have a “You” Day
Often times, days that are supposed to be about us (birthdays, Valentine’s day, etc) end up being more about planning events and making other people happy. Pick a completely random day and do whatever the hell you want. Buy yourself flowers, schedule a massage, spend the whole day in your PJs eating an entire tub of Nutella. Treat yo’self!
Okay, volunteering tends to conjure up images of community service hours spent wearing fluorescent vests and picking up litter by the side of the highway. But volunteering can actually be really fun and make you feel good deep down inside. Choose something you love (animals, kids, the environment, etc) and figure out how your skills can best be used for good. Doing something you’re good at while helping someone in need is basically the best combination ever.
Be Okay With Having Off Days
Some days are just going to be rotten and no matter how hard we fight it, we just feel “off.” Accept that these days are going to happen once in a while and they’ll just make tomorrow feel even brighter!
Invest in a social project
Check out some of the amazing projects on sites like Kickstarter or Kiva. You can contribute as much or as little as you like. It’s neat to watch your investment evolve into something amazing, knowing you played a part.
Eat more ice cream
Because that’s always a good idea. 😉
Allow yourself to be creative
Remember when you were a kid and you drew pictures, wrote stories and made up dances without inhibition? At some point our inner critics set in and we realized that even though we love drawing, maybe we’re not that good at it and our creative projects get pushed out by work and other responsibilities. Well, dust off your colored pencils, whip out your notebook and put on your dancing shoes! Allotting yourself time to get creative and be artistic without judgment is good for the soul.
…Even if you have a terrible voice (I promise, you can’t be worse than me). Sing while you’re doing the dishes, sing in the shower, and definitely belt it out while you’re in the car. Let this man be your inspiration.
Order something different
Next time you’re out to eat, choose something you would usually never pick. After all, variety is the spice of life!
Spend the whole day saying “yes” to whatever comes up. It’s easy to keep your head down and stick to your daily routine, but you never know what opportunities you may be missing. Say yes to taking on a new project at work, say yes to happy hour drinks that you normally skip and say yes to extra whip cream on your sundae (you should be doing this everyday, actually).
Figure out whatever it is that gives you a good belly laugh. Whether it’s spending time with your silliest friends or watching Bridesmaids for the twelfth time, indulge in the things that bring you joy and humor.
Find a way to be actively grateful
Whether it’s participating in “100 Happy Days” on social media (where you post one thing you’re grateful for everyday) or simply reminding yourself to say thank you more. Being grateful is like swallowing a big happy pill, it just makes you feel good.