10 Things To Make You Happy
I’ve been really lucky. In general I have been a pretty optimistic person most of my life. I tend to see the good things that come out of challenges. Resilience runs fairly high in my veins. I look at the long view and understand that it takes persistence and ongoing effort to build something meaningful. There has been one really dark period in my life. Other than that I haven’t gotten too down in the dumps. Now that being said I’ve had others close to me feel the clutches of depression and sadness. It’s something that is difficult for me to wrap my head around but it is incredibly common. I thought it might be lively to write 10 things to make you happy, even when you are feeling less than smiley.
10 Things To Make You Happy
So let’s be honest, not one of these things is going to instantly make you happy. If it did then someone would figure out a way to charge a ton of money for it. Instant happiness!! What I’m hopeful is that some of these things can help you feel a little better and make your day a little brighter when needed. And here we go.
Get Your Butt Outside
Many times simply getting up off the couch and going and doing something is enough to perk you up. Seriously, just doing ANYTHING. Go to the grocery store or hit a movie. So some clothes shopping or grab a drink with a friend. I know your initial visual was to go walking through a park on a 78 degree day loaded with sunshine and that would be great. It’s a little too prescription drug commercial if you ask me. Getting outside into the real world can provide some motivation.
A good night of sleep can do wonders. I should know. I am having one of those weeks where my sleep is not being my friend. It takes me forever to get to sleep then I seem to wake up on the hour. Which of course is leaving me sluggish and less than my usual motivated self this week. If you have the opportunity to get a good night of sleep it can seriously do wonders for your mood the next day. A good night of sleep is definitely one of the 10 things to make you happy.
Hang With Friends
Something that is common as we grow up, get married, then have kids and careers is losing track of friends. It’s really easy to do. Spending time with friends is one of those things that we wind up not doing because we are always “too busy”. By doing this we are doing ourselves a HUGE disservice. Hanging out with friends can be an incredible lift to our spirits and well worth the time investment. I have 2 of my oldest and best friends coming to down this coming weekend to go see an old school punk band. We will have a great time at the show and more than likely, a sluggish, bleary-eyed start to the following day. I’m sure it will be wonderful for my mood.
This is a bit hallmark card like but bear with me. In this day and age it’s easy to get swept up in what we don’t have. Like we just had our fence replaced (it was 20 years old) and that’s great. But now I look at our carpet and wish for the 1,000th time I had the extra $5,000 to get it replaced. And I can get fixated on it. What I need to remember, and be thankful for, is that I live in a solid house that has provided a really good place to raise our daughters. I’m thankful for the memories we have created here (at least the good ones lol). And when my mind turns to what I am thankful for that makes me smile.
Crank Some Music
Are you one of those people that crank the music up loud when one of your songs comes on the radio in your car? So do I! My brother once called music the soundtrack of his life and I couldn’t agree more. Music, in my opinion, is one of the 10 things to make you happy. I like to listen to a certain kind of music when I work out and another kind when I hang out by the pool. And as my wife likes to point out, usually the same 10-20 songs when I’ve had a few IPA beers. Hey, it’s a mood.
Work Your Muscles
Exercising your muscles is as much mental as it is physical. For as long as I can remember the first thing I do when I get up is ride the stationary bike for 20-30 minutes. Honestly I don’t do this to get a sweat inducing workout in to start my day. I ride that bike because it gets the blood flowing in all my muscles, including my brain. I feel sluggish and slower thinking on the days I don’t ride my bike. Even though I ride that bike most days my preference for working out has always been lifting weights. When I do this on a consistent basis it improves my mental health and is a huge contributor to my overall happiness level.
Focus On Relationships
It’s way too easy to go lost in the day to day tasks of living. Go to work, eat, sleep, raise kids, lather, rinse, repeat. Always focusing on what we have to do the next day or week. It’s easy to lose track of the relationships in our lives. Family, friends, and whoever is important to you. When we invest the time to focus on relationships it will always help us be happier. Why? Because we get to be around the people who are most important to us in our lives. And that’s always a good thing.
Work Towards Something
I’m a huge believe in self-improvement. I mean, come on, I’ve worked out regularly for 30 + years. That being said I’m always working at getting better at different things. At my job, as a father, as an investor, starting a blog, etc. Having goals to work towards can provide a sense of fulfillment which in turn can help our happiness level. It’s about reaching for something and working towards something that is bigger than you are in this moment. It provides something to strive for and to push yourself for. It can be pretty awesome, especially when you attain your goal. But hey, don’t gloss over the journey, this is where the learning and the growth takes place.
Go Easy On Yourself
So many people beat themselves up with negative self talk. I’m not good enough to get a better paying job. I’m stuck in this shitty relationship because I don’t deserve anyone better. Nobody cares about me because I am too old. Why should I try something new when I’m only going to fail. And on and on and on. This kind of talk is so self limiting. It robs you of your power. The world is tough enough, you don’t need yourself beating yourself up too. You’ve got to be your biggest fan. Don’t look for a superhero, become your own hero. Showing yourself what you are made of and achieving what you want can definitely help make you happy. And remember to go easy on yourself along the way.
Don’t Take It Personal
Have you ever read “The 4 Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz? If you haven’t then stop reading this RIGHT NOW and go buy the book. It is an absolute game changer. Especially agreement #2 which is “Don’t Take Anything Personally”. Once you can really accept this game changing concept you will have a weight lifted off your shoulders like you’ve never had. You realize that literally NOTHING anyone else does is because of you. And once you realize that it helps put everyone’s actions and reactions around you into the proper context. As in, it has nothing to with you. And that my friends is most definitely high on the list of 10 things to make you happy!
There you have it, a list of 10 things to make you happy. Again, nothing here is a magic pill to turn the sky blue all the time. As far as I know that doesn’t exist. Each of these does have some power to help you feel better when you are down. Or if you incorporate one or two like getting exercise on a regular basis into your routine your overall mental outlook on life will trend up.
Take care of yourself,