5 Quick-Fixes to being Happy
Who isn’t looking for happiness? Here are 5 quick-fixes to being happy. Aim at doing these consistently, 7 days a week, and they are proven to make your life happier and more fulfilled. Especially in these times, we can all use some “quick fixes” for being happier each and every day. These 5 quick-fixes aren’t only sure to make you happier, but also the people you spend your time with.
1. Be offline
A lot of studies have shown that spending time online, especially on social media, actually reduces your personal happiness.
Don’t believe it? Here are some reads for you, or just google “social media happiness”:
In Essence: make sure to spend more time offline than online and you will find that you are a happier person.
Make sure that human interactions aren’t suffering from your mobile phone use. The number 1 complaint from host families about au pairs is that they constantly have their mobile phone ready and in use while watching the children. Besides the fact that this is setting a negative example for next generations, it gives children the impression that what is going on online is more important that what is going on offline. Furthermore, risks of accidents increase as the au pair isn’t fully aware of everything that is happening.
Side-benefit? You will have a lot more free time on your hands if you don’t spend countless hours on TikTok, what’s app, Facebook and Instagram. You might use this time to learn, play games, read a book, or get active.
2. Be thankful
Being thankful can make you are happier, more optimistic person. A lot of research has gone into the topic of gratitude and even Harvard Medical School has published articles, summarizing findings about thankfulness.
The easiest way to go about being thankful is to write down 3 things you are thankful for each and every day. There is a really lovely article about the idea of thankfulness and tracking this in a journal. Even children can benefit from this practice, so check out this article on some cool ideas on how to get kids into this daily practice.
If you focus on the good things happening in your life, you will find that no matter how bad some days might be, there are always good things happening in your life as well.
3. Be Kind
Small acts of kindness go a long way, each and every day!
Smiling relieves stress, makes you more attractive to others, and can actually trick your mind into believing you are happy, even when you aren’t. Smiling can even boost your immune system (which we need to be boosting by any measures we can at this point in time). Smiling at someone, anyone, can make other people smile back, and that will also make them feel better.
Other random acts of kindness would be holding open the door for a stranger, something I believe we should be doing simply as a sign of good manners anyway. You could also offer your seat to someone on public transportation, give directions to someone who is obviously lost, bake some cookies and share them with others, or buy a beggar a cup of coffee to warm them from the inside.
Just saying thank you to the people who are closest to you will signal to them that you know how much they have done for you, be it siblings, parents or host parents, and will definitely lift their spirits, and probably yours too.
Do you know the saying “happiness comes from the inside”? Well, it’s true. We all know that, at the end of the day, a fancy car, cool clothes, a nice home and lots of cash are great, but they can’t make you happy in the long run. Bring awareness to this simple fact, remind yourself of this regularly.
Just 5 minutes of a simple meditation or deep breathing, will help you bring your focus back to you and your life. Focus on what is good in your life, on the things you are good at, on personality traits that make you unique, and you will find yourself feeling better about yourself and you life. Doing this regularly will make you happier and more relaxed.
The NY Times has a great article online on how to meditate. There are also many apps for guided meditation or you can check out YouTube as well. But meditation doesn’t have to conform to any rules. Simply sitting down for 5 minutes each day, switching off and focusing on yourself and your breathing, and letting your mind wonder, will help you feel more relaxed and happy.
5. Exercise and Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important quick-fixes for just about anything in life, and it comes at absolutely no cost to you! Your brain needs sleep to work through everything that happens during the day, filing away anything you learned for future use. Sleep works as a reset-button for your mood and a good nights sleep will also make you feel happier and mentally balanced. You will find that you always feel better after a proper night of sleep, no matter how dire the circumstances. Getting adequate sleep also helps your cells repair, which will improve health over time.
To make sure you actually get a good nights sleep, try and get into bed by 10 p.m. Blue light, the light emitted by TVs, mobile phones and other electronic devices, is known to be bad for sleep. Try and get off those devices at least half an hour before sleeping and read a good, old-fashioned book. Maybe you can even try reading an easy book in a foreign language, like German.