Sure, technology has its benefits, but it’s also making us sick. Literally. Stress, depression, and vision impairment are just a few of the negative consequences of spending too much time on our phones, tablets, and computers. Luckily, there’s a simple fix: power down. Unplug. After work, on weekends – whenever you can. By disconnecting from email, text messaging, and social media, you can actually increase your connectivity to the people around you. And you’ll feel a heck of a lot better while you’re at it.
8. Go Shopping
Retail therapy isn’t just a buzz phrase invented to help women feel better about over-spending on shoes. There’s real science behind it. A study published in 2011 found that treating yourself to a shopping trip is an effective way to elevate your mood. It doesn’t have to be a big-time shopping spree, either. Allowing yourself to indulge in even the smallest of purchases can have just as strong of a mood enhancing effect.
9. Try Something New
People who participate in bold, new activities and collect unique experiences are more likely to retain more positive memories than negative ones. The more positive memories we keep, the lighter we become. So go ahead and sign up for those guitar lessons. Book that trip to Antigua. Do it in the name of happiness.
Sex makes us happy. And studies show that having more sex than our friends makes us even happier. So cue up the Marvin Gaye, and don’t be bashful about letting your pals know just how often you’re getting it.
11. Spend Time With Your Favorite Canine
Spending time with man’s best friend is a fool-proof happiness booster. Not only do dogs improve our happiness, they have also been found to alleviate loneliness and improve our overall health. Dog owners have been known to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, too.
12. Practice Forgiveness
By offering someone our forgiveness – no matter how grave the offense – we let go of the hurt and anger that person stirred in us, thereby creating more space for happier emotions. On our journey to collect joy from our everyday surroundings, we must also dispose of any residual negativity. Saying, “I forgive you,” is a great start.
13. Create Something Artistic
Creativity breeds happiness. Painting, sculpting, jewelry making, and music writing are all examples of activities we can engage in to work our creative muscle, thereby inviting into our lives more happiness.
14. Keep a Journal
Believe it or not, you can write your way to happiness. Penning your feelings helps your brain process and expunge the negatives ones, leaving you more joyful.
15. Get a Houseplant
You can elevate your mood simply by surrounding yourself with nature – even the potted kind. Plants will also improve indoor air quality. The more time you spend around leafy, green things, the better you’re apt to feel.
16. Give Thanks
Grateful people are more likely to be happy and optimistic. So don’t save it all for Thanksgiving. Make a habit of showing gratitude for the circumstances and people around you.
17. Breathe Deeply
Taking deep, slow breaths on a regular basis can help you relax. Breathing deeply also prevents disease, slows the aging process, and increases happiness.
The ancient practice of meditation is proven to make you happier, more focused, and more even-keeled. Researchers say it can even make you nicer.
Dancing on a regular basis can improve your mood and boost your overall mental health and well-being. It can also relieve back and neck pain, stress, and anxiety. Plus, it’s fun! So go on – shake your groove thing!