I wrote about this on Instagram recently, but I've been thinking lots about happiness, satisfaction, contentment, and the ways that we can sometimes screw ourselves out of being fine-to-good with the way things are exactly as they are.
In fact, I think that we do a pretty great job at sabotaging our own happiness day to day, hour to hour. We compare ourselves to others, fixate on things that we can't change, and put ourselves front and center in the middle of negative things to read, hear, and process.
NOW. I'm not saying this to suggest that if only we protected ourselves from everything bad, never read the news etc, then we'd be happier. I think there's a lot to be said for having a strong tolerance for your own live, good and bad.
BUT. There are things that happy people do all.the.time. without fail, and those are what I'm interested in replicating. The summer-to-fall transition is a great time to fall (heh) into some "I'm always so busy, family stressing me out, holidays will be awful" kinds of thinking and planning, and so my suggestion today is that we take September by the balls and say "NOT THIS YEAR, CULTURALLY-FORCED MISERY!"
Or, like, however you talk to September.
10 Ways to be Happier Right Now (for free, in five minutes or less):
- Put down your device. And LITERALLY do anything else. Screens are great, I'm obsessed with them, and they also serve as a sandbox to bury our heads and thoughts in.
- Go for a walk. Two minutes, three minutes, five minutes, to the bathroom, WHATEVER. Move your bod.
- Eat something that makes you feel good. This will look different for everyone! Something healthy, great! Something indulgent, great! Something because you're hungry, great! There are lots of ways to feel good about food.
- Text someone you love. Something nice, something simple.
- Make a fun plan.
- Cancel something.
- Pick a task that can be completed start to finish and DO IT, start to finish, straight shot without stopping to think or analyze or get distracted.
- Look outside. With your eyeballs.
- Smile at someone. Kid, stranger, baby, you name it.
- Think about something that makes you laugh. Here's another time where screens could be useful, I have some specific memes and quotes that get me every time. Why not use those to your advantage? A giggle is SO powerful.
I have about 8,837 other ideas like this, but do you see a theme? It usually looks like this: CHANGE SOMETHING. Shift your thinking, distract yourself from any funk or negativity. It is cheesy and over-simplified but it WORKS. You can get back to whatever was bogging you down or not, but it's usually not a requirement.
Now, I know this doesn't touch bigger issues and stressors, and that wasn't the intention of this list. There is tons of wonderful thought-changing stuff out there, but I wanted quick/easy to be the name of our game today. What are your favorite fast mood boosters? Leave some below so we can all benefit!
Note: These won't work for everyone! Pick one or two that you love and go for those first. Try some that sound weird and maybe they'll work, maybe not. Leave behind things that don't work for you!
A second note: Bonus points for drinking water while you do these.
Another Note: This does not minimize in ANY WAY depression, anxiety, or any mental health disorders and symptoms. This list is meant to serve as simple things to improve the present, whether or not those conditions are present. Therapy, medicine, and prescribed courses of treatment are exactly what should take place for any mental health issues. Interestingly, lots of items on the list above are often included in standardized treatment modalities.