Feeling stressed? Here are 10 sure-fire ways to get your happiness mojo back.
Everyone wants to be happy, but frequently we are too busy to be happy. We all have stress on some level, but when it controls us, it can be debilitating. We often rob ourselves of the daily joy because of the daily job. You may not be able to quit your job today, but you can find ways to approach your outlook about life. Practice a few of these helpful tips whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.
1. Look back on your greatest accomplishments.
Quick, grab a sticky note and write down 3 things you are most proud of doing in your life. Remember how you felt when you jumped through hoops to cross those finish lines. Write down one word about how that made you feel.
2. Be grateful for your current circumstance.
You are the sum total of all your life’s experiences. Look at all you have learned throughout your life. You may be feeling down right now, but there was a time when you could do nothing for yourself and relied on everyone else for your very existence. Did you learn a language, or two? Look at what you own and grateful. Be grateful for your health, you surroundings and even nature. Always remember your worst day is someone else’s dream.
3. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
Who wouldn’t welcome a call from an old friend? Just take 10 minutes, it doesn’t have to be hours-long. Just saying, “Hello, I was just thinking about you” will do both of you a world of good. Who knows, maybe your call comes at just the right time for the other person, too.
4. Write down 5 things you like about yourself.
Yes, this sounds a little silly, but do it. Write down 5 positive things others say about your or you know is true about you. Love yourself, not in a conceited way, and you will see others adore you too.
5. Practice self-care.
This is one of the easier tasks to this list, but the hardest for most to do. Take short mental and physical breaks throughout the day. If you have a desk job, make sure you get up frequently or do stretches so you don’t get stiff. Just walking a “lap around the office” or wherever you work gets you up and moving for your health.
Next, take a break and meditate, without the clutter of the daily pressures. Create a mental picture of what your perfect world would look like. It doesn’t mean what you have to do that day. This is more about what you would be doing if time and money were no obstacle. This is your happy place.
7. Disconnect for a few moments.
We live in a relentlessly connected society. How many times a day do you reach for the latest social post when the alert goes off? Unplug for a few moments. Just “step out” of your mind for a few moments and just observe your thoughts passing by like tumbleweeds. This is different than visualizing, you are just a traveler watching your thoughts go by. Observe without judgement and release them.
By unplugging, you may see what you thought was stressful was more about how you were reacting to the situation. When you can release the stress, happiness will automatically backfill the void. You will be amazed how answers will just come when you learn to quiet the mind.
8. Change the Channel.
One of my favorite sayings is “Worry is a lot like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.” Some people are natural worriers. They worry about the weather, the world economy, if their car will make it another month. Worry, worry, worry. These are things you have little to no control over. There is something to be said about manifesting outcomes. What you think about is what you bring about. Just change the channel.
When you have a thought about worrying about your car making it another month, change that to “I am so glad it has made it this far!” The follow-on to this is “If I take care of it, it should last a while, too!” See how our self-language can make the difference. Try this, it may be hard at first, but you can do it. Worrying is exhausting, happiness is effortless, choose happiness.
9. Look for positive outcomes.
Not dwelling on a problem and looking for positive outcomes can make a big difference. Saw for example you need your lawn mowed, but are short on cash. Have a neighbor that has a birthday coming up? Maybe you love baking. Bake a cake in exchange for getting the lawn done. You both get what you need and you take away the stress of getting it done. Do what you love. You weren’t put here to stress over money.
10. You are unique, but not alone.
Lastly, stress isolates people. Happiness connects and embraces people. Everyone has their own qualities that are uniquely their own. Harking back to some of the tips earlier on this list should be evidence you need. Write down the names of 5 closest people you have had in your life. Reflect on what made them special. It could be your parents, your closest friend in high school or college, and certainly your best friend. The point here is you have connections to others and they must value you, too. Otherwise they wouldn’t spend the effort to be one of your closest friends.
Happiness can be elusive. Be intentional and allowing yourself to be happy goes a long way to getting us out of our own ruts. Practice these self-awareness exercises daily, mix it up and try different ones on different days. Just be random, this should be effortless, never ever a chore. As we conquer stress in bite-sized chunked, our nature state of joy will return and stay.