Socialize. More and more studies are coming out every day suggesting that socialization and human contact may play a vital role in the physical health of an individual. It can not only extend your lifespan but make you feel a lot happier in general and more satisfied with your life. People on the Mediterranean seem to have cracked the secret to good health in very old age [goo.gl/EOhn1] by simply being part of society, being tightly integrated with other human beings. That human connection is more valuable than one may think. Even if you don’t have close bonds with other people try to reach out to others, start a conversation and just talk without a particular purpose but that, get to know someone and maybe make a friend. Have you got someone you haven’t spoken to in ages? Maybe it’s a good time to check up on them, have a friendly chat and maybe even reconnect.
Create a perfect environment. Yes, just tidy up. It feels a lot better when your desk isn’t covered by letters, papers and needless junk. You don’t have to spend the entire day cleaning, just allocate ten minutes to whatever you can sort out, clean or throw away you’ll get a huge boost in spirits after you are done. I find it incredibly spirit boosting to get a fresh bouquet of flowers or even a flower pot and place it somewhere I can see it as I work. Do you have something you love hidden somewhere in the house, like a small favour or a statue or something someone made for you that you know will make you feel good? Place it where you can see it and see how it’ll make you feel as you continue with your day.
Get moving! Exercise is not everyone’s idea of fun, yes, but it’s been proven to shake you up out of feeling miserable providing it’s not so tiring that you can’t think afterwards. Ideally, you want to get out there and walk or even go for an easy 20 minute run. If you cannot afford to leave your desk get up and do some simple exercises like push ups, squats and forward lounges. You don’t need to get yourself sweaty but get just enough of a workout to clear your head and make your body feel alive.
Buy it. You may want to check out this awesome TED talk by Michael Norton: How to buy happiness [goo.gl/R8oU1] where he shows real-life examples on how you can indeed buy happiness… when you don’t spend it on yourself. When we buy something it only makes us happy for a short time and then it’s gone, we feel nothing after that – even worse, now we feel that the moment is gone and we are even more miserable. Yet, when we buy something for others we get a lasting satisfaction from it, we feel happier when we deliver happiness to others. When we make a donation to a good cause, when we send gifts to others. Spreading the wealth actually can make you a lot happier than hoarding it. It doesn’t have to be anything big but buying someone a coffee, a small present or a book, treating a friend to something you know they’ll love is a lot more likely to make you happier than if you did all those things for yourself.
Do a good deed. Altruism isn’t just something admirable, it’s something that can give you a lasting sense of self-worth and self-satisfaction of a life with real meaning. Signing up for volunteer work, donating blood or helping out a neighbour will do just that. Small things matter. Invest your time into doing something selfless for others and you’ll get a huge spirit boost out of it. If there is something out there, in your street that needs fixing and no one could care less? Why don’t you take care of it. A wall needs painting but it’s in a common area and it seems like it’s no one else’s business – make it yours. Bake an apple pie for someone you don’t even know or take your old clothes to a homeless shelter. Good deeds are not done so much for others, not for thanks or gratitude; one always does these things for yourself because that’s what gives you the sense of value and that in turn makes you happier before, during the process and for a long time after.
Get it over with. We all have these small tasks at the back of our head that just keep nagging and won’t stop. These are small things that we really don’t want to do but know that need to be done at some point… in the future… preferably distant future. Get over these tasks. We often exaggerate the magnitude of such tasks because we keep postponing them over and over again... once they are done, though, don’t you get that feeling of a whole mountain coming off your shoulders? Most of such things like making a phone call or watering the plants will only take you a few minutes but for as long a you don’t do it… it’ll be there, on your mind constantly bugging you. Get it done and you’ll instantly feel better.
Fake it. If everything else fails it’s probably a good time to practise some self-deception. We have no problems getting all dark and depressed over small things, never mind big horrible events, so why not use our superior intellect into turning our thoughts around and cheer up. Positive people are not born that way - they are made by looking at everything, every single problem, at the best possible angle. You learn it as a skill. After a while, it becomes a habit and instead of the negative response whenever facing something you instinctively begin to look for the positive sides to it, you begin to see more good than evil all around you. Until it is a habit, though, you treat it as a task to act happy when you don’t even feel like it. There is absolutely no point in being miserable, none whatsoever. By feeling bad you only harm yourself and the people around you who are affected by your gloomy mood. Smile even if you don’t feel like it and you send signals to your brain that you are performing an act of happiness – it may just buy it and flip the switch.