So, you're interested in becoming a little happier. I applaud you for (at the very least) clicking on this article. It shows initiative. You're going to need it. You're here expecting some helpful, practical information. I'm here to provide it, which is a daunting task.
Now, what you're about to read are ten tips that I truly believe will improve your sense of well-being (some call it happiness).
Unfortunately, reading this article will do little for you unless you put these ideas into practice. Therefore, I, the writer, personally invite you, the reader, to do so.
1. Get off the internet
Limit the time you spend online and on your phone. While they're both modern-day conveniences, they are also able to suck away your time, day after day, sacrificing it to a false sense of being busy.
Set serious limitations and stick to them. Maybe limit yourself to checking Facebook only twice a day, or cut down to a maximum of two episodes per day of that show you're devouring on Netflix.
2. Express gratitude
It makes you feel better. Research backs that up, but don't take science's word for it. Try it out. Instead of complaining, be grateful, and express it. If you don't feel grateful for anything, keep looking. It's not hard.
Expressing gratitude is difficult for some people (myself included), but practice makes perfect. Give your mom a call and thank her for her years of sacrifice in raising you. Send a quick text message to a friend. Go hug the crossing guard that gets your kids safely to the other side of the street, for goodness sake. The happiness you generate via gratitude is contagious.
3. Learn to savor
This applies to more than just food and is also heavily backed by a bunch of guys with labcoats and clipboards. Savoring is similar to expressing gratitude but is much more internal. When that sunset is just perfect, savor it. Stop and appreciate it for just a few moments. If you do well on an exam or get something right at work, savor it. If you make a delicious pot roast, savor that too.
Some people respond to personal successes by putting themselves down, because they don't want to appear prideful. Stop it. Don't tear yourself down. Savoring is different than being prideful. It's an expression of awe and thankfulness rather than self-exultation. It's low risk, high reward. Try it out.
4. Do the dishes
Clean your house. It may not be fun at the time, but it's good for you. Your environment affects your sense of well-being. People smarter than me also agree on this point, but that's not hard to believe. The hard part is getting off the couch and doing it. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to do your dishes (trust me, I know), so allow me to help you: GET UP AND DO THE DISHES (after you finish reading this article, of course).
5. Make sincere compliments, on purpose
This will do wonders for you. Try to make your compliments the double-edged type. What do I mean by that? For example, if you compliment a woman's hair, follow it up with a, "it really makes your eyes pop," or a, "what kind of conditioner do you use?"
The double-edged compliment conveys sincerity and interest. It's much more powerful and memorable than a basic compliment. It makes people feel good, and when you help other people feel good, you feel better too. Set a goal to make at least one double-edged compliment per day. Forever.
6. Go outside
Get out in the sun. Stretch. Smile. Breathe some fresh air. It's healthy for you and makes you happier. Remember the last time you were sick and stuck in bed for a few days? Remember how good it felt to get outside your house after you got better?
There's something revitalizing and energizing about being outside. Make it happen. Go on a walk around the block. Sit on your front lawn. Greet people as they walk by. Make being outside a habit.
7. Do that stuff you're putting off
You know exactly what I'm talking about. It might be the electricity bill, getting an oil change or even just sewing up that tear in your pants. You can check Facebook later. Get up and check those things off your list. Getting those little things done takes a bunch of small burdens off your shoulders that quickly add up. You deserve some relief, but it feels even better when you are the catalyst.
You make mistakes, I promise. For some peculiar reason, many adults consider themselves to be completely infallible. They're not. Sometimes you and I are just flat out wrong. When that happens, admit it and apologize. Knowing you've wronged someone else and still haven't reconciled the situation is a heavy burden to bear.
That being said, don't over-apologize. Don't fall into the pit of passivity in which others try to take advantage of your self-destructive habit of apologizing unnecessarily for everything.
This goes hand in hand with apologizing. Forgive others but especially when they don't apologize. Don't do it as an under-the-table, self-righteous way of getting revenge on them. Be sincere. You've been hurt before, but holding a grudge prolongs that pain. It will take time and effort, but once you get there, you'll be glad you did.
This is important: Oftentimes the most difficult person to forgive is yourself. Don't be too hard on yourself. You've made mistakes, so what? Change, forgive and move on. Stop dwelling on past mistakes.
10. Choose to have faith
You need to believe in something. I believe that having faith in God is quitessential, but I also have faith in humanity, my family and myself. Choose to believe that good things are coming, and then act in such a way that those things come to pass.
Faith is more than just a hope-filled belief, it's something you do. If I have faith that my house will somehow be painted while I sit on my couch, that's not faith. Faith is getting up, grabbing the paint can and painting my house. Live with faith.
Congratulations, you've made it to the end. I'm impressed. Again, in all seriousness, try these tips out. They're simple enough to merit a fair chance. Comment below on how they're working out for you and leave your own happiness tips for me.