Life can make it hard to feel happy, let alone joyful. Luckily these 12 methods immediately switch your mood around so you can feel joy right now.
1. Call a loved one
Remember that close friend living across the country you haven't talked with in a while? Or your parents who would adore a call? Your loved ones will be happy to talk, and you'll end the call happier than you were before. Pick up your phone and make that call right now.
2. Log out of social media
The sites you love might actually be contributing to a lack of joy in your life. According to a study by the University of Michigan, using Facebook actually predicts declines in your well-being and happiness. Don't fall for those filtered photos - no one's life is perfect. Log off to feel happier.
3. Make a gratitude list
Gratitude isn't just for Thanksgiving. This might be the last thing you want to do when you're feeling down - it's hard to think of things you're grateful for when everything seems to be going wrong. But sometimes finding joy takes effort, and making a gratitude list is well worth the effort.
4. Spend some relaxing alone time
You might be feeling a lack of joy in your life because you don't have enough time to yourself. Seclude yourself in your room, in the bath or even in your car and take some time to enjoy the peace of being alone.
5. Take a walk
It's amazing how nature can change our moods. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that spending time in nature is vital for good mental health; put that study to the test and take a walk.
6. Serve someone else
Service brings a joy unlike any other. It's easy to forget about our own struggles when we're focusing on someone else's for a little while. Donate clothes or cans, find service opportunities in your area, donate to a GoFundMeaccount, leave an anonymous gift in public or share something inspirational with a friend. Find ways to serve and feel joy today.
7. Put on some uplifting music
If an album or artist comes to mind when you think the word "uplifting," turn them on. If nothing jumps to mind, turn on music that makes you smile, even if you feel like crying. Let the music change your mood.
8. Break a sweat
Just like Elle Wood from Legally Blonde said, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy just people don't shoot their husbands." That last part probably doesn't apply here, but you shouldn't ignore how a good cardio session really can make you happier. Relieve your mental stress with some sweat.
9. Clean your space
Clutter can make you feel anxious or even angry. A clean environment can lead to increased happiness, but don't go overboard and try to deep-clean the whole house at once. Think about somewhere in your house that you'd like to tidy up, and get to it - you'll feel happier by having a cleaner home and by accomplishing a task.
10. Watch your favorite movie
When you're having a rough day, your favorite movie can really lift your spirits. Pick one of your favorites that is sure to bring you joy. Watch it alone with popcorn or invite some friends over.
11. Do a hobby you love
Those dried out paint brushes and hiking shoes in the back of your closet would love to be used again. If a hobby has brought you joy before, it can bring you joy again, even if your skills might be a little rusty.
12. Plan a vacation
You might be down because your daily routine feels mundane. Whether that's the case or not, a little vacation is sure to brighten your spirits. While you probably can't leave on a vacation this very moment, you can plan one now and increase your joy by having something exciting to look forward to. If you can splurge and go big, do it; if you're constricted by time or money (as many of us are), a little weekend getaway still counts! Plan that vacation and feel joy.
Life may not make it easy to feel joyful, but you can be happier by making small choices to lift your mood. Choose right now to feel joy.