One late night last week, I was browsing the web (as any normal person does at some obscene hour in the middle of the night) and I came across an article on Psychology Today. The article centrally revolved around 10 methods you can use to make yourself happier. The best part about these 10 proven happiness hacks is that they can also be accomplished in 30 seconds or less (and you know that my lazy-immediate-satisfaction-loving self is obsessed with that). So, I took a week to test out these quick happiness methods and here are my thoughts!
Tried and Tested Happiness Hacks
- Take one deep breath
Simple, but effective. This past week, whenever I get an especially frustrating email or text, I closed my email or put my phone away and took a deep breath. This actually made me react more calmly to situations (especially since I’m a little bit of a spaz).
- Find something in your day that triggers a feeling of gratitude
This is also a little trick that I found worked for me. Every night before bed, I tried to focus on one aspect of my day that made me happier or feel grateful. Going to bed with some positivity in mind actually also made me happier when I woke up the next day.
- Take time to appreciate something that didn’t happen during your day
This one I found somewhat counterintuitive. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a little obsessed with horror movies, but I would literally think of the worst thing that could happen and freak myself out (like I mentioned before, a little bit of a spaz, okay?).
This method definitely works, even when you don’t think it will. However, I would push this one and say to try and make yourself laugh. Sure, my mood was lifted a bit when I would smile to myself, but when I went out of my way to seek something that would make me laugh, I was infinitely happier. Sure, it takes more than 30 seconds, but it’s absolutely worth it.
- Slap a label on your negative feelings
I’m sure this one would work better for someone that has issues expressing their feelings. As I’m a bit dramatic and I know multiple names for the emotions that I’m feeling (English major, remember?), I didn’t really find this one super helpful.
- Sit up straight
Although there’s a proven correlation between slouching and unhappiness, I found that this one didn’t really help me either. I mean, it sort of made me feel more powerful sometimes (power-stances are totally something that boost self-confidence), but it mostly didn’t affect my emotions (it did help my posture, though).
- Notice the small pleasures in life and appreciate them
This one worked the same way that #2 did.
- Appreciate yourself
Definitely something that I struggle with myself, but once you get into the habit of patting yourself on the back for who you are, your mood (and self-perception) is instantly lifted. What worked best for me was when I focused on something small daily that I had done and was proud of. Those things slowly turned into something greater each day.
- Finding positive meaning in negative events
I find this especially hard when you’re going through rough moments. I find that speaking to a friend that always can find something positive out of a negative situation works the best for me.
- Use a desktop photo to remind you of the purposes and pleasures in your life
Just like the idea of my inspiration grid, looking at pictures of something that you find relaxing or makes you happy is supposed to lift your spirits when you’re stressed out. I actually changed my background to a photo of my boyfriend and I at a Nordstrom event last summer and every time I look at it, I remember how much fun we had. It always puts me in a better mood.
For the happiness tips and tricks that I found worked for me, I’ll definitely try to make them a part of my everyday life. What’s something you do that makes you happy instantaneously?