Being happy is a goal we all want to reach, but we have different ideas on how to achieve it. It is easy to think of happiness as a result,
but learning to feel good despite the circumstances is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
It is true that sometimes circumstances may not be the most favorable to feel good, however there are certain actions that we can take to
improve our attitude towards life.
In this article you will find 10 small actions that help you be happier and feel good every day. Start remodeling your interior and exterior
I like being happy, it's just more fun to live like this
Once they gave me a greeting card that had the following phrase:
Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you pursue it, the more it will elude you, but if you pay attention to other things, it will come and
perch on your shoulder
After reading it, many questions came up, and maybe you have the same questions:
Why do we have to wait for happiness to knock at our door? How do we know it's already there? And if it never appears?
In fact, do you know what percentage of people are really happy?
Not of those people who say, " Oh, I feel good (just outside)" ...
No, I mean people who feel their lives are full and meaningful.
In other words, 1 in 5 people, they feel completely happy.
The obligatory question is: how can I become one of those happy people?
It is much easier than you think and here you find out how.
There are many actions that depend only on you and that you can do TODAY to improve your attitude and satisfaction with life
In fact, that is the key.
We do not have to live trying to "hunt" happiness, nor do I think it is useful to think of it as a deserved destination after an arduous walk.
I am convinced that the more you focus on "you have to be happy" the less you are (because you realize that something is missing).
Therefore, I encourage you to put all your attention on the simple pleasure of performing these small actions, and try to turn them into daily
In this way, your satisfaction with life will be present on the large scale of the days.
But, before telling you what these small actions are about, it is important to explain the true definition of happiness.
What is happiness?
Happiness is a complex and difficult word to define, especially since the path to happiness is different for each of us.
I am not a psychologist and therefore I took on the task of investigating the subject in depth.
It is true that some of the factors that affect happiness may be beyond our control (such as genetics or certain circumstances). But there are
always actions we can take from this moment to amplify our good feelings.
Happiness expert psychologist Mónica López comments in an interview that I did the following: happiness is about making small decisions every
day, which translate into actions to live happier.
Being happy is feeling good, working well and doing good
According to the expert, acting in a manner consistent with our personal values and goals, allows us to take these small actions regarding our
happiness and, thus, have a combination of more positive than negative emotions.Happy people realize that happiness becomes a habit. They are not victims of circumstances. Nor do they pursue that "happiness" in any person or material good.
It is true that, some days you may feel better than others (maybe the weather affects you or some particular date) but if in the total count
of days a year you decide to feel good and happy, you are on the right track.
Happiness is an everyday decision ...
Although it sounds impossible, you can take control to smile more times a day and be more satisfied with life.
These small actions are divided into two parts:
Small actions that improve our perception and relationship with the outside world
Small actions that come within us and improve our attitude towards life
Try to introduce any (or all) of these actions into your routine. This way we make sure you feel better and be happier inside and out!
Actions to be happy from the outside in
1.- Get in touch with nature
Do you remember that nostalgic day when you went for a walk?… You probably felt better after doing it.
It is proven that living near green spaces or having contact with nature is associated with better mental health .
Simply because the connection with other living beings has a positive impact on your sense of well-being one
The stimulus is so strong that just looking at some images of nature can stimulate parts of the brain that are associated with happiness.two
In addition, spending time in the open air exposes us to sunlight, which helps us better absorb vitamin D. It has been seen that low levels of
this vitamin (hormone) is associated with increased depression. 3 .
Go for more walks and don't forget to use sunscreen!
What you can do today:
Get off two stops before the subway or park the car further so you can spend more time outdoors.
Organize a field trip or a picnic in the park on the weekend and live with nature, you will notice the difference right away.
2.- Take care of your body by exercising
If you think that exercising is just about building your muscles, you are wrong.
It has been proven that the habit of exercise promotes long-term happiness 4
In addition, physical activity has multiple benefits for your overall health and for your mental health. These are just some wonders that exercise does for you:
No one is very happy when they get sick. Therefore, exercise helps our bodies produce antibodies and proteins that fight disease Release certain chemicals, called “ endorphins,” that improve your mood and promote feelings of euphoria Fight depression and stress
What you can do today:
If you don't have the habit of exercising, start with very little: follow the 5 easy steps in this article. It is valid to combine the 2 strategies: nature + exercise, walk in the park for a few minutes!
If you already exercise, try a new sport, a yoga class, zumba or some martial art, you will see that your attitude improves.
3.- Do something good for someone
Doing something for others is a powerful way to increase our own happiness and also leave a grain of sand in the mood of others.
This does not mean just giving money to someone who is asking for it on the street. Giving something to others can be as simple as a single
kind word ( good morning before ordering coffee, thanks to the bus driver).
It can also be a simple attention like picking up the neighbor's mail or giving up the seat in the subway.
Scientific studies show that helping others increases satisfaction with life , provides a sense of meaning, increases feelings of competence,
improves mood and reduces stress
It has been proven that giving away some of your free time to volunteer also increases your perception of well-being
What you can do today:
Set out to accomplish a good little action every day to help someone
If you have the possibility and a little time, participate in a volunteer program. It can be in a kennel, an orphanage, planting trees, etc.
There are thousands of institutions that need your help.
4.- Learn or try something new
When was the last time you learned something new? ...
If you remember your childhood, you know that as a child you learn every day, it may not be something significant and important. But there is
always something to discover.
Sadly this is lost over time (and should not be so).
The affects learning our well - being in many positive ways. It exposes us to new ideas and helps us keep our mind curious. It also gives us a
sense of achievement and helps increase our confidence.
The best part is that learning something new and being happy is a two-way path: learning something improves your perception of well-being, and
this perception helps you learn more. 9
Learning a new skill, even if it is small, such as: a first aid technique or a word in another language, improves your intellectual capacity
and your daily motivation.
Learning also means discovering or trying new things. They don't have to be very big and ambitious things (although they could be), the goal
is to reinvent your routine by making room for new things.
What you can do today (some ideas):
Take a different route to work
Read a different newspaper or a new book
Visit a store you don't know (even if you don't buy anything)
Be a tourist in your own city
Try a meal from another country or cook a new recipe
Practice a game you didn't know (even that popular mobile app counts)
5.- Talk more and cultivate relationships
Reserve more time for the people you care about and increase your social connections, generates a feeling of satisfaction and well-being.
For some reason when we enter "routine" mode call: work, school, children, obligations, duties ... we forget to do those things that make us
happy. Like those deep talks with your lifelong friends.
Our relationships with other people are key to our happiness.
The social connection is part of a healthy lifestyle. Because these close relationships with friends and family provide love, purpose and
increase our feelings of self-worth.
Conversing with people around us (listening and being heard) leads us to a greater sense of well-being, stronger relationships and a better
experience with our surroundings .
Studies show that people with strong relationships are happier, healthier and even live longer. Also meaningful conversations make you
If you have trustworthy people near you, such as your family or friends, don't just talk about the weather or the score of the last football
game, better try to talk deeply and develop a space where you can talk about your opinions, thoughts and emotions.
Nothing compares like talking to someone in person, but if this gets complicated, we currently have many ways to communicate and most of these
media are free!
So there are no excuses for not saying, " Hi, how are you? »To that special person.
What you can do today:
Say hello to your neighbors
Dare to meet new people
Phone your parents and grandparents
Visit your family (even if it's not Christmas)
Make an effort and book an afternoon with your friends
Now you know how to be happier and feel better with your environment, but also, you need to build habits that allow you to improve perception
Actions to be happy from the inside out
6.- Sleep better
We know that sleep helps the body recover from the day and repair itself. It also helps us eat better and be more productive.
But, it turns out that it is also important for our happiness.
When we are tired, we react worse to any situation and, we become much more sensitive to negative emotions.
We see everything in a more pessimistic way and, in our mind, only gray memories appear.
This happens because negative stimuli are processed in a part of the brain called the amygdala. While positive or neutral memories are
processed by another area called the hippocampus.
Lack of sleep impacts the hippocampus harder than the tonsil. The result is that people with lack of sleep fail to remember good memories, but
remember the negativeseleven
In one experiment, sleep deprived participants tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 80% of words with a negative
connotation, such as "cancer" or "disease." But they could only remember less than 30% of words with a positive or neutral connotation, such
as "sun" "smile" or "tree"
Also when you don't get enough sleep, the levels of a hormone called cortisol increase. Known for its relationship with stress.
The time and depth you sleep will affect your mood when you wake up, which can make a big difference in your day.
What you can do today:
Make an effort to go to bed an hour earlier than you usually do
Read this article with the steps to create a ritual that helps you sleep better and wake up in a good mood starting tonight.
7.- Set and plan your goals
It has been scientifically proven that feeling good about the future is important for our happiness 14
The choice of ambitious goals are a compass that give you direction. They also bring a sense of achievement and satisfaction when we reach
We all need goals to motivate ourselves and these must be challenging enough to get us excited, but at the same time, your goals must be
If we try to plan something away from our reality at this time, we will only feel unnecessary anxiety and stress, and if we do not achieve it
in the planned time we will feel a kind of defeat that does not contribute to strengthening our self-esteem 15 .
When we think about the future we are all guessing to some extent, so it is important to keep our feet on the ground. An overly optimistic
perspective can be useless and even counterproductive.
Having unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment, a sense of failure and a more pessimistic view of the future. But if we take a
realistic but at the same time optimistic view of the results, the likelihood of success will increase .
However, planning and having more realistic and attainable goals can contribute to happiness in several ways. Scientific research shows that
the simple act of planning these objectives generates a feeling of positivism in everyday life, for example planning a future vacation16
In another study, it was shown that simply thinking about a rewarding experience next (such as watching a movie you like, or the afternoon
with friends) raises your endorphin levels by 27% and reduces your stress levels. Endorphins are substances in your brain responsible for the
feeling of euphoria and joy.17
Therefore, having attainable goals and planning realistically is a way to be happy in the present tense. The goals can be long term, short
term or even day to day.
A long-term goal could be to become a doctor or win a competition.
A short-term goal could be to organize a party or join a football game on the weekend.
Instead, a very short-term goal may be to cook something different or meet an old friend this afternoon.
What you can do today (some ideas):
Write your long-term goals, how do you see yourself in a few years?
Plan a trip for the future (even if you don't have a specific date yet)
Look for the next releases of some movies and schedule a movie break
Plan your next weekend in advance, what would you like to do?
Invest your money in experiences and not in material things, since it has been seen that contributes more to your happiness in the short and
8.- Thank the little things
This is a seemingly simple strategy, but I have personally found that it can make a great improvement in your feeling of daily happiness.
Maybe we get carried away by the circumstances of the moment, or maybe we yearn for more and more things and demand that heaven and life have
them as soon as possible.
- “When I have a house with a pool, I will be happy” or - “When I manage to finish my career and have a better job, I will be fully satisfied”
And then ... you have the house and the job and you're not happy yet.
Stopping and observing everything we already have and thanking it is one of the best ways to value our present and feel more satisfied with
what we are and what we have .
In one experiment the participants wrote every day about what made them feel grateful, their moods improved in the first days of this simple
practice. The results suggest that a conscious approach to thank can have emotional and interpersonal benefits.
Another study showed that being grateful or not, directly affects your perception of happiness. Participants who wrote thank you letters
decreased depressive symptoms. 19
What you can do today:
Before bed, think or write 3 things for which you are grateful. They can be very important things like your family, friends or a baby on the
way, but, they can also be quite common things such as eating your favorite ice cream, your bed, the coins in your piggy bank or simply having air in your lungs
9.- Remember something and smile FREE
Did you ever laugh just to remember something funny?
This happens because our thoughts define our mood of the moment. So that an image or a pleasant memory triggers a positive feeling.
Once the smiling muscles contract, a positive feedback circuit begins that reinforces our feeling of joy.
Therefore, it is important to smile every day . Even during those situations where we can't do anything (but they affect us).
You will think it is difficult and even useless, but you are wrong ...
Smiling itself can make us feel better, but this effect is most effective when we back it with positive thoughts.
A new study 20 suggests that a false smile can worsen your mood. The effects of a fake smile and a smile as a result of pleasant memories or a
better perception of the current situation were examined.
The participants, who smiled as a result of cultivating deep positive thoughts (such as a tropical vacation or your child's festival) tended
to improve their moods in a striking way.
In a nutshell: our brain feels good and tells us to smile, we smile and tell our brain that it feels good and so on.
What you can do today:
Think of something nice, remember a joke, or a funny situation that stimulates your smile.
Think about the best situation of the day or of the previous days, what made you feel good?
Listen to music with the intention of feeling good. Research shows that listening to music with the goal and the desire to be happier can
actually lead to greater happiness than simply listening to music for the sake of listeningtwenty-one
10.- Learn to control your thoughts
Learning to control your thoughts is an ability to improve your inner happiness. An effective way to train this super power is by meditating.
Meditation is often considered an important habit to improve concentration and reduce stress, but it turns out that it is also useful for
improving your happiness:
New research in neuroscience has discovered that those who meditate regularly, literally modify their brain structure 22
In one study, brain radiographs of 16 people were examined before and after an eight-week course of meditation and mindfulness . The parts of
the brains associated with compassion, self-awareness and happiness grew, and the parts associated with stress decreased in size.
But don't worry, you don't have to become a monk and lock yourself in a temple to achieve it.
You can start meditating with the simple act of relaxing (and doing nothing in the meantime). It is a way to give your mind a break.
Sometimes the simple act of over-thinking what we have to do generates an anticipated negative feeling. Therefore, relaxing your mind for a
few minutes a day is an excellent strategy to calm anxiety and avoid negative feelings during the day.
Meditation requires practice, but it is a very powerful activity. It literally erases your mind and reassures you, it has proven to be an
effective way to be happy and feel better.
Spending a few minutes to meditate is really a life investment. I have been practicing for a few months and I have noticed incredible results.
And you can experience them too.
What you can do today
Take a few minutes to close your eyes, relax and breathe deeply