Feeling happy is like sunshine to the soul. Empowerment is having power over yourself and your life. We all possess the ability to make ourselves happy if only for a moment if we just take the time to focus our intentions in that direction. Below please find some suggestions to help you achieve a moment or two of bliss.
- Smile. The simple act of smiling lightens your mood and may even make you want to smile bigger. Studies have shown that smiling reduces stress and can make you feel better by reducing the levels of cortisol in your brain and increasing mood-lifting endorphins. Bonus - smiling is contagious.
- Go outside and take a few minutes to breath in the fresh air. If it is a sunny day, allow yourself to sit in the sunshine and feel the warmth. If it is windy, let the wind mess your hair and enjoy the feeling. If it is rainy, find a protected area and let the soothing sound of the rain wash over you. Connecting with nature can bring an element of peacefulness to an otherwise hectic lifestyle.
- Forgive someone who hurt you and let it go. It is as much a gift to yourself as it is to the person who wronged you. Remember that nobody is perfect and everybody deserves a second chance.
- Exercise either your body or your brain (or both). Even a short workout or walk will boost endorphins and get you feeling better in no time. Likewise, mastering a tricky crossword puzzle or memorizing an inspirational passage can kickstart feelings of triumph.
- Write down three things you are grateful for. Acknowledging and appreciating what you have instead of lamenting what you don't have is life-affirming and can put things into a positive perspective.
- Pet an animal. Like smiling, petting an animal can reduce levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and increase serotonin, a chemical known to enhance well-being. Recently I underwent a medical examination in my home and my blood pressure was relatively high. The nurse suggested I pet my dog for a few minutes, which I did, and when she took my blood pressure just afterwards it was dramatically reduced.
- Play a favourite song that lifts your mood. Upbeat music has been scientifically proven to boost your mood by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain. If at all possible, dance! It is known to reduce depression and stress. Can't think of a song to play? Check out these 50 songs guaranteed to make you smile.
- If there is something you've been dreading and putting off, tackle it head-on. Conquering a fear is both powerful and uplifting and brings a sense of satisfaction and victory.
- Eat something new and healthy. Healthy foods increase general well-being and can increase our mental and physical powers and our energy levels. Combine those wonderful results with the discovery of a new taste and texture and you just may find delight at the bottom of the bowl. For some suggestions check out these trendy "new" foods.
- Randomly compliment a stranger. Life poses many opportunities for interaction but all too often we tune out the outside world and exist within the bubble of gadgets and our own inhibition. Dare yourself to say something nice to someone and you just might be amazed at how happy you have made both yourself and them.
I wish you a slice of happy today!