Happiness - 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Happiness

Happiness - 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Happiness


Health and Happiness – Our health is often thought to contribute to our happiness.  But the relationship also works in reverse: being ‘happy’ tends to make us healthier as well.  Research and experience have shown that there are several concrete steps we can take to live a happier and healthier life. 

“Happiness” is a concept that’s tough to define, and I’m not saying that you need to be experiencing the emotion of happiness 100% of the time. Quite the opposite – experiencing varied emotions and mental states is important for a meaningful and fulfilling life. There is no secret to endless happiness, nor should there be, and what it means to be happy is not necessarily the same for everyone. Still, by following the tips below, you may see an improvement in your mood and outlook.

  1. Unplug: Lessen your exposure to social media.  Too much social media can lead to anxiety due to comparing yourself or your life to the lives of others.  Remember, Instagram and Facebook posts are only one moment of time, and often a posed moment.  There are a couple of ways you can unplug:  for example pick and use only one social media platform (just use Facebook or Instagram instead of both), or take a week off every couple of months.   Another strategy that some people have found successful is to only check social media accounts at designated intervals, rather than compulsively checking your accounts with every free moment. 
  2. Outsource:  Instead of making a material purchase, take a chore and pay someone else to do it.  Research shows that if you use $40 or $60 bucks to free up time by “outsourcing”, rather than buying some item, you will experience a longer lasting sense of gratification and be overall happier.  Some simple things to outsource are; laundry, send out your laundry instead of having to wait around for it; cleaning services, have a cleaning service come to your home once or twice a month.  Both options free up time and help support local businesses.  Another easy one is using fresh direct, peapod or even services like blue apron to go food shopping.  My wife says paying someone to come clean our apartment every other week makes her life so less stressful.  This service frees up time for her to relax and get away from her businesses and school work (not to mention spend time with me)!
  3. Let Go: Holding on to negative emotions or worries will increase the stress on your mind and body immensely.  Here is an example many New Yorkers can relate to, "You are walking down the side walk heading to your destination.  You may not be in a rush, but you are walking at your own comfortable pace.   As you catch up to the person walking ahead of you, you attempt to go around them.  Suddenly the other pedestrian changes course and starts walking in a zig-zag not allowing you to pass." In a situation like this just take a breath and remind yourself that they don’t even know you are there and are not blocking your path purposely.  Just let it pass.  Letting things go will make room for more happiness.
  4. Vacation:.  Get away from your daily routine You don’t have to necessarily travel, a stay-cation can be just as effective.  But before you take time off make sure to make a mini-plan.  Do a little research and plan your time.  If you are traveling think about destination, transportation, where you are staying, some restaurants, and a couple of activities.  If you are taking a stay-cation plan to go to some places or events in your area you’ve never been to, restaurants you’ve never eaten at, or simply have coffee with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while.  You don’t have to stick to these plans 100%.  Taking time off from your normal routine without anything to fill the void often leads to the creation of more stress and anxiety, the very thing that you are trying to alleviate. 
  5. Find Some Nature:  Getting outside and absorbing some sun will brighten your day 😊 (see what I did there?). Spending time in your local park, trail, backyard, or even taking your dog for a walk will make you happier.  Nature just has a way and reminding you that this life is great just as it is and connecting you with the world around you.
  6. Have a Pack:  Humans are pack animals by nature.  Having friends, family, or even just people that enjoy the same hobby as you are more valuable than gold.   When a person has others, that they enjoy the company of, they tend to be happier more frequently.  Don’t worry you don’t have to be around people all the time.  Just the knowledge that you have the support of your pack may be enough at times.     
  7. Kindness Bombs:  Doing something unexpected for a friend, loved one, or co-worker can enhance your emotional well-being.  If you live with a roommate or loved one unexpectedly make them lunch or clean off their car after a snow storm before they get a chance to.  Simple acts of kindness work just as well, just leaving a post-It now saying, “Thank You”, “HI”, or a smiley face will make the recipient happy seeing it.  You might be asking “this will make the other person happy, but what about me?” When you reflect on what you have done, and that you have made another person happy you, will in turn make yourself happy.

By Joe Boffi, Catlayst S.P.O.R.T. Co-Founder



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