If you could, wouldn’t you like to be just a wee bit HAPPIER? Of course you would. Who wouldn’t? With that in mind, here are ten easy tips to help you become a happier and healthier person:
#1.) Take care of the basics: Before tackling your deepest insecurities, make sure you’re taking care of the basics . . . like staying well-fed and getting enough sleep.
#2.) Don’t vent: This is probably the opposite of everything you’ve been told. But venting every little annoyance doesn’t make your anger go away . . . it just makes you feel worse. (I am very guilty of this – everyone I know, knows all about my business, both good and bad. So from now on, I’m zippin’ it up and keeping it to myself.)
#3.) Fake it: If your feelings are affected by your actions, then, by that logic, acting like you’re happy will actually make you happier. So fake it,’ til you make it, baby!
#4.) Try and fail: Look, nobody’s perfect. But you’ll be happier if you try new stuff and FAIL . . . versus never trying anything new. (By these standards, I should be much happier than I am.)
#5.) Don’t “treat” yourself: When people are upset, they try to “treat” themselves to small indulgences, like a new pair of jeans or a couple of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It actually works for a few minutes, until the guilt sets in.
#6.) Buy your happiness: On the other hand, money can help improve your happiness if you use it to improve your health, to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict or to stay in touch with family and friends.
#7.) Leave some wiggle room: There are two types of people in the world: Those who want things to be “perfect”, and those who want things to be “good enough”.
Guess what? People who are OK with “good enough” are happier than those who need perfection.
#8.) Exercise: Getting even a little exercise is just about the surest way to improve your mood. I bought a jump rope for those moments when I feel sad, but you know what? I can’t jump rope any longer. I couldn’t skip three times without stepping on the rope and that made me sad. (Is it just possible that we are meant to feel sad from time to time and we should just sit with it until it passes?)
#9.) Stop nagging: Nagging doesn’t work. All it really does is make you and everyone around you much more aggravated and annoyed.
#10.) Take action: Some people assume that happiness is something you’re born with. But that’s not true. In fact, it’s estimated that you can control about 40% of your own happiness level.
And I do believe you can be a very happy person while experiencing a healthy measure of sadness from time to time. This is life and we should be grateful for the whole messy glorious experience of being on the planet in the year 2009.