Yesterday´s post was a recap of happiness…today´s post…actual ways that YOU can become happy. I suggested in yesterday´s post that there are three areas in which we can dig deep into to find our happines:
1. repeat behaviors causing happiness
2. 100 percent immersion and effort into activities
3. Helping others and contributing
We are going to start with zone 1. Repeat behaviors that cause happiness. This one involves a lot of reflection into the past and truly determining, when was I most happy? What was I doing? What makes me happy?
You could answer with a number of things…something as little as walking to and from the grocery store instead of driving, making time for that monthly manicure, baking brownies, making sure your room is filled by pictures of your friends and family or taking the scenic route home from work. Or this can mean bigger things, like an annual ski trip with friends, or planning monthy wine tastings at your apartment.
Obviously each person has had different experiences that have made them happy so you need to do this for yourself, but I do have some tips that relate to my past experiences that others might benefit from, so here goes:
1. Make sure you get together with friends atleast once every few weeks. I know everyone is busy but usually being with friends, for most, creates feelings of happiness and it´s important to make time for this.
2. Have more sex! This makes everyone feel happy! Do it more! (Safe sex though, of course)
3. Try to appreciate the city you live in. What have you done that´s fun in your city that you loved? Do it again! For example, Madrid has some amazing parks and museums. When I occasionally go, I always ask myself, why don´t I do this more? It´s fantastic! See a play, go ice skating, take a hike-appreciate your surroundings, whereever they are.
4. It´s all about the little things. Small things that make me happy include painting my own nails, buying things at dollar stores for my kitchen, reading snuggled up in my bed on a Saturday afternoon, savoring an afternoon coffee or a glass of red wine with dinner, or listening to a comedy podcast on my IPOD while I am on the metro. Giving my boyfriend a big giant hug for no reason or taking a walk during my lunch break. These things don´t take much time or money so figure out what your ´little´things are and do them daily, weekly, whenever you can.
5. Plan a vacation. Whether it be a romantic night away with your significant other, a group trip with friends, a cheap weekend away on your own, a spa day, a trip to spend time with your family…save up the money, and do it. Plain and simple, vacations make people happy. Whenever I come back from a holiday, I never think, oh what a waste of money! I think, I feel GREAT! Think of a vacation you enjoyed in the back and plan something similiar. Once you´ve got it planned, even just thoughts of the upcoming holiday are enough to boost your mood!
Tomorrow: how to be 100 percent immersed in your activities to provoke happiness!