10 Ways To Increase Happiness

I have a million things to be happy about and yet some days I am beyond sad. Depression’s greatest power is its ability to rob us of our happiness without our consent. It took me a while to come to this conclusion, but eventually I realized I needed to play a more active role in my own happiness. I needed to take action to find happiness and make it a part of my life. So I tried a few things and learned a few tricks that help to almost immediately improve my mood.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. ― Dalai Lama XIV

So say sayonara to sadness and hello to happiness with these ten tips.

  1. Get out of the house. The physical act of leaving your house, although it may be the only place you want to be, is incredibly rewarding. I’ve found it’s important to displace your sad moods. Run to the store. Visit a friend. Do something that takes you outside, as being at home can make you comfortable in your sadness.
  2. Go for a walk. The sun is beginning to emerge after months of hiding, the temperatures are increasing, and it’s the perfect time to get outside. You don’t have to go anywhere in particular. Just walking in the sunshine and getting some of that natural vitamin D will lift your spirits.
  3. Put on music. Your favourite song. Your favourite band. Play it really loud. Dance by yourself in your bedroom, blast it while you’re walking, or go out dancing or to a concert with some friends. Music has the power to transform your mood.
  4. Take pictures. We are lucky to constantly be surrounded by beauty, a luxury that can be so easily overlooked when you’re down. By taking photos, it forces you to concentrate and capture this beauty, which makes you appreciate it more.
  5. Get active. Go to a yoga class. Go for a run. Do something that helps you to reconnect with your body, mind, and the world around you. Exercise releases endorphins, which triggers feelings of euphoria. Many studies have shown that exercise is one of the most powerful tools in fighting and managing depression. Sometimes exercise is the last thing you want to do, but it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
  6. Try a new recipe. Cooking is a pleasurable and rewarding experience. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or someone you love (invite over a partner, friend or family member), trying a new recipe is a fun and delicious way to improve your mood and reconnect with the earth and your body. Have some dark chocolate for dessert. It also releases endorphins.
  7. Drink a glass of red wine. Red wine has numerous health benefits, including reducing anxiety and helping you to relax. Sometimes I love to meet up with a friend for a glass of wine when I’m feeling sad. It gets me out of the house, helps me appreciate wine culture, and shifts my mood. Be experimental and try a wine you’ve never tried before.
  8. Plan a trip or excursion. Planning trips, even if they’re just day trips somewhere, really makes me happy. I think it’s important to have something to look forward to, and researching and planning a getaway/outing is one way of doing that.
  9. Laugh. Do something, anything that makes you laugh. Call your most hilarious friend, watch some standup comedy or a funny movie, do tricks with you pet, or visit a friend with a child (kids are funny!). Laughter truly is the best medicine.
  10. And if all else fails, take a nap. Sometimes you just need to sleep it off.

What else do you do to life your spirits? Tell me in the comments below.

Photo: © Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

5 thoughts on “10 Ways To Increase Happiness

  1. Just reading this made me feel better. Truly. I’m going for a walk now after being inside ALL day. Wine after that! BTW: I like the new B/W swirly background you added, Sheena. Sort of symbolic of the growth of your blog and your ideas. Good work!

    1. Thank you Alison! It’s so important to take a few moments each day to do something that makes you happy. I think we forget to play an active role in our own well-being sometimes. This is something I’m working on, and something this blog is really helping me with. Thanks for reading!

  2. I agree with all of these. What makes me happiest is sunshine, cooking, and planning future events for sure. Especially when some of those events are taking place in warmer months – I’m planning a bachelorette for a friend in Montreal in June, and even the thought of wearing a dress and no boots cheers me up.

    1. So much fun! I hope you have the best time in Montreal. Even though it’s not for a few months, I find just having something on the horizon helps to get you through the tough days. I’m going to Cuba in a couple weeks and planning it and choosing a location was a total blast for me. Picking up a summer dress here and there has me too longing for those warm sunny days with no boots!

  3. Loved this post, Sheena! You are totally right about having to take action! On my way to work I blast my Bob Marley tunes (total sunshine music when we lack some sun) and try to plan for at least 2-3 activities during the week. I’m taking up the Ukulele this weekend so, I’ll let you know how it goes:) Please let me know if you are planning on attending any yoga classes in the downtown/mid-town area, I would love to get back into it and catch up!

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