True happiness is a blend of pleasure and meaning. Why both? Because you need meaning to give you a sense of purpose in life, and you need pleasure to give you a sense of joy in the present moment. Here are some quick tips to make you happy this Thanksgiving. Best of all, after reading this, you’ll be able to spread the happiness and make others happy too.
It’s as simple as that. When you smile your body is flooded with dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These hormones make you happy. Here’s a bonus: those endorphins also serve as natural pain relievers and act as the body’s own opiates. Smile and you won’t feel the aches and pains as much.
Make a note of it
Taking the time to write down 3 positive things each day will make you more optimistic and less stressed. Did you have a good breakfast? Your physical therapy session went well? Your doctor was happy with your blood tests? You enjoyed talking to your friends over breakfast? Take the time to absorb that feeling of gratitude for a few moments and then write it down. Lingering on a positive experience helps to embed it in your brain. If you don’t want to write it down, then share those 3 good things with a friend. Here’s a bonus tip: go out of your way to show gratitude when others help you. Maybe send them a note.
Enjoy the fresh air
Just a few minutes of fresh air can give you a fresh perspective. Nature helps you to relax, increases your brain power and even improves the way you think about yourself. How much time should you spend outdoors? As little as 20 minutes outside in good weather will boost your positive mood. And if you’re up to it, take a walk do get your heart pumping. And don’t forget to stand upright: Our posture dictates how we feel, so straighten up and walk like a boss!
Stay in touch with your friends and family. Did you know that almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends? We much of our time earning money to spend on vacations with our loved ones and then forget that they are the reason we’re staying late at work. When you’re finally with your family, don’t talk about the weather. Take the time to really listen to what they are saying. Ask them about what is important to them.
No, not on yourself! When you spend money on someone else, you get the ‘feel good’ perks. Yup, spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. Where are those grandchildren who you want to spoil?
One of the quickest ways to pick yourself back up is to do something kind for someone else. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives. Bonus tip: when you do a random act of kindness that isn’t expected of you, just “because,” you feel even better.