With a few surprising tricks, you can make yourself happier every day in minutes.
Self-care is THE topic these days but for those of us juggling family, friends, full and part-time hustles there isn’t a whole lot left to invest in our own happiness. Luckily science can help us turn a few stray minutes into a self-care routine that will keep the cray-cray at bay bay.
Unconventional as these ideas are, you’re bound to find something that will fit into your day and fill you with just a bit more joy.
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Read Fiction For 68% OFF
Time Needed: 6 minutes
This is not a sale, people! A study conducted at the University of Sussex concluded that reading just six continuous minutes a day reduces stress by 68%.
Now those snatched moments stuck in a romance novel or thriller can be seen as a gift to yourself and everyone around you. ‘Cause you know attitudes are contagious
Yes, queen! You are doing everyone a favor by reading a book and spreading all that happy around.
Need some help finding your next great story? Click here to check out my collection of favorites.
Plan Something To Look Forward To
Time Needed: 1-2 minutes
Anticipation is a powerful happiness booster.
Plus, it’s the ultimate 2 for 1!
You get to be excited about the upcoming event AND actually do it. You don’t even have to plan something big like a vacation (even though Airbnb stalking is SWEET) planning a walk with a favorite friend or a cafe break alone can get those anticipation juices flowing, too.
When it comes to this trick, the sooner you do it the faster the benefits start to kick in. AND you don’t need that cell phone you forgot to plug in last night to get started, all it takes is a little imagination.
P.S. Be good to yourself and follow through with your plans!
Nature and Nurture
Time Needed: 1 minute
You are part of something greater that has nothing to do with f*cking emails. Nature!
There is nothing like crunching on a bed of pine needles or hiding just undercover in the middle of a rainstorm (that smell!).
For those of you who feel that the outdoors is only for dogs and children, even a plant on your desk is a proven mood booster.
And those fresh cut flowers you eye on the way to work, stop wishing someone else would buy them for you…make your own dreams come true, Booboo. You deserve it!
Write It Right
Time Needed: 5 minutes
Harvard University says that writing about emotions eases stress. As a person who HATES journaling, I am surprised how well this trick works. When I grab all those unruly thoughts in my mind and capture them on paper, it feels like new space has been created to problem solve, like taking the time to clear off a messy desk before getting to work.
You don’t need to be Toni Morrison to benefit from this tool. Scribble in a notebook or send a text to yourself that no one else will read. It’s not about how you write it, it’s about giving your thoughts a new home outside of your head.
Time Needed: 30 seconds
You can literally do this while you wait in line at the grocery store- multitask it!
Think of 3 things to be grateful for every day, that’s it.
A gratitude practice, especially one done as a daily ritual, tunes your perspective toward the positive.
When the sh*t is really hitting the fan, don’t stop at three. Douse your anxiety with a mental running list of things you are grateful for. Allow yourself a second to actually feel the gratitude for these things.
When stuff is next-level bad, say the list aloud to a friend or partner. The best gratitude audience is someone who will respond like a church lady on a Sunday, amen! Amen!
Of course, this exercise will not magically solve your problems, but your mind will be in much better shape to slay whatever dragon has the nerve to be breathing down your neck.
Get ‘er Done
Time Needed: 1-10 minutes
Set yourself up for a win and accomplish something small.
It can be as simple as making your bed.
Completing a task, no matter how basic, will boost your mood and confidence allowing you to take on the next challenge like a championship fighter back in the ring.
Remember, big accomplishments are nothing more than a series of small tasks completed with a singular goal in mind.
As you can see, we don’t have to carve hours from our day to invest in our own happiness, just a little bit can go a long way.
What are your quick and dirty tips to get your happy on?
Sharing is caring! Send this out to anyone who deserves more happy.
Note: I adapted many of these tips while reading The Happiness Advantage by Sean Achor. If you’d like to read Sean’s book, which I found to be like wedding reception chicken a little dry but good check it out here.
Harvard Health Publishing. “Writing about Emotions May Ease Stress and Trauma.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/writing-about-emotions-may-ease-stress-and-trauma.
“How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?” Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing, www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing.
Papachristos, Anna. “Reading For 6 Minutes Each Day Can Reduce Stress By 68 Percent, Study Says.” A Plus, 29 Aug. 2018, articles.aplus.com/a/reading-6-minutes-each-day-reduce-stress-68-percent?no_monetization=true.