If you find that you fit into one of these groups, then don’t worry. You’re not alone. Below are four easy ways for you to begin boosting your happiness. Sure it won’t increase overnight, but step by step you’ll become happier.
- Take the time to slow down
We’ve all gone through it. Stagnating in the middle of an assignment. Panicking at what we’re going to do next. Then comes the inevitable Netflix binge. Six hours later and all we’ve written is the title. But, hey, at least we’ve caught up on Narcos.
If you find your brain is being uncooperative, then go for a Savouring Walk. Get out of your head and give yourself a break by going on a walk. Take the time out to identify as many positive things as you can. The warmth of the sun. That adorable puppy in the park. Hold onto these aspects and concentrate on why they make you so happy. When you return to your work, your head will be clearer and your outlook brighter.
This may sound like some new-age, hippy jargon, but Loyola University published a study where they invited participants to go on Savouring Walks every day for a week. Those who did report a greater increase in happiness than those who didn’t. Sometimes the best solution is the simplest.
- Add happiness through subtraction
On a drunken night out, we may feel that we NEED a Lamb Doner Kebab. We buy it. We eat it. Then somebody offers us the rest of theirs. We take it, because we’re British and it’s rude to say no. Yet it doesn’t satisfy us in the same way. Why? Because we’re full up. The novelty’s worn off. Whilst it might be nice to eat, the same cravings just no longer exist. Our drunken hunger has subsided.
The cure to this? The Give it Up Practice. Drinking Red Bull to get through those all-nighters? Eating whole boxes of Custard Creams whilst wondering which The Walking Dead character will snuff it this week? Then give it up. (The Custard Creams, not The Walking Dead.)
Red Bull and Custard Creams are great ways to boost happiness in the short term, but try giving them up for a week and see how much more you appreciate them afterwards. Those, in a 2013 study who ate chocolate after temporarily giving it up, found they appreciated it more than those who didn’t.
- Create your own happiness
Photo boards are a commonality in student rooms. If you don’t have one then take the time out to make one. Photograph everything that makes you happy. Your friends. Your family. Your pets. Your favourite chill-out spot. That time you met your idol.
If the stress of student life is getting you down, then take a look through the memories you’ve gathered through your life. It’ll remind you of everything that brings you happiness in your life. More importantly, it reminds you of everything that you’re fighting for: the people and things that you love.
Students at Colorado State University who did this reported a greater sense of positivity and life satisfaction.
- Be the change that you want to see
When we’re feeling stressed it’s all too easy to wallow in self-pity. To blame anything other than ourselves for our failings. Don’t feel bad about it. We all do it. This is why that we need to take the initiative to make ourselves happy. We have to want to change and, maybe, we could inspire others to do the same.
When you’re out and about, take the first step to becoming happier by making somebody else happy. Smile at them. Hold open a door. Pay a compliment. You could inspire them to spread this happiness onto other people.
A Harvard Study approached university students, gave them some money, and instructed half to spend the money on themselves, the other half on strangers. The students who spent the money on strangers reported greater happiness through the course of their day.
If your happiness is being threatened by the cruel blackguard that is stress then remember to follow these five simple steps. A walk outside where you can take memorable photos and pass happiness onto others. If these techniques work for you then pass them onto others. Pass on the love. Pass on the happiness.
Originally published on Inspiring Interns.