You’re healthiest when you’re happiest, but it isn’t always easy to keep your mood up. Sometimes it takes a little bit of effort and self-care to unlock the happiness that we’re all capable of feeling.
Being consistently happy can be especially challenging during winters if you live in a place where those days are short and cold. You leave the house: it’s dark. Come home from work: still dark. Positivity and motivation might seem non-existent, but don’t let the winter blues dampen your outlook.
There are ways to regain control of your mood, though. Read on for three simple happiness hacks that can help:
Enjoy mundane activities
Take coffee for example. You down a cup every so often to keep you awake at work. You grab one to go in the morning, simply because it’s part of your routine. But what if you turned this everyday activity which usually goes unnoticed, into a moment of enjoyment? Took your time to really savor it? That’s already 15 minutes of happiness right there. So put some effort into your next coffee. Make it a damn awesome one. Find somewhere comfortable to sit. Somewhere with a good view. Then, spend some time simply enjoying it. Every drop. Smell it. Taste it. Savor it. And this goes for other daily activities: prepare an extra amazing lunch. Choose the scenic journey home. Spend a little extra time on the little things in life and watch them make a large impact.
Get some sunshine
It’s easy to take for granted the sun’s role in keeping us healthy, but there are some key benefits that natural outdoor light provides us, including:
- Supplemental Vitamin D
- More positive moods
- Better sleep
- Lower blood pressure
This tip is especially important for individuals who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the low-light months mentioned above. When an individual does not get enough sunlight during the daylight hours, it can throw their circadian rhythm off (our biological clock that regulates our sleep), which ultimately leads to the mood disorder. These individuals likely have to supplement the sunlight that they do get with other methods, including exposure to specialized artificial light sources, dietary changes and supplementation, and other practices, but it is important to stress that getting as much natural light as possible is important.
For those who do not have to deal with SAD, however, the recommendation stands--getting a daily dose of sunlight (particularly as part of an outdoor workout, if possible, can help ensure that your mood stays stable and that your body is in a state that promotes your happiness. 3o minutes a day out in the sunlight, if possible, is an ideal amount (it doesn’t need to necessarily be clear, direct light at all times; just being out even on a bright but cloudy day can suffice.)
Treat every weekend like a mini holiday
Are you guilty of taking your weekend for granted? You plan all week. Look forward to it from Monday.” I’m gunna do this”…”I’d love to do that”. Then, when it arrives you spend one day lying on the couch, and the other trying to plan your day around other people. By the time Monday comes around you wonder if Friday ever actually ended. Sound familiar? Then it’s time to make a change. Your weekend should be a holiday. Get up early. Take a day trip somewhere you’ve never been. Try out a new restaurant. Make plans based on what you want to do and let others plan around you. It’s your time off. Make the most of it.
Exercise, exercise, exercise
Heard it all before? Most likely. But it’s so important, that we’re going to tell you again. If you want something that’s going to instantly make you feel positive, happy and healthy there is nothing better than sports. It’s as simple as that. A way to release anger. To forget the stress of everyday life. For the time you train, you are thoughtless. Limitless. Focused. And afterwards you experience an exercise high. A feeling like no other. You smile to yourself walking home. Sing in the shower. Feel great and chances are you look it too.
Help yourself get happy
Your attitude, your outlook and your future all lie in your hands. Ok so you can’t control the weather. But it also can’t control you. As long as you don’t let it. Happiness comes to those who really want it. Who work on themselves and never lose focus, even when conditions aren’t perfect and they’re up against the odds. Your health depends on your happiness. Don’t let it down.