May 14, 2013 by Diana M
People are constantly looking for happiness, sometimes even in the wrong places. You spend a whole life trying to make as much money as possible so you can have as many things as possible, realizing on your death bed that you wasted all those years slavering away for stuff you didn’t really need.
If you take a moment to look back at your own life right now, could you answer me this: What was the happiest day of your life? What about the happiest moments of your life?
Big events tend to be more memorable, of course, like your wedding or the birth of your first child, but what about that time you played with water bottles on a hot summer day, with your friends? Or that time when you made something you got praised for, or the other time when you got a surprise kiss from your crush? Do you remember all those moments of happiness?
This year I started making my own happiness jar. Well, it’s just a jar actually. But it contains little notes of the happy memories that I intend to collect throughout the year. I realized I also have a tendency, like many others, to remember mostly the bad stuff that happens to me: heartbreak, rejection, pain, confusion, sadness. I decided to try and turn that around, so every time I feel a little down, I do something to boost my happiness level; and yes, one of the things is reading my notes from the happiness jar.
But here are some of the other things that I usually do to get instant happiness.
1. Go somewhere
Funny thing is, you don’t even have to go that far. I mean sure, traveling to a new city or a new country is awesome in general, but sometimes, just a simple walk through your favorite park or to the cafe you love so much gives you a sense of peace, familiarity and…happiness. Sometimes letting yourself get lost in your favorite places will most likely end in you finding yourself and getting rid of the negative stuff swirmming around in your head.
2. Make any type of art
I remember spending hours upon hours doing little art projects. I would draw and paint, and cut and glue and write and sing and play, or just make whatever it was I was trying to make. Half the times the end result didn’t even matter (probably because it was pretty awful), it was the process that meant a lot more to me. Sure, the other half, when I would end up making something that looked slightly cool, did add a sense of feeling damn proud of myself beside being happy too.
Art is pretty much anything you can pour your passion into. Actually this quote from Scott Adams says it better: Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
3. Give your love to someone
You don’t have to wait for someone to give you love. Why don’t you go out there and give your love to someone? When was the last time you hugged, I mean, really hugged, your mom, or your best friend, or someone you hold close to your heart? When was the last time you selflessly helped someone, or gave a gift for no reason?
Just by making other people smile and be happy, it’s like boom! instant happiness for you! And guess what? It’s free too!
You’ve got online games, board games, sport games, even kids games, and you’re telling me that you don’t have time to play games? Hell, even if you take all that away, you can still have a good-hearted pillow fight or a gruesome tickle match. Just go out there and play, and laugh until your cheeks hurt and no sound comes out from you anymore, and just be happy!
5. Eat something delicious
Even if you know you’re at that age where you should be watching what you’re eating, and exercising regularly and all that, just the thought of wanting to eat something delicious and then making that thought a reality…My God, what an awesome moment that is.
Think about it. No, seriously, think about it. Think about your favorite, delicious, most decadent, almost eat-it-only-on-special-occasions, type of food. Do you have it? Do you see it in your mind? Do you remember what it tastes like and what is like to have that first bite?
Is your mouth watering just about now?
6. Talk to a good friend
For some reason, every time I feel a bit down and talk to one of my very good friends, things just seem to brighten up. That’s probably because those are the people that really know and understand me, and they know what to say to make it all better again.
Also, you can can get instantly happy when you’re near your best friends because that’s when you have the most fun, when you laugh the loudest, when you party the hardest and make the most out of your life.
7. Remember happy memories
Maybe you have a box full of photos of when you were a kid, maybe you still have your childhood toys or the first love letters you exchanged with someone. Whatever they are, those are the little treasures that bring smiles to your face, to your mind and to your soul. So keep them close to you.
8. Laugh your ass off at something
Best way to get instantly happy? Just start laughing at something. Don’t have anything to laugh about? Just start laughing anyway. Studies have shown that at least in this case, the fake-it-till-you-make-it thing actually works. If you start fake-laughing, you’ll end up laughing for real, and release all those wonderful hormones that make you feel so blissfully happy.
9. Make awesome future plans
When you have something to strive for, something to dream about or somewhere to go, you have a purpose. Having a purpose and direction gives clarity in your life and makes things easier by eliminating confusion, self-doubt or depression. In other words, having a purpose won’t just make you feel determined but it will also boost your happiness.
When you also start making some awesome plans that you get excited about, the future seems to brighten up, making your present even brighter.
10. But live in the present
Speaking of the present, don’t forget to do what you love and love what you do. Don’t just live with your mind at your awesome future plans, try to live in the now. And try to make that now as awesomely as possible too. Because you don’t want to wake up a year from now and realize you spend all those days wishing you were somewhere or sometime else.
Cherish every moment you have, because you never know when it’s going to be your last.
Now let me ask you this: what do you do to get instantly happy?