Here are 23 FREE things we can all do to make ourselves happier. Please don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these suggestions, they definitely work…
Breathe slowly Something you can do anywhere, any time. Just breathe very slowly and deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Most of us only use one third of our capacity when breathing. So it’s really beneficial to use our lungs to their full capacity. And very calming too.
Smile at yourself in the mirror. Even a fake smile works. Go on… try it!
When the weather is good, stand still for two minutes while the sun shines on your face. Then admire the clear blue sky.
Do some weeding in the garden – or a friend’s garden if you don’t have one…. doing someone else a little favour is good for you too! It’s great exercise (bending and stretching) and very satisfying to see how your handiwork has improved the look of the flower beds. While you’re there, why not pick lots of foliage and a few flowers and display them in a vase to brighten up your home.
Think of someone who you haven’t talked to in a while. Maybe an old friend you don’t see much of or an elderly relative who may be lonely. Get in touch with a phone call (not a text) and you’ll make their day (and they’ll make yours).
Pop out for a short walk, jog or bike ride – this will release your feelgood endorphins. Take time to look at the trees, flowers, the signs of autumn. Smell the air, watch the sun go down (or come up if you’re an early bird) and simply soak up the multiple benefits of being out in the fresh air.
Play a board game with your family or a friend. It’s a social thing to do and will exercise your mind.
Give the stuff in your wardrobe that you won’t wear again to charity. Even a minor clear out can be very cathartic. When you donate something, whether it’s clothes, money, or other belongings, you will feel great knowing it’s going to a good cause.
Volunteering your time is a great way to help others and get enjoyment at the same time. There are many places that could benefit from a helping hand, especially in these days of Covid.
Cleaning and tidying your living space can be a brilliant way to raise your spirits. A physically demanding activity, it produces endorphins as well as results.
Forgive someone who has upset you.
If you have scented candles or diffusers in your home, go ahead and light one of them; the fragrance will instantly add happiness to your day.
Animals – especially dogs and cats – are a major source of joy for most people. The simple act of stroking a purring cat for example. Of course, owning a pet isn’t possible for everyone but you could offer to dog or cat sit for a friend, volunteer at an animal shelter, or join Borrow My Doggy
Write down the things that you are grateful for – doing this can instantly make your cup half full instead of half empty.
Make plans. Having something to look forward to, even something small like having a coffee with a friend, makes you feel good. Anticipation is a secret weapon of happiness.
Get one little thing off your to-do list – whether it’s taking the rubbish out or sending a long overdue email – it will give you a mental sigh of relief.
Put that mobile or iPad away (for a bit). Time spent on your digital devices might seem harmless, but it can have a really negative affect on your mental health. If you want to stay your happiest, focus on your real life not on scrolling through reams of social media. Apart from the “everyone seems so much happier than me” element, there’s so much to look at and be distracted by, that you could be glued for hours without even realising how much valuable time has gone by.
There’s nothing like escaping into a new world when you read a good book. Aside from taking your mind off reality for a while, bookworms seem to be happier. Researchers found that those who read just 30 minutes a week were 20% more satisfied with their lives and 28 percent less likely to be depressed. Check out our book reviews here.
Boost your spirits by checking in with yourself physically. Having a good stretch, luxuriating in the bath or giving yourself a hand massage. Could be as simple as taking your bra off at the end of a long day or slipping between freshly laundered bedlinen! We all need (and deserve) some me time and pampering.
Wear bright colours. It will instantly brighten your mood.
Listen to music – especially all your upbeat favourites. One of life’s greatest free pleasures, it will boost your mood especially if you sing your heart out! Apparently it only takes 12 minutes for your mood to totally shift, so turn up the volume and get happy.