9 Things You Can Do to Be Happier

9 things do be happy

Photo by YoMama2005

Now that's a happy family!

I was talking to a couple of my friends and we all seem to be feeling a little sad lately. Not over any one thing in particular, but we're in need of a pick me up. We planned a ladies dinner to help get us get out of our funk.

Real Simple magazine writer Gretchen Rubin also has some great tips on 9 things you can do to be happy in the next 30 minutes. Ooh a quicker fix without a dinner tab? What say you, Real Simple?

  1. Raise your activity level to pump up your energy. If you're on the phone, stand up and pace. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Put more energy into your voice. Take a brisk 10-minute walk. Even better...
  2. Take a walk outside. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.
  3. Reach out. Send an email to a friend you haven't seen in a while, or reach out to someone new. Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness. (Hmm...time to make new CafeMom friends!)
  4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that long-postponed appointment with the dentist. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a rush of elation.
  5. Create a more serene environment. Outer order contributes to inner peace, so spend some time organizing bills and tackling the piles in the kitchen. A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent. Set the timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do.
  6. Do a good deed. Introduce two people by email, take a minute to pass along useful information, or deliver some gratifying praise. (Give your two cents in the DailyBuzz!)
  7. Save someone's life. Sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family about your decision. Do good, feel good -- it really works!
  8. Act happy. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile boosts your mood. And if you're smiling, other people will perceive you as being friendlier and more approachable. (I'm skeptical on this one.)
  9. Learn something new. Think of a subject that you wish you knew more about and spend 15 minutes on the Internet reading about it, or go to a bookstore and buy a book about it. But be honest! Pick a topic that really interests you, not something you think you "should" or "need to" learn about.

By working to boost your own happiness, you're making other people happier, too.

Which one of these things have you done (or are going to do today)?

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