Everyone searches for how to be happy at some point in their life.
Hey! you might be searching your whole life.
But happiness is not something that can be found.
It is something you create, you choose, you define.
Happiness is not usually obtained or mastered instantly. #whynot? Although we all wish it was!
Sometimes it takes practice to train our brains to be happy, and work on making the little choices every day or changing habits, that help us chose happiness, and make the big (happy) difference.
However, there are exceptions to every rule.
Our brains and bodies are so amazing and interesting.
Science has done it again! There are actually ways to be happy in an instant!
I bet if you did these everyday, you would gradually see an increase in your overall happiness.
Try one of these today and see if it brings you happiness!
16 Unusual Ways to be Happy in 7 Minutes or Less
Smiling is powerful! Research here, here, and here shows that smiling, even if it’s forced, helps us to live longer lives, starts a chemical reaction in our brain that tells us we are happy, and even states that smiling makes you happier than eating chocolate! WHAT!? Who knew?
So, practice smiling. Smile in the mirror. Force yourself to smile even if you’re not feeling it. Smile before a stressful situation or challenge and you will instantly start to feel calmer and happier about the situation.
2. Hug yourself
Studies have shown that hugging yourself can actually reduce physical pain.
Start crossing those arms everywhere you go!
3. Make Your Bed
Are you a bed maker?
I’m not! But maybe I should start.
Studies show that people who make their bed every morning are happier!
“Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget. It’s not that a family meal or a tidy bed causes better grades or less frivolous spending. But somehow those initial shifts start chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.” -The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
4. Do something for someone else
We’ve all heard that doing something for someone else can make you happy, or SHOULD!
But does it?
In a study, one group was asked to spend money on themselves for four weeks while a second group was asked to spend money on others. After the 4 weeks, the group that spent money on others reported more happiness and desire to continuing helping others than the other group.
Think about someone else every day, if even just for 7 minutes.
Send a text, email, tweet, message, postcard, letter to someone you love. Compliment a stranger. Do something sweet for your family or significant other. Donate something, or volunteer somewhere.
Your happiness could depend on it. 🙂
Laughing is huge in happiness!
It’s more than just thinking something is funny.
Laughing causes a chemical reaction in your brain that tells you you’re happy. It also is a way to bond with others in social conversations. When laughing during awkward, stressful, or traumatic situations, it can actually change the way you think and respond to the situation. That’s because you realize that maybe the situation you are in isn’t so bad. It gives your life a different perspective.
Find a way to laugh every day. Watch a funny video, call your funniest friend, learn to laugh at yourself, or read a funny book or article.
6. Give Someone a Hug
Did you know?
Hugging someone for 20 seconds can reduce the negative physical effects of stress including blood pressure and heart rate.
Hugging someone for 10 seconds can reduce depression, fight infection, boost your immune system, and lessen fatigue.
Giving someone a hug release the “love drug” into your system.
HUG YOUR KIDDOS!
If you’re not a touchy-feely person, maybe you try to start being one.
Just carry lots of hand sanitizer.
7. Be Grateful
Take 7 minutes, or less, out of your day to be grateful.
Start a grateful journal and write down every day what you’re grateful for!
Decrease depression and anxiety
Increases dopamine in the brain, which is a chemical that tells us we’re happy
Decreases pain levels
Try a grateful journal for two weeks and see if you can tell a difference.
8. Power Poses
If you stand in a power pose, a.k.a throwing your hands up in the air for victory, or standing like superman, you actually cause a chemical reaction in your brain that tells you “I am powerful”, “I am confident”. Even if you aren’t feeling this way.
Start acting more like Superman and less like Eeyore.
Participants in a study “reported feeling happier, but also more satisfied with their lives, especially in relationships, health, and the goals achieved over the years.”
Get your dance on!
Skipping is a form of play. When adults take the time to play, they can relieve stress, improve brain function, stimulate creativity, improve relationships, and keep you feeling young and energetic.
Start skipping everywhere you go!
Plus, you’ll burn lots of calories!
11. Proper Posture
Not only can using a power stance make you happy, but having good posture brings happiness.
Our body language has a powerful affect on our mood and habits.
When we sit and stand with good posture it affects our ability to make good subconscious decisions.
Make sure you’re sitting up straight!
12. 7 minutes of exercise
Have you heard of the 7 minute workout?
Well, supposedly, 7 minutes of exercise is all you need to start seeing some health benefits. While this isn’t a game changer, it’s better than doing nothing!
But also, exercise is good on your mental health as well! It increases your serotonin levels which make you feel happy.
You could exercise for more than 7 minutes, but if you committed to doing just that, you could feel happier!
13. Eat a mood boosting food
There are mood boosting foods out there!
There are certain nutrients such as: Omega-3 Fats, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium, Folate, Vitamin D, and Selenium that support “healthy brain function and [fight] depression and mood disorders”.
Eating foods that are high in these nutrients could potentially boost your mood. Foods such as:
Dark Leafy Greens
Start sneaking some of these foods into your daily snack supply!
14. Go Outside
Speaking of Vitamin D, going outside can make you happier! (and get you your vitamin D)
Research shows that being in nature can…
- Improve your short-term memory
- De-stress your body
- Reduces Inflammation
- Eliminates Fatigue
- Fight Depression and Anxiety
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Improves Focus
- Helps You Be More Creative
Maybe start spending 7 minutes outside everyday. It can do wonders for your happiness and overall health!
Did you know that colors play a role in our moods? Looking or seeing certain colors can prompt you to feel a certain way.
Warm colors such as red, yellow, and orange evoke feelings of happiness, optimism, and energy.
While cool colors such as purple, blue, and green can evoke feelings of calm, but can also express sadness.
If you’re feeling sad, go to a field of sunflowers!
16. Say thank you to yourself
We all know the benefits of gratitude.
But did you know that these effects are also true if you’re talking to yourself?
Are you thanking yourself everyday?
Thank you for being healthy.
Thank you for trying to be better.
Thank you for working hard.
Thank yourself everyday for what your body does for you!
Start doing something today, right now, that makes you happy!
You could have been hugging yourself while reading this post! 😉