How to increase your happiness level

5 activities you can try right now

Being happy is not done with material things like a fancy meal, or new car. They are nice but it doesn’t last. Happiness comes from within. You can CHOOSE to be happy. Choices… because I don’t believe you coast in life or that the universe has it all laid out for you. You need to actively participate in your life to make things happen! We know what we need to do to get our groove back but somehow everything seems difficult, takes way more effort when we are in a funk. Life happens, we can’t control that, but you do have control on what happens on the inside.

“Happy people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.” — unknown

1. Be happy first—Listen to the audiobook “The Happiness Equation” from Neil Parischa. I had the opportunity to meet this author last year in Toronto, and found that he has an interesting approach to life. In his book he shares secrets on everyday issues that will improve on how you think. He mentions that we listen to our critics when we have low self confidence. How do we fix that? By gaining self-acceptance… have high praise of yourself and of others!

2. Walk in nature — Stress eats up a lot of our energy. You could put that energy to good use. You need to expend energy to get more energy! Seems counter-intuitive, but here’s the fact; exercising causes your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, stress hormones that can make you feel energized — when in modest amounts. Even on days that I have zero energy, I will get my butt outside for a brisk 20-30 minute walk. I promise if you do this, you will feel energized and free. My latest addiction is hiking in Fundy National Park, (just outside Alma, New Brunswick Canada). Go and try the Third Vault Falls trail, it is challenging but very rewarding when you get to the falls. Go outside, breathe in the fresh air, try not having your face buried in a screen for at least a couple of hours. You will not be remembered for all the Netflix shows you’ve watched.

3. Sound of music — Music is a universal language. We all recognize music no matter what language it is in. Music’s beneficial effects on mental health have been known for hundreds, probably thousands of years. Do you have a favorite pump-me-up workout song? Do you play a musical instrument? My guitar helped me through some tough days growing up. It also brought me happiness having jam sessions with friends or having discussions about a new song that just came out. Indulge in a new album, try Spotify or Google play and discover what relaxes you and gives you those happy vibes.

Playing music helps my mood, even better when I can share it with others on social media!

4. Five minute cleaning routine — All you need is a timer and then set it for 5 minutes. Start in the kitchen by picking up, putting away and wiping whatever you can in that set amount of time. Once the timer goes off, reset it and then move clockwise to the next room, like the bathroom. Keep going through all the rooms in your space and only focus on the clutter, floors and surfaces. In less than 1 hour my house was way more presentable and it gave me a jolt of satisfaction! Is there anything better than sleeping in a freshly made bed with no piles of clothes everywhere?

5. Join a class with other humans — We tend to be less social and stay inside our bubble when we feel out of sorts. If you have introverted tendencies like me, it’s easy to find excuses to stay home. Are you crafty? Signup for a paint night with friends! Did you always want to try CrossFit or maybe a photography class? Whatever peaks your interest, signup for a class and embrace the uncomfortable and exciting feeling of trying something new with others. By pushing your comfort zone a little, you will already have something in common with everyone else in the class! ;)

Bottom line, go do things that make you happy, with like-minded people and you will “be” happy! This is my first blog, hopefully many more to come this year.