5 Ways To Be Happier Right Now. Do This Before The New Year!
There is less then a month left until 2016 arrives. That is a special time when people dream of future goals and plans for the next year and hope that next year will be much better and happier then previous one. But wait — do we really need to wait for the new year to be happier? Why do we always need to wait for something to be happy?
Here’s the truth — there is no need to wait for anything to be happy. You can feel happiness at any moment — and here are 5 easy ways that will help you:
№1 Send a Thanks Letter
Psychologists believe that feeling gratitude allows you to enjoy what you already have, and if you have something for which you can be grateful, then your life is not hopeless.
Send a message (text message, email, Minute of Life, or any other message) to somebody special, listing everything you are grateful for: to your loved ones for the happy moments that you spent together, and if you are married for smart kids and many years of happy marriage, to your parents for what they taught you and how much they cared about you, and to your friends for their support.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Kent (USA), found that only one letter of gratitude a week is enough to feel happier and more satisfied with life.
№2 Think of 3 good things that happened today
You can feel happier simply saying “thank you” for random good things that happen to you. Take a few minutes out to remember three good things that happened to you today. Remember that in the morning you left your house in a bad mood — but then saw that the sun was shining and smiled. And the colleague who had not previously noticed you, suddenly smiled and said hello for the first time. Moreover, you got home in time and caught the next episode of your favorite TV show.
This method helps to form a habit of appreciating even the little things in life.
A study conducted in 2005 by the founder of positive psychology, Martin Seligman showed that this exercise gives a long (up to six months) positive effect.
You can even use this pactice on Facebook, posting “3 good things that happened today” in your timeline everyday.
№3 Spend the money on someone else
Of course it’s nice when somebody helps you to solve your financial issues. However, if you decide to spend money on someone else, it can bring you even more happiness.
Within the framework of an experiment conducted in 2008 by a team of American psychologists*, a group of volunteers were given from 5 to 20 dollars and told to use it as they wish: spend on yourself, buy something for other people or to donate. It was found that feelings of people who spent their money on others, were much happier than those who spent the money on themselves.
(* E. Dunn et al. «Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness». Science, 2008)
Just try to give 1 dollar to a beggar on the street or pay for breakfast with colleague, and you will give a great gift to yourself — gratitude. Also it will help you to begin to relate better to other people and raise your self-confidence.
№4 Dream Big!
Perhaps, building castles in the clouds is an empty pastime, but if you think about real possibilities, then it is another good way to feel happier.
According to Hippocrates — we are what we expect. Therefore expect (read — dream) big!
A series of 5 experiments conducted in 2007 by scientists of the University of Colorado at Boulder ** showed that while thinking about the events that may occur in the future, people have emotions nearly as strong as if this were happening right now.
(** L. Van Boven, L. Ashworth «Looking forward, looking back: Anticipation is more evocative than retrospection». Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2007.)
Dreaming of a visit to friends, Christmas, or a trip to a country we have long wanted to visit, we invisibly program ourselves to a positive perception of our own life. And the more detailed our dreams and visual images are, the more full our sense of happiness is.
Special idea for you!
Dream of what you want to get and about who you want to become in next year. Write down all your thoughts and dreams, and even better — create a video message, where you will list and speak about all your goals and send it to future you (you can use Minute of Life for this). It will be really cool to wach that video afterward, noting what you accomplished.
№5 Do what you are good at
This way better than others keeps us away from the feeling of dull routine. Think of things that you are really talented at — maybe you write wonderful poetry, sing and play the guitar, or maybe you are good at chess…
A hobby is not just a nice way to spend time, it is also an opportunity to gain confidence and satisfaction from life. Things you love allows you to relieve stress and get rid of fatigue.
That’s it. Follow these 5 easy pieces of advice and be happy! And please, don’t wait for Monday morning, or for the new year, don’t wait for spring, summer… just do it right now!