The first thing to realize is that happiness is in the eye of the beholder. It is not a result of the people, places or events around you; happiness is completely internal.
Example: Man #1 is a snowboarder, Man #2 is a garden enthusiast. On a snowy day, Man #1 will most likely be very happy since snow = fresh powder on the slopes. However, Man #2 will most likely be unhappy since snow = plant death. On a rainy day, Man #1 will most likely be unhappy because for him, rain = watery snow. Man #2, on the other hand, will most likely be thrilled because for him, rain = plant growth.
Moral: While the two men have different interests, it is ultimately how they interpret their circumstances that decides what their emotional response will be. Man #1 could just as easily view the snow as a beautiful part of nature instead of as a murderer of his garden plants. Man #2 could view the rain as a cheap way to wash his car. This example is a little bit tedious, but the point is that it is all perception. If another person can be thrilled by something you are frustrated by, certainly you could find the good in the situation too! And if you cannot find the good, choose to be neutral towards what could have caused you pain. Choose to be happy. It is completely your decision. Plus if it’s raining or snowing, there’s nothing you can do about it. So why not choose to find the good in your situation and be happy instead of being miserable?! Stop letting other people and things command your emotions and take control!
The suggestion above is the only way to be constantly happy. However, if you are having a lot of trouble finding the good, here are some fallback tips to get you in a good mood. Enjoy
1. Smile and Laugh – Even if you don’t feel like it, laugh and smile. Just do it. Smiling releases a fury of endorphins that automatically work to better your mood. If you can, smile at someone else so that they smile back and double your mood-lifting ability.
2. Take a Hot Bath/Shower – Get your blood warm and flowing while relaxing your body and mind.
3. Exercise – Physical activity get’s your body up and about with hormones, specifically adrenaline, that can only help you get into good mood. Feeling healthy and fit can do wonders on a sour day.
4. Play with Your Pet – Your pet is a source of constant, unconditional love. Plus they’re just cute and fun to play with.
5. Watch Your Favorite Movie – Unless it’s a downer movie like The Green Mile or A Walk to Remember. But even then, a very sad movie can make you realize that whatever you are unhappy about is small compared to the tragedy on screen.
6. Listen to High-Energy Music - Blast your speakers with something fast-paced, optimistic, or just plan loud. The right song can suck the negativity right out of you.
7. Express Your Emotion! – Scream as loud as you can! Cry your eyes out! Punch a pillow til the feathers explode out of it! Let your emotions out in the most violent, over the top, loud way possible. Over-doing it will reset your emotional grid, allowing you to start over. Holding in emotion has been proven to be extremely unhealthy for the body in mind so let it ALL out.
8. Read a Positive Book – There are billions of books out there. Find one with funny stories, great life lessons or just something you are interested in (unless you are into murders, car accidents and war tragedies)
9. Plan Your Next Vacation - The only thing better than doing something fun is planning something fun to look forward to. No matter how many mistakes you made at work, Sicily, Argentina or New Zealand will still be waiting for you in the Summer!
10. Meditate – You don’t need to be a guru to meditate. Sit in silence, and think about good things you want! No thinking about your current situation or things that make you sad. Only focus on the positive. You will come out of meditation feeling refreshed and optimistic, guaranteed.
11. Make A List of Positive Changes - Not happy now? Well what changes in your life would make you happy? Figure out what those changes are, write them down, and then compile some ways that you can begin to initiate those changes.
12. Get in the Sun – The warm rays of the sun have healing powers. Unnatural and dark lighting in your house can leave you feeling dreary, so get outside and reconnect with nature.
13. Rationalize Your Situation - Determine why you are unhappy. What is the root cause? Once you have figured that out, logically decide whether the cause is significant enough to make you as miserable as you are feeling right now. Choose to be happy
14. Call a Friend - What are friends for? Let them know you are feeling down and let them do what friends do best: cheer you up.
15. Start A Project – Being busy with something you enjoy is a prime source of happiness. Start a blog, a DIY home improvement project, or maybe that book you have always wanted to ride. Whatever it is, make sure the project is something that you are passionate about or you will just be adding more work to your plate.
16. Be Bad - Break a rule! Or even better, break a couple of them. Rebellion is fun, exciting and healthy. Go drive as fast as possible down a curvy road or smoke some illegal substances. Even break one of your personal rules. Just don’t do something too illegal, prison isn’t the most positive environment.
17. Take a Nap – If all else fails, fall asleep. Even if just for 20 minutes, a nap will reset your brain and your emotions while allowing you to rest. Tired people are more irritable anyways!