Fast life changes for instant happiness
Could you do with a bit of instant happiness? These simple lifestyle tweaks and changes will boost the level of happy in your life - and give you an instant feel-good factor!
Get happy tip: Manage your expectations
Constantly feeling disappointed and finding it hard to find happiness? You may be hoping for too much. Try lower expectations for an instant life change. 'If you consciously lower your expectations, your happiness levels will naturally increase,' explains Marisa Garau, author of "From Stress To Strength". 'High expectations are rarely met and can set you up for failure. According to Garau, having no expectations means you'll experience fewer negative feelings and lower levels of stress.
Get happy tip: Practise daily gratitude
Make a list of everything you're thankful for in your life and add to it every day, recommends Domonique Bertolucci, author of 'Your Best Life'. 'Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology demonstrates how practising gratitude can impact your happiness levels by as much as 25 per cent,' she adds.
Get happy tip: Skip down memory lane
Bike riding. Basketball. Charades. Learning the guitar. What was your childhood love? 'Inject some fun back into your life,' suggests Sophie Scott, author of 'Road Testing Happiness'. 'Remember what activities you liked doing as a kid and consider picking them up as hobbies.'
Get happy tip: Nurture your loved ones
A study by American happiness experts Ed Diener and Dr Martin Seligman found that happy people have strong, high-quality relationships. Foster your marriage, friendships and family ties by spending time together as often as possible. If you're pushed for time, show you care with a handwritten letter or set up a Skype account and lock in regular phone chats for free. Or you can connect with your friends anytime of the day at Kidspot Social.
Get happy tip: Shake up your fitness
Bored of the gym? Try exercise classes that make you laugh as well as sweat, such as Zumba, belly dancing or aqua aerobics. Check out fun exercise classes in your area.
Alternatively, fitness editor Martha Lourey-Bird suggests exercising backwards. 'Challenge your opposing muscles by turning around in a safe, open space and walking or running backwards,' she explains. 'Try 20 steps forwards, then 20 steps backwards, and then repeat for a minute or more.'
Get happy tip: Develop DIY skills
Set a do-it-yourself task. Start a herb or vegie garden, give yourself a fast facial treatment or scrapbook those holiday snaps from five years ago. The feeling of accomplishment and a shrinking to-do list will motivate you to tackle more tasks the next time you have a free weekend.
Get happy tip: Help those in need
According to a 2007 US study, volunteering can boost mental and physical health, with older adults and those clocking up about 100 unpaid hours a year receiving the most benefit. For details, visit volunteernow.org.nz.
Get happy tip: Keep a success diary
Recently conquered your fear of heights? Learnt how to sew? Helped out a stranger? Jot it down, says Garau. 'Writing down your achievements daily, no matter how small, keeps your spirits high and lowers the risk of over-consuming behaviour and over stimulated stress hormones,' she adds. Why not keep your success diary online by starting a Kidspot Social blog?
Get happy tip: Spice up your sex life
Evidence shows that a good sex life can make you happy - very happy. Scott explains, 'Psychologist Daniel Kahneman studied 1000 women and found that sex was ranked as the activity that produces the single largest amount of happiness.' Added bonus? It's a renowned stress buster.
Get happy tip: Keep the company of happy friends
A recent Harvard Medical School study shows happiness may actually be contagious. Researchers concluded that people's bliss levels depend on the company they keep, so weed out any negative or toxic acquaintances and recruit positive, supportive friends.
Get happy tip: Tackle a new recipe
It's time to drag out those cookbooks gathering dust at the back of your kitchen cupboard. Challenge yourself to cook a new recipe once a week for a month. At the end of this period, choose your favourite dish and invite your parents or another family over to share it. File recipes as you go, so you can find them easily.
Find more My Spot Life articles:
- 7 tips for a happy marriage
- Fast life changes for instant happiness
- The ultimate working from home guide
- How to deal with cringe-worthy kid moments
- Get your kids to look after the pets
- 52 weeks of health and happiness
- 10 simple ways for mums to save time
- Debt-proof your relationship
- Stay-cation: how to holiday at home
This article was originally written by Katherine Chatfield for kidspot.com.au and Weight Watchers as part of their Positively Life Changing initiative and has been adapted for kidspot.co.nz