“Happiness is not something readily made. It comes from our own actions.” –Dalai Lama
I really like this quote, because it demonstrates what so many people forget: that much of happiness is within our personal control, and if we make the choice to partake in actions that make us happier, our happiness will remain more constant throughout the years.
On that note, these are some of my favorite proactive ways to increase overall happiness:
- Spend time with friends at least weekly, if not bi-weekly/tri-weekly/quadruple-weekly. Social interactions have consistently been shown to have a huuuuuge impact on happiness. So go for drinks, food, coffee, girl nights, etc! And, in addition, if you don’t have any friends in your geographic area (aka new city, friends have moved away) make sure to spend time interacting with new people and developing new friendships.
- Spend time on your hobbies weekly. In other words, spend time participating in flow activities.
- Healthy eating! Healthy eating makes you happier! It does! It does!
- Exercise. Yoga, running, biking…have at it!
- Give to others. Volunteer, make cookies for your roommates, compliment a friend…you get the point.
- Spend time outside. A morning or evening walk daily works wonders on mood levels, as does a weekend hiking trip.
- Less screen time. Facebook, email, and TV all drain your energy levels-limit yourself from the screen!
- Practice maintaining a positive attitude. Speak positively to yourself and over time, the negative voice in the back of your head will lessen. Try writing in a gratitude or positivity journal-this will help change your mindset as well.
- Get outside of your comfort zone. I don’t know why this works…but it always does. Something about facing fear in the face and trying new things that brings about self-confidence!
- Invest in goals and productivity. Especially if you are a goal-oriented person, this will work wonders. Make a simple goal related to something you care about or healthy lifestyle/happiness strategies. Working towards goals makes you feel accomplished and gives your life more meaning.