The holidays are over and the drudgery of routine has set in. In some parts of the country, the weather is not helping to fend off the blues. Maybe you’re beating yourself up because you’re still carrying around some of those holiday pounds, or you feel you’ve already failed miserably on your New Year’s resolutions.
You don’t need to wait for some outside stimulus to make you happy. You can start right now. Here are 10 suggestions that can quickly and effectively change your mood and your attitude! Not only will these tasks themselves increase your happiness, but the mere fact that you’ve achieved some concrete goals will improve your frame of mind and send the doldrums packing.
1. Get Moving
Raise your activity level to pump up your energy. If you’re on the phone, stand up and smile. Put more energy into your voice. Throw your head back and laugh like a crazy person. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a brisk 10-minute walk. Even better…
2. Go Outside
Take a walk or jog around the building. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood. Try to get some sunlight first thing in the morning every day. Make it a point to stop and recognize the nature around you before you hurry into work. Find something beautiful to enjoy for a minute. Take time to appreciate the beauty of the snow hanging off a branch, the color of the sky or the smell of the rain.
3. Reach Out
Send an e-mail to a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or reach out to someone new. Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness. When you act in a friendly way, not only will others feel more pleasant toward you, but you’ll also strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people.
4. Do It Now
Do something you’ve been procrastinating. It will rid you of that internal nagging. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that phone call you’ve been putting off. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a big rush of elation.
5. Be Peaceful
Create a more serene environment. Outer order contributes to inner peace, so spend some time cleaning off your desk and tackling the piles in the office or kitchen. A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent. Set the timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do. Make a game of it.