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 youre beating yourself up because youre still carrying around some of those holiday pounds, or you feel youve already failed miserably on your New Years resolutions.
You dont 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 youve 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 youre 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 havent 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 youll also strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people.
4. Do It Now
Do something youve been procrastinating. It will rid you of that internal nagging. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that phone call youve 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.
6. Move Things Around
Still stuck? Then commit to moving that stack you just cant deal with to a new location. Sometimes when the same pile just sits there staring at you, it makes it harder to get up the gumption to act. Just moving the pile from the floor to the desk can make the task seem more manageable.
7. Do a Good Deed
Hold the door open for someone, compliment a tenant, take a minute to pass along useful information, or help someone whos noticeably struggling with something. In fact, you can
8. Save Someones Life
Sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family about your decision. Donate unused items to a homeless shelter or sign up to volunteer for a worthy cause. Do good, feel goodit really works!
9. Act Happy
Fake it 'til you feel it. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile boosts your mood. And if youre smiling, other people will perceive you as friendlier and more approachable. Breathe deeply, skip rather than walk, think about a person or a pet that you love.
10. Mind your Ps and Qs
Make a habit of being polite. Say please and thank you as often as you can. Let someone pull out in front of you in the parking lot or go ahead of you in line. Slow down and use common courtesy to make you feel better and lighten someone elses mood.
Take steps now to break up the late winter blahs and help you feel happier right now. Being happy is not a selfish goal; research shows happier people are more sociable, likable, healthy and productive. By working to boost your own happiness, youre making other people happier, too.
Linnea Appleby is president and chief operating officer of StorKwik, a national self-storage company based in Orlando, Fla. Appleby has been involved in the self-storage industry since 1998, with a 27-year background in management and finance. In addition to being a past president and managing director of the Florida Self Storage Association, shes a contributing writer to Inside Self-Storage and a frequent speaker at industry tradeshows and events. To reach her, call 407.246.1144; e-mail [email protected] .