Can you believe another year has already come and gone? Talk of New Year’s resolutions has slowly died down (and statistically speaking, most of us have given up on them already). But what’s really at the heart of those lofty goals we make every December 31? Isn’t it happiness we want above all else? Even if you’ve already bid adieu to the resolutions you made, here are 5 solid ways to get happy this year.
1. Follow Your Passions
Make time for the things that make you feel truly alive: a favorite hobby, a kind friend, a scenic walk. Anything that invigorates your spirit should be a higher priority on your to-do list. It’s OK to be kind to yourself!
2. Laugh At Yourself
If there’s one thing we humans are NOT, it’s perfect. Embrace your mistakes, because they’re bound to happen, and nobody is surprised when we make them. Sometimes simply letting go is better than trying to fix everything.
3. Sleep More
Yes, it’s hard to power down our brains in this digital age. With so many gadgets and diversions begging for our attention, staying awake often appears more fun or more productive than sleeping 8 hours a day. But sleep is incredibly powerful and necessary for our well-being. It’s when the body heals itself, and studies have shown it boosts our mood significantly.1 A good night’s rest may be all you need to get happy.
No, you don’t have to go to the gym. You don’t even have to leave the house. Just spend 10 minutes every day doing a quick workout. Studies show it helps you relax and improves your body image, even if you don’t lose weight.1 Your regimen could be as easy (and fun!) as dancing to your favorite music. Or it could be more intense and structured. The key is to do it for at least 10 minutes every day.
5. Smile — Even When You Don’t Want To!
You know the expression “fake it till you make it”? Well, that’s true for happiness as well. Studies show that natural smiling (a smile that uses your mouth and your eyes) lifts our mood, relieves grief and helps us focus.1 There’s no excuse not to practice this one. Smiling takes no extra time and minimal effort — and the benefits are incredible.
1Haden, J. (2013, December 18) 10 scientifically proven ways to be incredibly happy. Retrieved January 21, 2015 from http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/10-scientifically-proven-ways-to-be-incredibly-happy-wed.html