There isn’t a life hack to happiness, but there are ways of finding small moments of joy in your everyday life.
Activities like working out and meditating are all efficient in making your life fuller, but, in order to reap benefits, they must be included into your habits and routines; they’re not quick hacks. Fortunately, there are some things you can do that can make you feel a little bit better and create room for self care while taking only taking up a few minutes of your day.
Here are 5 life hacks to make you happier:
Listen to a happy song
It sounds like a silly thing, but music has a big effect on the way we feel; just think about the difference that a good soundtrack makes when going for a workout. A happy song that you love or that simply makes you feel like dancing is an easy way to lift your mood when you need it most, lowering your stress and increasing your energy levels.
Think about someone you love
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Thinking about people you love or trust creates oxytocin in the brain. This hormone, also known as the love hormone, is a chemical that creates happy feelings. By thinking of that person, sending them a text or calling them on the phone, you’ll release that hormone and feel like — no matter how stressed out you are — there’s someone out there who’s got your back.
Tackle your hardest task first
Getting your most difficult task out of the way is the simplest way to feel lighter, opening yourself up to free time and getting some nagging stress off your back. Knocking that important task out of the way will make you feel accomplished. It will also make all of your remaining tasks as less challenging and difficult.
Be kind to someone
Being kind to someone, whether that means a smile on the street or a nice comment to a stranger or a waiter will boost your happiness. It doesn’t matter what the act is as long as you do it intentionally.
Spending some time outdoors is an easy way of making yourself feel happy and more creative. A study from the U.K. found that people who moved to greener areas had improvements in their mental health. The benefits lasted for long periods of time, having effects up to three years after the subject’s initial move to their new green neighborhoods.