10 Quick Tricks for Greater Happiness
This list comes in part from one of my favorite magazines – AARP. No – I’m not joking. I find the content reasonably well researched, and quite interesting. But since not all of us are lucky enough to qualify to get this magazine – I’ll help you out!
Trick 1: Live in the right place. Ok – that’s a bit hard to change if you got it wrong – but you can make things better by taking a daily walk around your neighborhood. Why? Because people with dogs have to take daily walks – and thus are more likely to know their neighbors – and knowing your neighbors makes the place you live a ‘happier’ place in general.
Track 2: Get rid of some of your financial worries. Nothing interferes with happiness like worrying about money – so it’s not a surprise to hear that getting rid of those worries is going to make you happier. Pay down your mortgage a bit faster (even $5 a week mounts up over time), invest in health insurance (one less thing to worry about), and here’s a trick my best friend uses – pay for things with cash. Draw out what you need for the week and make it last. If you run out of money – no shopping till next week.
Trick 3: Don’t waste the best part of the day – the Morning. Study after study has shown that getting a good breakfast (low-fat, but filling) boosts energy through the day, and 30 minutes of exercise every day – even just walking – raises your feelings of well-being for the next 12 hours.
Trick 4: Turn off the TV. There’s nothing all that good on it anyway – and you could spend the same time out meeting your neighbors or at least getting exercise. As a step in the right direction – try moving the TV to a less convenient location – for sure it doesn’t belong in the kitchen. If its harder to watch – you are less likely to do so, right? Of course right!
Trick 5: Call a friend. Every day. Put aside time to chat – it will always make you feel happier.
Trick 6: Fall in love. Ok – maybe not a quick trick – but studies have definitely shown that couples are generally happier than singles plus they live longer. Although I’ve heard comedians joke that it just FEELS longer!
Trick 7: Having a faith – regardless of which one will make you happier. Or at least – it is statistically likely to allow you to live longer. I’m going to guess that having a faith pulls good numbers because it matches some of the other ideas – you make friends, you might even find a match. I’m just guessing on that though.
Trick 8: Make one place in your home a positive place – put up pictures of loved ones – display objects that remind you of happy times. And make the place a hallway that you often go thru or a place you spend lots of time. I put my ‘good feelings’ in my kitchen/eating room. And catching sight always reminds me of things I’ve done that made me happy. The more you see things that make you feel good – the better you’ll feel.
Trick 9: Get a pet. Not again a particularly practical suggestion for everyone – but if you can mange a pet – it does pay back on the increased happiness scale! No pets? No problems – I get my ‘hugs’ from my grand-kids. So much love in small packages – and best of all – you can hand them back for the tough jobs – like doing homework or worrying about how they are doing in school.
Trick 10: Give in order to Get. Studies have shown that people who give tend to be happier. Of course it might be working the other way – happier people tend to be givers. But either way – clearly giving in order to get definitely works on happiness.
So – nothing you probably couldn’t have figured out for yourself – exercise, use your time wisely, deal with the stuff that worries you, and share your feelings with friends – or a pet. The keys to being happier are well within the ability of all of us to find, to hold, to use. So get out there and get happier!