3 Ways to Boost Happiness
Updated: Mar 17
Are you looking for a way to quickly boost your happiness, a life hack, for instance? While happiness is something that we should intentionally pursue every single day, there are a few tricks that you can use to boost your happiness quickly. What are they? Kindness, gratitude, and social connections.
As you know, spreading happiness is my thing. I talk about it all the time on this blog, in my podcast, and literally everywhere else. I have found that kindness is truly a core element of happiness, boosting those who give and those who receive.
Therefore, one of the fastest and easiest ways to boost your own happiness is to be kind to someone else. It could be paying for a stranger's coffee, making your spouse a special dinner just because, or sending a kindness card to a friend. Whether a big act or small, a burst of happiness makes the world a better, happier place for everyone.
What are you grateful for? Studies have shown that being intentionally grateful for what you have in your life, from material possessions to accomplishments to family, increases your happiness.
How can you pursue gratitude easily? I recommend these three options:
1. A Gratitude List
A number of studies have shown that making daily lists of the things you feel grateful for—so we focus our attention on them—improves our happiness and well-being.
Making a gratitude list is quite simple. Just grab a pen and a piece of paper and make a list of everything you are grateful for, big and small, in your life. If you want this good feeling to be consistent, I suggest taking the time to grab a journal and write down five things you are most grateful for every Sunday. Review it during the week, and add to the list on the following Sunday.
Harvard professor Arthur Brooks's research says you will get 10-25% happier over ten weeks because you will REMEMBER the really important things to you.
Plus, I highly recommend taking that gratitude list and speaking life into it by sharing it with others.
2. A Letter of Gratitude
A letter of gratitude is when you write a letter (or e-version) to someone you are grateful. You could write your partner a letter of gratitude, reminding them why you love and appreciate them.
Recently, I wrote an email to my kids' teachers, sharing with them how grateful we are for their patience and dedication to teaching. It's a job that takes a special person, and knowing how I would crash and burn in that type of job gives me immense gratitude for our teachers. Yet - so many times, we may feel it, but we don't take the time to write the letter.
If possible, I highly recommend physically expressing your gratitude directly to the recipient. Research shows that verbally expressing our gratitude toward the people close to us helps increase and sustain our well-being above and beyond simply feeling or writing down gratitude.
3. Grateful Thoughts
If writing isn't your thing (I get it), simply taking the time to think about what you are grateful for works too! Maybe take two minutes before work and make a mental list of what you are thankful for. Thoughts are powerful, so use them to your advantage.
The research is overwhelmingly clear if we want to improve on the happiness scale, one of the best and easiest ways is to enhance our social connections. Be present in real life, talk to a stranger, call a friend you haven't talked to in a while, or hug a loved one.
On the one hand, you could be jumping up and down, so excited to hear this cause it so easy for you. In fact, in the last 10 seconds, you might have already planned a coffee with a friend or happy hour in my mind - you thought of someone you could connect with.
On the other hand, social planning may not come easy to you. If it seems easier to grab the remote to Netflix and Binge. I’d invite you to take one step. Make a phone call to someone you enjoy, but it’s been way to long since you’ve talked on the phone or seen them in real life. Listen to the voice on the other side of the line. Be present and intentional in that conversation.
Remember, you don’t need to be a party animal to create a social connection. Whether you are the type to hit up the dance floor with your ten closest friends or you prefer a one-on-one picnic with your best pal, all that matters is that you take the time to connect.
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