5 Ways To Feel Happier Right Now. . .
1. Be In The Moment. I loved the story of how Beyonce told a fan to put the damn camera down during a concert. "I'm right in your face, baby." The singer told the fan to put her camera away and "seize the moment." Too many times we're so busy taking the picture or running from work to home to a social event, to appreciate or pay attention to life's little gifts as they are happening—a good meal, a compliment, a glowing sunset and those who take a moment to savor those times are the happiest.
2. Count Your Blessings. If I'm down in the dumps, just taking a moment to think about the good things that happened that hour, that day, that year puts me in a good mood. It can be as simple as a phone call from my son and the way he says, "Hi, Ma" or a happy memory of how my puppy licked my face ever so gently this morning as if to say, "Wakie, wakie." And now, a wealth of research shows that happiness is linked to gratitude. Martin E.P. Seligman (Ph.D., a positive-psychology pioneer and author of Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being) recommends writing down three things that you're thankful for, and why, every night: "In six months, you will be less depressed, happier—and addicted to this exercise" (ref: Glamour, Jan. 2015).
3. Surround yourself with friends. Preferably happy ones. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. Who doesn't have negative, judgmental people in their lives? We all know them; they drag you down with their whiny, 'poor me' attitude. But don't underestimate the value of surrounding yourself with upbeat, positive people; of just going along; listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. "I'm often asked about the secrets of happy people," says Seligman. "They're not more religious or in better shape. They don't have more money. They're not better-looking or luckier. The way they stand out: They have a rich repertoire of friends."
4. When on social media, engage. A lot of people I know begin their day by firing up their FB newsfeed. It's become the norm of the day; we log on to social media at the beginning of our day, at the end, and as my sister-in-law says,"many times in between" to make that connection, yet with every swipe, we feel lonelier than ever. The good news? Multiple studies have shown that when people actively engaged connecting with others by messaging, photo-tagging, or posting, their feelings of well-being increased and their loneliness plummeted. So don't just passively browse, participate!
5. Volunteer. The Vedanta philosophy talks about purposeful living by relating an experiment they did with school kids. A group of school kids were introduced to three different experiences, and their reactions were studied three months later. 1. They were treated to a lavish meal. 2. They were taken to see a movie. 3. They were taken to a village to volunteer at an orphanage. The kids spent a couple of hours at the orphanage, weaving baskets and making candles with the kids there. Their memories three months later surprised commentators: 1. While the kids had enjoyed their meal in the moment, they had no recall of it three months later, because it was a transient, apparent experience. 2. The kids remembered the positive well-being they experienced at the movies because they were engaged in it, but three months later, they had little or no recollection of what the movie was about. 3. Even three months later, the experience at the orphanage had left a deep impression on the kids. They remembered helping the kids at the orphanage; they were flooded with happy feelings as they thought back to the experience, and the positive emotions stayed with them for a long time. Being there for others fills our hearts like in no other way. So, get out there, find the nearest food bank at volunteer in bringing food, collecting blankets or organizing food for those in need. You may be surprised at how happy it makes you feel!