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We are on a constant pursuit for happiness. The media has led us to believe that we are one product away from happiness, and thus never seem content. We find ourselves dwelling so far into the future, that we fail to saturate our present with joy and laughter.

Being happy has many benefits: you age better, you live longer, some researches even say you “glow’. But what can you do NOW to forget that trouble some future, and bring a smile to your face? Here is a list of five things you can do to be happier today!

1. Keep a “happiness” jar

There are days when it is easy to forget how blessed you are. These are the type of days that feel like happiness is a made-up concept, and you will never experience it again. These are the days when you need to reach into your happiness jar and be reminded of better days.

A happiness jar can be seen as having happy reserves for rainy days, and the concept is very simple. Each day, on a small piece of paper, write down what made you happy, what made you laugh and what you are thankful for. It can be anything from getting help from a friend to buying a new car. You then place this note into a large jar.

You can ask family and friends to also add to your jar whenever they visit, allowing you to see how they view and value you.

2. Have a deep conversation

This one seems counterproductive, but it is true. Humans have a need to be understood and feel like they are not alone. By having a deep conversation with family and friends, you begin to further understand your similarities. Talking deeply can be seen as therapy as misunderstandings that you may have had in the past are often clarified. You become more comfortable to express feelings that you were embarrassed to express or thought inappropriate at the time.

So ditch the small talk, and talk deep.

3. Listen to sad songs and watch sad movies

Adele is your friend! Watch Titanic on your worst day…. Sadness encourages positive thinking, empathy and repair of close relationships.

Scientists have done tonnes of research on this. They list the following as reasons why watching sad movies and listening to sad music is good for you:

  • Sadness can improve your memory.
  • Sadness can improve judgment.
  • Sadness can increase your motivation.
  • Sadness can improve interactions, in some cases.

4. Spend money on experiences

Instead of buying a new dress, have a dinner date with friends or go camping. By allowing yourself to have experiences where you can have happy memories. By opting for an experience, you are giving yourself an opportunity to solidify your relationship with those you love. You expose your senses to many forms of stimulation (sound, touch, taste, etc) which makes the memory of this even more tangible.

5. Look at beautiful things

No, this does not mean stare at your cute co-worker. Try to make the day to day items you use look appealing to you. So instead of getting a simple pen, get a retro-style pen that makes you smile whenever you see it, chose a calendar with motivational quotes each day, make your desktop image something or someone you love.
Beautiful things trigger happy memories;happy memories in turn help reduce and negative emotions that may have been lingering.
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Ros Limbo
mulemwa.limbo@gmail.com

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