If you’re feeling stressed out, exhausted, or on the verge of depression, you need to find ways to feel happier every day. With the right mindset and some simple habits, you can find happiness even in challenging situations—and it’s not as hard as you might think! Here are 10 tips to help you find happiness in your daily life.
1) Wake up earlier
I was recently having coffee with a friend, who happens to be an Olympic athlete. Waking up is hard for me. I told her. How do you do it? She looked at me and said, You just have to show up. And she was right! It wasn’t until I had a few cups of coffee that I really started enjoying my morning. If you want to find happiness every day—wake up early!
2) Learn new skills
Learning something new is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s also good for you. Studies show that people who are interested in learning new things and staying curious live longer, happier lives than those who don’t. Staying curious helps you find meaning in life as well as open up a world of possibilities. Learn something new and add years to your life!
3) Exercise in the morning
If you’re anything like me, there are mornings when you just can’t get out of bed. But getting exercise in first thing every morning is a great way to end your day on a positive note. Plus, it gives you an immediate mood boost! Try incorporating some stretches or push-ups into your morning routine—you’ll feel energized and ready for whatever awaits you. Check out these tips for fitting fitness into your day if need some extra motivation.
4) Get out of the house
Sometimes our best intentions don’t pan out. When you feel down, it can be hard to muster up energy or enthusiasm for anything outside of bed. But it’s really important—for your physical and mental health—to make sure you get out of your house every day. Go outside, take a walk around your neighborhood, or grab some coffee with a friend at a nearby cafe.
5) Keep a journal
One of my favorite exercises is simply writing down three things I’m grateful for every day. This simple journaling practice has an unexpected side effect: it reveals your true levels of happiness. If you write I have a wonderful family every day, and then one day write My mom just died, you can see a drastic difference in your level of happiness on that particular day—and use that knowledge to help find ways to bring more joy into your life.
6) Play games with friends
Remember when you were young and carefree? A surefire way to conjure those feelings is by playing games with friends. Challenge them at pool, foosball, ping pong or any other game in your local bar or pub. Not only will you be laughing and chatting away as you fight it out on (or above) the table, but you’ll also burn calories—which could help with weight loss.
7) Take more photos
If you haven’t done so already, take a bunch of photos. You don’t need an expensive camera for great shots. A cellphone can do just fine, but getting out and taking more photos—of people, places, your pets or anything else that catches your eye—will make you happier.
8) Set goals for the week
Make it a point to check in with yourself every Sunday and set goals for what you’d like to accomplish during that week. Even if your goals are small, like getting 10 minutes of exercise 3 times per week, reminding yourself of these goals throughout the week will help you track your progress and stay motivated.
9) Smile as much as possible, even if you don’t feel like it!
If you want to be happy, start by smiling. A smile isn’t just a physical expression—it’s an emotional one, too. When we smile, we usually feel happier, which is why it can help lift your mood when you’re feeling down. In addition to being contagious (people around you will likely find themselves smiling back), smiling has been linked with stress reduction and long-term boosts in overall mood.
10) Say yes when asked to do something outside your comfort zone.
When it comes to happiness, we’re often our own worst enemies. We’re hypercritical of ourselves—and others can be, too. But instead of viewing a no as a setback in your happiness (or self-worth), look at it as an opportunity to challenge yourself and build some confidence along the way. Saying yes more often will help you break out of your comfort zone—not just at work, but in other aspects of life as well.