This post is Part 2 in my series of 101 Ways to Be Happier Now.
In the first post, we looked at some simple actions that you can take at any time in order to improve your mood and raise your energy immediately.
In this post, we’ll take a look at small actions you can take, every day, to feel happier. These daily happiness habits are virtually guaranteed to increase your long-term feelings of joyand fulfillment.
12 Daily Habits to Become Happier
Keep a Daily Journal
We left off the last article with the suggestion that you list 5 things you feel grateful for anytime you want to immediately lift your mood. By turning that action into a habit, and beginning a daily gratitude or affirmation journal, you can turn a temporary good mood into a permanently more happy state. Whether you journal about the positive aspects of your life or simply jot down your thoughts and feelings about the day, journaling in any form is a proactive habit that will help you to release stress and negativity.
Find an Inspirational Quote
No matter how much time focusing on the good in your life, there are going to be times when you need a bit of inspiration to help you feel happy. Inspirational quotes are an amazing tool to help keep you focused and on point, regardless of whether you want to apply them to your work or personal life. Find a favorite to keep with you at all times, or pick a quote every day or every week that inspires you in that moment. Either way, some sage words can you help you to step back from whatever challenge you’re facing, and start to observe your life with a higher level of awareness.
Cook Healthy Food
This habit does double duty. It’s no secret that eating healthily helps your brain to release positive chemicals and keep you feeling lighter, clearer, and more energized. Taking the extra step and cooking the meal itself not only encourages healthy eating habits, but it also causes you to become more connected with the energy you consume. This process of ‘cooking with love’ will cause you to feel good, and help your body process the nutrients you provide it, giving you a win-win.
Loving Kindness is by far one of the most important spiritual practices that will help you to live more compassionately and feel more love for yourself and those around you. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply remembering to take the time to step back and view life from another person’s point of view can go a long way towards increasing the loving-kindness you express naturally. With practice, this becomes an easy habit.
Create a “Wins” Box
One of the most important triggers for feeling happy and productive is to notice every time you accomplish something you set your mind to. Neuroscience tells us that it doesn’t matter how big or small the task is, how you respond to it is what creates your mood (and, ultimately, your psychology and beliefs) about it. Get into the habit of noticing your wins by writing them down. Mark your progress on a piece of paper, or create a “wins box” where you slide a few pieces of good news every day. Then, review them each week or each month and notice your progress!
Another easy happiness hack is to get into the habit of answering questions about topics you’re knowledgeable about. This can be extraordinarily simple, and yet we often tend to think of other people’s questions as hindrances or annoyances. Whether it’s a coworker, a family member, or even a stranger in a shared online community, be mindful to take a few minutes to provide answers to others. This will help you to feel confident in yourself, and give you the good-feeling vibe of service to others…even if it only takes a few seconds.
Take Time For Insight Reading
Insight reading is another great habit you can develop if you want to become more spiritual and lead a happier life. It is a way of connecting with your intuitive mind by feeling into your resonance. To use this technique, all you need to do is choose an inspiring excerpt from a book or article (check out our list of top spiritual books here) and read very slowly. Only read one or two sentences at a time, and then pause after each, giving yourself time to decide whether or not the sentence “feels right.”
Pay Something Forward
Another great way to feel happier is to develop the habit of paying it forward. You can do this with simple praise, small acts of kindness, or money. Instead of walking by the beggar on the street, trying giving him some spare change, or perhaps you want to buy the stranger in line behind you a cup of coffee. These small acts cause you to feel abundant and generous, and will have a powerful mental impact that goes way beyond the cost of a dollar or two.
Get Offline by 9:00pm
Whether you’re constantly on your phone, playing video games, or watching tv, many people have evening habits that involve a lot of electronic screen time. Using electronics before bed has been proven to disrupt your natural sleep patterns and cause you to feel more agitated. Instead, replace your screentime with a gentle evening meditation or yoga nidra practice, or even just take time to read, play with the dog, or spend time with your family.
Another proven way to feel better, every day, is to get into the habit of complimenting and giving praise to others. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, the first few times you try it may feel difficult, but make a point to give a few compliments each day, and watch how quickly your own mood improves as well.
Center Yourself In This Moment with the Affirmation: “I am well.”
One of the best mindfulness exercises you can use is to take a few moments to consciously step back from your day, and center yourself into the present moment. A great tool for doing this is to use the affirmation: “In this moment, I am well.” Repeating this statement silently to yourself as you go about your day will help you to put the day’s events in perspective, and remind you of your natural, joyful nature.
Straighten Your Posture
Last but certainly not least is the simple point to straighten your posture. As Tony Robbins points out in his work on changing your state, posture and movement is incredibly important, and directly tied to the mood that you feel. When you are conscious about your posture, you physically open yourself to the world. Your shoulders relax and you stand taller and more confident, ready to receive the next positive event that will happen to you.
Read more about how to increase your happiness.