5 Ways to Feel Happy – Instantly

By Kristen K. Brown

In these challenging economic times, the stress and anxiety in our lives has increased dramatically.  Not only are we worried about paying the bills, saving for retirement and work/life balance, we now have to worry about potentially losing our jobs by no fault of our own.  As we try to find some calm and peace during this blip in our country’s livelihood, there are things we can do to feel happier – instantly.  I’m not talking about exercise or eating better, but actual tasks one can do to feel calmer, more secure and just plain happier about ourselves and the lives we are living – in five minutes or less.

1. “Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have.” Unknown  Walk around your home and start to count the things you love – pictures, mementos, food items in the kitchen, pets and, of course, family members and friends.  They are instant reminders of the good things in our lives.  Remembering to take stock of what you have instead of what you don’t is an instant pick-me-up. 

2. “For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.”  Sanskrit Proverb  Take 10 deep breaths.  You hear it everywhere – when stressed or angry, take a deep breath.  But if you try it, it really works.  Inhale slowly through your nose to the count of 8 focusing the breath on the front of the body and feeling it enter your nose, down into your throat and lungs and into your abdomen.  Hold it for 2 seconds letting the oxygen work its magic within you.  Then exhale through your mouth for the count of 8 focusing the breath on your back and head coming up through your spine and releasing all the negative energy back out.  Repeat this 10 times and feel the circular motion of the breath as it enters down the front and leaves up the back.  You will feel more relaxed – try it! 

3. “All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.” Samuel Butler  Play with your pet or another animal.  It is scientifically proven that pets make people feel happier so find the nearest dog, cat or even fish and spend some time with them.  Even having a fish is another point of contact with another living creature.  The Soho Grand Hotel inNew York City even offers its guests a goldfish so they aren’t lonely in their hotel room. 

4. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” J.R.R. Tolkien  Eat something sinful.  Of course don’t do this for every meal and snack, but everyone needs to splurge sometimes.  And a quick and easy way to lift your spirits is to eat something you love whether it’s a piece of chocolate, a piece of cake or in my case, some Lay’s potato chips.  But don’t just devour it.  Eat it slowly and savor each bite and remind yourself why you love that food.  You will feel happier, more peaceful and in tune with your body as you enjoy the flavors on your tongue. 

5. “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Fredrick Koeing  Cross one unnecessary thing off of your to-do list.  Has that yard or home project been on your to-do list for longer than you can remember?  Have you been meaning to sign up for that yoga class?  Do you feel the need to keep up with the Jones’s and work has started to outweigh your life?  Take a look at your list whether it’s written or in your head and tell yourself it is OK to let something go.  No one but you thinks your hedges need to be trimmed two inches shorter.  No one but you feels the pressure to have that new, fancy car you’ve been wanting.  No one but you is adding the stress of a class to your already busy schedule.  So prioritize your list and take a look at those one or two (or ten) things that fall at the end.  Can they be eliminated completely?  By doing so, you’ll feel less pressure and spend more time focusing on your priorities instead of spreading your energy too thin.  

In today’s crazy world, we need to step back and enjoy those things that we take for granted sometimes.  By taking a few minutes a few times a day to re-connect with ourselves using the tips outlined above, we can benefit from the peace and happiness they can bring.

Kristen Brown

 

Kristen Brown is a widow mom and the founder of WidowMommy.com, an author, entrepreneur, radio host and speaker. Learn more about her and her companies at www.KristenKBrown.com.

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