1. Wake Up Early
Seriously. Just get up. After those first few moments of "ugh, so tired," you will actually feel better. Normally, I'd be the first person to veto this tip, but the fact of the matter is the later I wake up, the worse I feel. Not to mention a good portion of the day is already wasted when you climb out of bed at 10am. Try this: tomorrow, rise and shine at 6am. Make your morning cup of coffee or tea, and just enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of morning. Whether it's birds chirping, cars whizzing by, or just the morning breeze, you may find yourself feeling peaceful, calm and invigorated.
"Everyday, think as you wake up, 'today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it." - Dalai Lama
Have you ever noticed that regular exercise makes you feel less stressed, less anxious and more relaxed? It's a fact that exercise releases dopamine to the brain that triggers feelings of happiness. As we get older, we produce less and less dopamine and need to seek out ways to get it. Daily exercise is a simple way to increase the brain's dopamine levels and get happy! Oh - did I mention exercise is also a natural stress reliever? Or that it boosts confidence? Or that it increases your energy? These are just a few more reasons to be happy everyday with exercise.
This one is hard. Take 30 minutes each day to unplug and disconnect from the world. Yes, that means leaving your phone in the other room or turning it off completely. Whether you go for a walk or quietly reflect in your favorite chair, disengaging from the world and its stressors once a day is a great way to keep your mood on the up and up. You can even pair this with exercise. Try going for a run or bike ride without any electronics. Mind = cleared
4. Celebrate Small Victories
Did you choose an apple over chips? Woo hoo! Did you decide to walk the dog 10 minutes longer even though it meant missing the first few minutes of your favorite TV show? Yippee! While these small successes are just that - small - they still deserve a pat on the back. Recognizing your positive choices even for just a brief moment will give you a little confidence boost and make you feel plain old good. Now go give yourself some major high five action.
5. Help Others
A few days ago a fellow patron paid for my Starbucks order. When I arrived at the drive-thru window with cash in hand, I was completely surprised to find out my drink was covered by a complete stranger. This act of "paying it forward" was really inspiring. All I could think about was how happy it must have made that person knowing they just made my day. It's contagious! Helping people is a foolproof way to put a smile on your face. You'll walk around for the rest of the day knowing you did something for the benefit of someone other than yourself - and that's a pretty awesome feeling.