I believe that true happiness comes from long-term lifestyle changes, however it is said that on any journey it is good to have a glimpse of the destination. Here are some shortcuts to happiness that you can try today.
Everyone wants to be happy (image from Pixabay)
Time: From a few minutes to a few hours.
Maybe laughter isn't the best medicine but when you laugh it has a number of positive physical and emotion benefits. In fact even if you force yourself to artificially laugh then you obtain most of those benefits.
Eat happy foods
Certain foods are known to make you happy. A couple of them include chocolate, rose tea and, if you didn't realise, peas. They all have a chemical effect on you that makes you feel happy. So your mother was right, you have to eat your peas, but she was wrong about chocolate, you should eat that too.
Another type of food to target are ones that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These help your brain function better and lift your mood. Foods that are high in omega-3 are seafood, hazelnuts and chia sees.
Make a happy list
This is a method used by psychologists. Whether you are clinically depressed or just feeling a little down, write down a list of 10 things which make you happy but you haven't done in a while. Do at least one item on the list and you are guaranteed to feel happier.
It turns out, when we help someone, we feel happier. Go out and help people. Help your elderly neighbour with their groceries, volunteer or just be helpful to your colleagues.
Help someone to make both of you happier (image from Pixabay)
Some times happiness takes one minute and it makes both yourself and someone else happy. So help someone today.
Hug someone (or a pet)
Actually it is touching that helps. Hugging, touching or massages are all good. Touch releases oxytocin, which not only makes you happier but is good for your health.
Hugs make anyone feel happier (image from Pixabay)
Maybe you have to stand on the street corner with a free hugs sign or just go for massage. You can also have a pet. Dog and cat cafes are popular in many countries for this reason.
Do something a little crazy
By crazy, I mean something that most of the people around you might say "Why would you do that?" These are things that require more effort than most people would normally put into something.
Do something a little crazy to feel happier (image from Pixabay)
Some recent examples from one life include moonlight hiking and getting up to watch the sunrise. While they don't sound that crazy, they are magical experiences that require some effort. Also whenever you tell a grumpy person that you have done something like that, they give you that crazy look. But they are the unhappy ones.
Make others happy
One way to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. Last Christmas I organised a hike and barbecue for a hiking club. We hiked up to a place with a barbecue area wearing Santa and Elf hats, green and red clothes and tinsel. This covers the "do something crazy".
But what I also did was carry a Santa sack full of Christmas candies and gave them out to people we met on the trail. Maybe they thought we were crazy but they went away with smiles on their faces. We were pretty happy as well.
Long term happiness
These short-cuts can be done at any time in your life. A happy life of course requires a little more effort however, doesn't mean you can't just practice happiness in little ways today.