Take a shower and multi-task washing away your stress and anxiety. Concentrate on the feel of the water upon your skin. Envision the power of the shower washing away your negative thoughts! Whoosh! Envision fear, regret, and anger soaping off you and swirling down the drain.
Gratitude is often the antidote to depression. And that’s a researched fact. A study done by the University of California showed that when people took time each day to think about five things that made them happy, they increased their overall joy and improved some health issues as well. With this in mind, send five “muahs!” to the universe. Literally. Think up something you’re grateful about, then pucker up and blow the universe a kiss! Then do it again! Appreciate. Blow a kiss. Repeat. Appreciate. Blow a kiss. Repeat.
Studies from the University of Miami School of Medicine report that lavender is a major olfactory happiness tool—shown to improve mood, soothe anxiety, and even help to reduce some physical pains. If you don’t have lavender around your home, grab a bottle of Vanilla Extract from your kitchen cabinet. This yummy scent is also considered a powerful aromatherapy happiness booster.
Added Bonus: Studies also show the scent of vanilla arouses men, so considered yourself forewarned!
Grab some magic markers and doodle lots of heart icons. Big heart doodles. Small heart doodles. Give some of the heart doodles smiley faces. The silliness of this doodling action combined with the repeated visual stimuli of seeing icons representing love will cheer you up.
Extra Feel Good Bonus: Doodle your heart icons on a plain white card and mail it to a friend/loved one with a note expressing your adoration of them
“Yellow can lift your spirits and self-esteem,” says color psychologist Angela Wright. I suppose that’s why the famous “smiley face icon” is yellow! So say hello to something yellow! Put on a yellow shirt. Buy some yellow flowers.
Being surrounded by nature is good for human nature. Go take a hike – or go for a stroll in the park.
Give yourself the gift of five minutes of quiet time, sitting in a comfortable position, humming “ohmmmmmm.” Studies show the sound of this vibrating in your throat relaxes your body—even warming up the skin a bit.
You’ll wind up cleaning up messy thoughts in the process. It’s a funny thing how the less clutter you have all around you, the more calm your mind becomes.
I’m a huge fan of journaling. I’ve joked that journaling is a way to “take selfies of your soul” – because journaling allows you to get closer to who you are and how you feel and what you want in life. I love journaling so much that I created a special Instant Happy Journal – with lots of thought-provoking happiness prompters. More info here…
Try some hand reflexology. Massage the chakra points on your palms – right at the base of each thumb. They match up with your adrenal glands, which need a little loving attention when you’re stressed/depressed. Hold one hand in the other, then use the pad of your thumb to gently but firmly massage this zone.
Studies show that doing acts of altruism and kindness create an instant happy mood boomerang – raising the serotonin in the giver as well as the receiver of these actions of love. Interestingly, studies show that even observing someone else do something kind can increase one’s own happiness levels. There’s even an expression for this called “Helper High.” With this “Helper’s High” in mind, feel free to share this list of happiness tools with others – and give yourself an “instant happy” for knowing you might be improving someone’s day!
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.