Yes, pulling a Seth Cohen and sailing off to Tahiti on a yacht would probably bring you major bliss. But you don't have to go big to score big happinessÃ¢â‚¬”the smaller stuff actually works just as well. We checked in with Christine Hassler, life coach, speaker, and author of Expectation Hangover, for the full scoop on little life changes that'll up your happiness factor big time.
This may be the most important happiness move you can make, says Hassler. When youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re tired, your body produces more cortisol, which makes you feel stressed. Normally get six to seven hours? Try for eight. Trust us on this one.
Sounds a bit cheesy, but honestly, hugs are so underrated. Physical touch makes you feel instantly more at ease, says Hassler, who recommends hugging someone at least once a day. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re single, lay Ã¢â‚¬â„¢em on your girlfriends. Taken? Give one to your partner right when you get out of bed in the morningÃ¢â‚¬”itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll set the tone for a brighter day.
Practicing gratitude makes you feel more fulfilled, says Hassler, which in turn makes you feel more blissful overall. Write a note to a friend whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been amazing to you over the years, or, better yet, make a list before bed of a couple things that happened that day that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re really excited about.
Your iPhone, that is. Detaching from technology helps you rejuvenate and feel less, well, buzzed. Try to have at least one hour out of every day when you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t check it, suggest HasslerÃ¢â‚¬”whatever hour works best for you!
You know youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re guilty of being too hard on yourselfÃ¢â‚¬”we all are. But treating yourself like you treat your friends makes you so. much. happier, says Hassler. So compliment yourself on your awesome hair day or the fact that you killed it during your work presentation.
Props to you for hitting the elliptical or going for a run on the regularÃ¢â‚¬”thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s awesome. But classes like dancing or boxingÃ¢â‚¬”basically anything where youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re totally flailing around the whole timeÃ¢â‚¬”help your body move its energy around even more, so you feel calmer once itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s over, says Hassler.
You know that Calvin and Hobbes comic strip where Calvin says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s never enough time to do all the nothing you want?Ã¢â‚¬Â Yeah, he was onto something there. Leave yourself a chunk of unplanned time each dayÃ¢â‚¬”at least half an hourÃ¢â‚¬”to do whatever you want. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll help you feel less stressed, which ups your bliss levels in a big way, says Hassler.
Every week, choose a song with a message that you want to followÃ¢â‚¬”be happy, live in the moment, whateverÃ¢â‚¬”and play it on your way to work. Listening to the same song over and over will help you better connect with its main idea, says Hassler, so youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re more likely to adopt its wisdom.
This is one of those tips that makes pretty much every happiness/mindfulness/life-improvement list there is. But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because it works! Water helps your body run smoother and clears your head, says Hassler. Translation? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an, um, clear winner.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so easy to stress out about moneyÃ¢â‚¬”we all do it. But if you check your statement daily, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll feel like you have a better handle on your financial situationÃ¢â‚¬”or you'll improve your Ã¢â‚¬Å“wealth consciousness,Ã¢â‚¬Â as Hassler calls it. That, in turn, makes you feel more in control and happier.
Research shows that simply anticipating good times makes you happierÃ¢â‚¬”even before youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had them. So start that Ã¢â‚¬Å“Friday dinner?Ã¢â‚¬Â Gmail chain, and pick somewhere delicious to goÃ¢â‚¬”you all deserve it.