The Dalai Lama once said: “Happiness is not ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
When was the last time you made time for actions that bring you happiness?
I’m talking about consciously stopping to do something that makes you feel alive, joyful and in the flow?
Not waking up and leaping onto the daily treadmill, getting buried in to-do lists, and watching the days of the calendar fly by.
Life is short and precious. Make time to do more of the simple things you love.
You’re not only doing yourself a favour – you’re blessing the people around you, who will get to hang out with a more light-hearted, happier version of you.
If you need inspiration, here’s a list of 48 simple ways to feel happier now:
- Read a whole chapter of that book you have been meaning to finish forever – no interruptions.
- Spend five minutes soaking up the sunshine on your back.
- Listen to an old favorite song that hasn’t been in your music rotation for years.
- Grab a coffee and sit on the grass in the nearest park.
- Pick a vegetable you don’t recognise at the grocery store and use it to make dinner.
- Grab a paintbrush and paints and give a piece of furniture or photo frame a new look.
- Freeze your favourite fruit to eat as an icy snack (grapes and bananas work great).
- Do a giant load of laundry so all your favourite clothes are fresh and ready to wear.
- Pick a handful of local flowers and arrange them in a vase for your living room.
- Offer to make dinner for a friend. Bonus points if you find out what their favourite food is.
- Get lost in a secondhand bookstore. Keep an eye out for old notes hidden away amongst the pages.
- Wake up early enough to watch the sunrise and soak up the peace and stillness of the morning.
- Sketch 3 random shapes on a page. Test your creativity and turn it into a meaningful drawing.
- Have an afternoon nap 100% guilt-free.
- Eat a random platter of your favorite snacks for dinner. Olives, brie and caramel popcorn, anyone?
- Have a real conversation with the next person who serves you in a shop.
- Watch an inspiring or thought-provoking TED talk on YouTube.
- Update your phone screensaver to something that makes you smile.
- Buy a small potted plant for your home. And you may as well give it a name.
- Spend a morning photographing your city. You’ll be amazed at details you’ve never noticed before.
- Create a new cocktail by mixing up ingredients you have at home.
- Google how to say ‘thank you’ in five languages. You never know when it’ll come in handy.
- De-clutter and rearrange your desk. A clear workspace equals a clear mind.
- Drink a glass of ice water flavoured with lemon and mint leaves.
- Start a gratitude diary by writing down three things you are grateful for today.
- Watch a film you’ve always wanted to watch but haven’t found the time.
- Text an old friend you haven’t seen in ages and invite them for a drink or coffee.
- Leave a positive review online – for a book, restaurant or the most recent bar you visited.
- Spend an extra five minutes in bed soaking up the comforty-goodness.
- Sign up to a free online course on a topic that interests you. (You could start with edX.)
- Handmake the next birthday card you need to give.
- Melt a block of chocolate with milk in a saucepan to create the best hot chocolate ever.
- Try doing cartwheel like when you were a kid (no matter how hopeless you are).
- Spend an hour playing with a free online DJ program, mixing up your favourite tracks.
- Write a to-do list and draw simple cartoons to illustrate each item.
- Indulge in your favorite take-away food, like toasted banana bread or wood-fire pizza.
- Read the very first posts by your favourite blogger. You’ll be surprised to see how far they’ve come.
- Try a new yoga pose. You can watch a YouTube tutorial or drop into your local yoga studio.
- Share one of your life dreams with a friend. It’s more likely to come true if you tell people about it.
- Rearrange your apartment using the principles of Feng Shui.
- Record a short video message and send to your friend or lover instead of a standard text.
- Carefully pick the ripest avocado to eat with a little olive oil and sea salt.
- Sleep naked in fresh sheets tonight.
- Set one of your favorite dance songs as your morning alarm. You won’t be so tempted to hit snooze.
- Design a mock business card with your dream job title. It might just motivate you to chase after it.
- Spend 5 minutes stretching your body from head to toe.
- Research a holiday or plan a road trip – even if it’s a long way in the future.
- Smile at the next person walking past you on the street. You just might make their day.