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Happiness Project

By Gretchen Rubin

11 Tips for Feeling Happier Right Now

Post by Gretchen of The Happiness Project.

If you’d like to make yourself happier, you can start right now. In the next hour, check off as many of the following items as possible.

Each one of these tips is guaranteed to lift your mood, as will the mere fact that you’ve tackled and accomplished some concrete goals.

1. Boost your energy: pace while you talk on the phone or, even better, take a brisk ten-minute walk outside. Even a small amount of exercise elevates your spirits.

2. Listen to a great song. Research shows that listening to music you love is an extremely effective way to improve your mood.

3. Reach out to friends: make a lunch date or call a friend. Having warm bonds with other people is a key to happiness. Perhaps surprisingly, it turns out that socializing boosts the moods not only of extroverts, but also of introverts.

4, Rid yourself of a nagging task: answer a difficult email, purchase something you need, or call to make that dentist’s appointment. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a big rush of energy and cheer.

5. Create a calm environment: clear some physical and mental space around your desk by pitching junk, stowing supplies, sending out quick responses, filing, or even just straightening up your piles. Outer order contributes to inner serenity.

6. Lay the groundwork for some fun: order a book you’ve been wanting to read (not something you should read) or plan a weekend excursion. Studies show that having fun on a regular basis is a pillar of happiness. Try to involve friends or family, as well; people enjoy activities more when they’re with other people than when they’re alone.

7. Do a good deed: make a helpful email introduction, set up a blind date, or shoot someone a piece of useful information or gratifying praise. Do good, feel good—this really works. Also, although we often believe that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act. When you act in a friendly way, you’ll strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people. And that’s a happy feeling.

8. Fake it: put a smile on your face right now, and keep smiling. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile has a positive influence on your emotions. Also, if you’re smiling, other people will perceive you as being friendlier and more approachable.

9. Spend time with an energetic friend. Studies show that you’re more likely to feel good about yourself when you feel energetic. For the long term, it’s important to get enough sleep and to exercise, but if you need an immediate pick-me-up, spend time with an energetic friend. In a phenomenon called “emotional contagion,” people pick up each other’s moods. By hanging out with someone energetic, you’ll boost your own energy.

10. Go outside.Research suggests that sunlight stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood and increases focus. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.

11. Save the life of a stranger. Every day, seventeen people die while waiting for a donated organ, and just one donor can save or improve the life of as many as 50 people. Most Americans say they approve of organ donation, but not many actually sign a donor card. Register online and tell your next of kin you want to donate. As you click away, imagine the joyous faces of the people who will one day get a call from a hospital, to tell them that their prayers have been answered. That will make you feel pretty darned happy.

Photo by yaya6193

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Being reminded of my mortality helps me to see the importance of trying to be happy right now.

I've got One

Pull up you socks. Something about pulling up settled socks just gives me a little feel good.



I think #11 (registering to donate organs) is a great idea, & if I hadn't already done it, I'd do it now. It's not like I plan on dying today or tomorrow. And thinking of being an organ donor does not make me sad - it makes me proud to think that in the event of my untimely passing, some part of my body might improve someone else's quality of life, maybe more than one person's quality of life. There may be nothing else I do on this earth that would be socially redeeming. But if I can at least do this one thing before I'm put in the ground, how could I possibly say 'no'? And what an exhilarating thought, to think that I could be so important in the life of someone I don't even know! What a rush!


I have tried many of these and I must say that they all have merit.
I have just listened to a great song and that has certainly worked for me.
Thanks for this post.


Good thoughts.......

Thanks for the inspiration for the day...
I appreciate it
Chuck Bartok

number 11

Hey Anonymous.... When helping others by donating organs - you are increasing the "net worth" of your own life... What's negative about that?


I concur, it's pretty good up until #11, that one's kinda depressing.

number 11 reponse

thats funny, keep it up and before you know it you can do #10 at midnight

number 11

I thought this was a great post until I read number 11. I have nothing against it and am an organ donor, but if you are trying to make someone happy, reminding them of their mortality is probably not the way to go! I actually feel more anxious now than before I read this.

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