Happy Belated Happiness Day!

Whoops.  Happiness Day was March 20th, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned through writing this blog it’s that it’s never too late to start being happy!  In honor of March 20th, let’s revisit 20 things you could start to do differently to make you (and others) more happy.

  1. Smile.  Lots of studies support the idea that smiling can make us feel happier on a psychological and biological level.
  2. Do something for someone else – it immediately feels good, plus they might pay it forward.
  3. Remind yourself of how grateful you are for things that make you happy so you don’t start taking them for granted.
  4. Get into a flow – that sweet spot where you lose yourself because you’ve found the perfect balance of high challenge and high skill and you are neither bored nor anxious.
  5. Pay more attention to positive, happy stuff.
  6. Spend time with friends and family you love.
  7. Cultivate curiosity.  Practice being intrigued with ordinary and new things and people.
  8. View something as a challenge rather than a threat.
  9. As much as possible do stuff because it comes naturally to you, you value it, or you enjoy it – not because you feel guilty for not doing it.
  10. Remember that the “bad” stuff allows you to appreciate the “good.”
  11. Savor life.  Reminisce about great experiences, appreciate wonderful moments as they happen, and fantasize positively about the future.
  12. List stuff you’re happy about.  They can be small details or major things. Make a game out of creating a longer list each time.
  13. Strive to find meaning in adversity and despair.
  14. Practice radical acceptance and creating change.
  15. Notice and reward small progress.
  16. Get your needs met.
  17. Practice believing that everyone is doing their best.
  18. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  19. Be specific when you express gratitude toward someone else.
  20. Decide to be happy.  After all, so much of it is within our control!