5 Things You Can Do to Instantly Feel Happier

I spend a lot of years understanding what I can do to feel happier, almost instantly. I entered my mid 20s with a few embedded thinking patterns that haven’t always worked in my favour: perfectionism, overachieving tendencies and a bit of anxiety.

Changing your behavioural baggage, which is created by family, peers, background and education, requires some work, a lot of self-awareness, but it can be done!

The great thing about the brain is – it can be trained! The not so great thing about the brain is – it’s stubborn. But also easy to trick.

So when you feel you’re stuck in a moment of negative thinking, anxiety or other less-than-helpful mind patterns, here’s what you can do to trick your brain into releasing more positive thoughts:

Go for a walk

You’ve heard this a million times before, but getting out of a particular triggering situation is the best thing you can immediately do to avoid a domino effect. Break the cycle before it starts by taking a breather. If you can go somewhere close to a natural environment, park or scenery, it will have a bigger impact.

feel happier walk

Talk to your trusted friends or family

There’s no greater pick-me up than unconditional love and understanding from those who know you well and are willing to listen and not judge when you have your low moments. Unloading and talking about feelings can help tremendously. Do it over some good food and wine, and you’re guaranteed to have forgotten about the bad day you’ve had.

feel happier friends
Practice your hobby

Besides the fact you’re probably passionate about it, hobbies will help you relax, will reduce anxiety and distract the brain from negative though patterns.

Exercising falls under this category – and is indeed one of the best things you can do to feel happier and healthier.

fell happier nature

Watch a favourite video 

Sometimes, I find that when I listen to other people’s stories or I am made aware of issues beyond my small-minded bubble, my perspective shifts. The more I see the big picture or get inspired by life and business stories, the less I can afford to stay in a negative state of mind.

Write it down

There’s such a power in writing things down. It declutters your mind, it unloads your emotional burden and forces you to reflect. But most importantly – once on paper, a problem will most often shrink to just that – a problem. Something you can look at objectively and find a solution for. Because no matter what, there will ALWAYS be a solution.

While you’re at it – reflect on one good thing that happened to you that day. Being grateful is proven to reduce unhappiness and negativity.

Happy international happiness day! Don’t forget to be more and chase less.

Mindfulness (Or The Power of Now)

This is a story about mindfulness.

I was walking down the street after work recently, taking in the rather mild winter air, – my head still buzzing with mundane thoughts: ‘What should I have for dinner?’, ‘Did I say the right thing in that meeting?’, ‘Have I got a lot planned for the weekend?’, ‘I need to remember to buy some detergent.’ And my mind kept going on and on, jumping from one subject to another, keeping me distracted…

But suddenly, it went quiet.

And then I started noticing… People rushing to do some last minute shopping, teenagers celebrating end of term, queuing cheerfully for chicken at Nando’s, bars and pubs buzzing with excitement, heavy traffic building up, much to the drivers’ frustration.

I had a strange, yet incredibly calming feeling of everything moving in slow motion. I felt present, connected to my surrounding, living in the now. It only lasted for a few seconds, as a warm breeze hit my face and I was listening to an artist playing the guitar near the tube station. It was a random combination of music, beautiful weather and … letting go. But that moment happened unconsciously. I didn’t plan or tried to be present.

That feeling of peace and pure joy is indescribable. And it’s linked to nothing. It’s just…being.

It doesn’t need space, time or other elements of form.

This is exactly what the book The power of now is trying to teach us. I read it recently but it was then when I understood what the following paragraph meant to say:

‘Please stop trying to understand Being. You have already had significant glimpses of Being, but the mind will always try to squeeze it into a little box and then put a label on it. It cannot be done. It cannot become an object of knowledge.[…]Being can be felt as the ever present I am that is beyond the name and form.’

Whether you’re religious, or not, any form of meditation and mindfulness will bring you closer to the state of being. I rarely experience this feeling of total disconnection from my overactive mind. But I noticed this happening when I’m out in nature, or while practicing yoga. And sometimes just by observing the world around me.

scotland landscape