9 Things to Do Every Day to Boost Your Happiness
Take your happiness into your own hands! We partnered with Honey Nut Cheerios to bring you these tips and tricks to help sustain a daily smile.
Throughout each day, hundreds of small moments and experiences combine to influence the way we feel. Happiness can come from just about anywhere. No matter the source, though, a positive mood can help you stay on the path to a happy heart.
Happy feelings don’t just happen to us though—there are practical actions you can take to amplify the good feelings and keep the bad at bay. To learn more about these good-mood multipliers, we talked to Deborah Sharp, LCSW-S, GCP, and assembled some simple tips that can help build up your happiness throughout the day. These easy actions can make all the difference in your mood.
1. Stick to a balanced diet that's not too restrictive
Eating a balanced diet that includes foods that are satisfying and tasty is a surefire way to set your brain up for feel-good feelings. A balanced diet is key. For example, Honey Nut Cheerios has soluble fiber from whole grain oats, which can help lower cholesterol when incorporated into a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol (3 grams of soluble fiber needed daily, Honey Nut Cheerios cereal provides 0.75 grams per serving).
2. Dedicate at least 10 minutes to exercise, twice a day
The CDC recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week, but here’s the important part: those 150 minutes don’t need to happen all at once. Break it up into manageable chunks of at least 10 minutes: climb up and down the stairs a few times or take a brisk walk around the block. Regular exercise can help relieve tension and anxiety.
3. Set small, achievable goals throughout the day
Our bodies operate on feedback loops. In practical terms, this means that the more bursts of positivity you can give yourself, the easier it will be to maintain a constant level of happiness. Setting small-scale, low-impact goals for yourself can help get the ball rolling, even if it’s as simple as “vacuum the living room” or “wash the dishes.” The activity might not be fun, but the sense of accomplishment you feel will be!
4. Spend more time in natural surroundings
Getting your blood pumping by walking around a room is great, but step outside to do yourself an even bigger favor. Recent studies have suggested that exposure to natural sights like clouds, trees, and plant life can have a positive effect on your mood. It’s true for everyone but especially if you live in a city.
5. Get some sun exposure for a dose of vitamin D
If you spend a lot of time indoors, you may not be not getting enough vitamin D, which plays an important role in fighting off depression. So, while you’re spending time in nature, be sure to slather on some SPF and let the sun warm your skin a little bit every day.
6. Revamp your sleep routine
The average person needs around seven hours of sleep per day, although some require more or less than that. To meet your personal sleep needs, go to bed at a consistent time every night and avoid smaller naps during the day. Sufficient sleep will prime you for a happier outlook throughout the day.
7. Take a moment to stretch when you’re feeling out of sorts
Even something as simple as a stretch can make an impact on your mood: a standing backward bend sends energetic signals throughout the body, while bending forward at the waist can have a calming effect. Both stretches can help you manage your stress levels and promote happiness.
8. Inhale positivity with regulated breathing
It’s easy to overlook something as automatic as your breath, but regulated breathing can be a useful tool for augmenting your happiness. Take deep breaths that expand your diaphragm to send calming signals to your brain and exhale completely to reduce the carbon dioxide levels in your blood.
9. Find creative ways to be social
A sure-fire way to feel good? Some simple human connection. Casual social interaction is a little trickier now in the age of social distancing, so it’s up to you to find new ways to meet your interpersonal needs. Maybe schedule a recurring video chat with an old friend, walk around the block and wave to the neighbors, or even write a physical letter to someone you care about.
Fuel your happy with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Learn why it’s making people smile here.