channel/life

7 Simple Ways To Start Feeling Happier Right Now

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It's easy to feel under the weather some days - especially on Sunday nights and Monday mornings. We think it's true that you really can "wake up on the wrong side of the bed," and maybe feel a little more down or grumpy than normal, but it's alright. There are many ways to beat the blues on days where we wake up feeling less than our best.

1. Take it easy.

Sometime stress can be the reason why we're not feeling so great. To boost your happiness levels, try scheduling less for the day and spacing your tasks out a bit more. Actually take your lunch break at work and read a book while you eat, take a walk, or catch up on the news on your phone instead of sitting at your desk and slaving away at an assignment over your meal. Just taking a few minutes to walk around the block in your neighborhood or by your office will help give you some breathing room.

Slowing down is healthier than piling up our days with junk. Make sure that the things you , and also make sure to leave enough time for sleep. Don't work late into the night and make some time for a 30-minute walk at the gym.

2. Exercise

Exercising can severely reduce stress levels and help us sleep better. According to the National Sleep Foundation, "A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality." Exercising has also been found to help boost energy levels during the day.

3. Spend time out in nature and in the sun!

You could take a walk around the park by yourself or with a friend, or just sit down and read a book outside. According to Greatist, "Living near green spaces is associated with better mental health, and even just looking at images of nature scenes can stimulate the parts of your brain associated with happiness, positivity, and emotional stability."

It's also great because sun exposure increases the production of Vitamin D, which is great because low level of the vitamin is associated with depression. More sunlight equals more happiness!

4. Get enough sleep.

Young people joke that they can run on four hours of sleep and eat crap but still manage to stay afloat. Sure, maybe college students can pull all-nighters and eat deep fried whatever, but realistically it will catch up to you at some point. Your body needs an adequate amount of sleep or else it can start affecting our performance.

According to Greatist, "In fact, research shows that not sleeping enough (four hours per night) may lead to lower levels of optimism."

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5. Spend time with friends and loved ones.

Studies show that being surrounded by friends and loved ones (or even just connecting over social media or text) can make us feel happier. According to Happify Daily, "Convincing evidence of this phenomenon comes from Ed Diener and Martin Seligman, two leading experts in the field of happiness research. When they compared the happiest to the least happy people, they found that the first group was highly social and had the strongest relationship ties."

Start your day off by sending a text to a friend or loved one wishing them a good day ahead. Maybe make a phone call to a family member. Whatever you choose to do, stay connected and instead of opting to having too much time to yourself, spend some of it with those who make you happy.

6. Be grateful for everyone and everything.

We know this might be pushing it, believe me. I'm not grateful for the guy who cut me off this morning and made me have to wait for the next green light, but hey, it happens. Let it go. In the grand scheme of things, something like that really isn't a big deal. Sure, it gets under our skin but something 10 times greater can happen right after (like it times out right that you get a parking space right in front of the building you need to go into because someone is leaving, and that wouldn't have happened if you didn't miss the light!).

Be grateful for every little thing that makes you happy. Be grateful for friends and coworkers that teach you something new each day. Be grateful for warm lattes and stand-up comedy videos on YouTube.

7. Try yoga.

There's a lot of hype around yoga, but many of us are still skeptical about its benefits. However, giving it a try can really boost your overall happiness. Something about the way you get to stretch and move your body just makes you feel refreshed and exhilarated, and it helps you sleep better. During the practice you don't worry about your job and your ego and all kinds of other thoughts and problems that cloud our thoughts. It's just you and your body and your breathing, and it's so calming.