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7 Ways to Find Happiness Instantly

7 Ways to Find Happiness Instantly

Some days are just rough. Like, really rough. You know the feeling: you’re dragging at home or work, plagued by inertia, laziness, and lack of motivation. You might be going through a tough time because of a particular event or just feeling the end of a really long winter. Or your coffee machine broke — for the third time this week! No matter what caused this case of ‘the blahs’…

Don’t settle for feeling down! It doesn’t have to be that way. There are lots of quick, easy, free, and simple ways to pick yourself up. Here are 7 ideas to boost your happiness. Try one, or better yet, try all 7!

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1. Remember a win.

We often are so busy beating ourselves up that we forget to remember what we’ve done well. Think back to your most recent success — it could be as small as completing a work or school assignment on time, or as big as winning a major award. You. Are. AWESOME! Feel that sense of accomplishment come rushing back instantly.

2. Be grateful.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful feelings that exists. It makes us feel lucky and wealthy. What do you appreciate — a family member or friend, the ability to be healthy, your fabulous guitar skills? How much better is your life as a result? Be grateful for the people you love, the roof over your head, or even for the fabulous ideas you find on Lifehack! Then sit back and bask in the warm fuzzies.

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3. Clear the clutter.

Clutter is a mood killer. For an instant pick-you-up…pick up! It’s not as painful or time consuming as it sounds. Start by looking around you. Find five things that are out of place at your home or office. Put them back in their right place – or if you no longer use them, get rid of them! Restoring to a sense of order will immediately make you feel more calm and in control.

4. Give yourself a mental boost.

Make yourself better than you were just five minutes ago. Learn something new! (It’s up to you whether it’s something useful or not.) Search “how to make a DIY bookcase” or “astrophysics 101” or “migrating birds”. Knowledge engages your brain and makes you focus on something beyond yourself. So go ahead…add a little more savvy to your already brilliant self.

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5. Spike your energy.

Let’s get physical! In as little as two minutes, you can affect your body chemistry, which can makes you more optimistic. For those of you non-exercisers, physical does not have to equal z-sprints across your living room. (In fact, if you live in an apartment it’s better if you don’t. Just don’t.) DO, however, bust out your best moves, get your downward dog on, or pretend you’re jumping rope (extra points for double dutch). Promise you’ll be perking up faster than you can say “hula hoop”.

6. Get inspired.

Tap into your inner artist to draw a picture, play an instrument or do a little dance. Art not your thing? Read a book, or listen to a podcast by someone who inspires you. Try searching online for “most beautiful buildings” or “most inspiring people” — you can’t help feeling uplifted by great stories of people who’ve done remarkable things. And guess what? You could be next!

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7. Set a goal.

Goals don’t seem that exciting at first glance. But they’re actually one of the most extraordinary motivators in the world. Why? Dreaming up something you’d like to achieve focuses you on your future self –a you that’s even better than the one today. As yourself what you’d like to accomplish in your work, family, community, or your personal life. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to kayak, write a book, or deadlift 150 lbs. You can do any of these things! Don’t be afraid to set big goals. But even small ones can help get you started — something as simple as run 10 minutes a day for the next 3 days is super empowering as long as you write it down, then take steps towards it immediately! Because at the end of the day, what boosts your happiness more than knowing the best is yet to come?!

Featured photo credit: Camdiluv via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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