Need to get happy--fast? If so, you've come to the right place. Raj Raghunathan, a Professor of Marketing at UT Austin, recently wrote a book about the topic--If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Happy? According to Raj, regardless of your current state of mind-whether you're run down or in a funk--there are 10 things quick fixes anyone can do that will give you an immediate mood-lift.
Here are 7 of Raj's happiness quick fixes--you'll find the rest in his original blog post. Some may work better for you than others, so give them all a try to see which ones make you happiest.
1. Dress to kill
It's human nature to worry about what other people think of you. You should rest in the comfort that you're not alone in your insecurities, but also address our tendency to seek validation by dressing and looking your best. When you feel confident about how you appear to others--providing one less thing to worry about--you will be happier.
2. Watch a funny or touching video
Getting ourselves out of a bad-mood funk can sometimes be as easy as watching something that makes us feel good instead. Head to YouTube to find happiness inspiration through cute animals or a TED talk or a cause you care about--choose something that warms your heart or makes you laugh. Your mood will instantly lift.
3. Tick something off your to-do list
There's nothing better than the feeling of accomplishment, no matter how small the task. Instead of conquering that next daunting item on your to-do list--which is currently causing a very bad mood--choose something less taxing and easy to complete. You will instantly receive a burst of happiness and the motivation you need to go on to that task you have been avoiding all day.
4. Do a small act of kindness
Sometimes, making someone else happy is enough to brighten our own moods as well. Bake an extra batch of cookies and share with a neighbor or buy an extra coffee for your friend. They are little gestures, but the impact and instant feeling of happiness will surprise you.
5. Revisit old (and positive) memories
Reminding ourselves of the past can have either very negative or very positive effects. As long as we don't find ourselves dwelling on bad memories, or wishing we were back in that time, remembering happy moments from our past can be a very effective way to feel happy again in the present.
6. Hang out with friends
Spending time with people who make you laugh is an easy, effortless way to take your mind off things. Call your best buds and have them over for dinner. Chances are, other people's company--even remotely by phone--will make you feel better right away.
7. Engage in vigorous activity
The key, Raj says, is to make sure the activity gets your heart pumping and your mind distracted from anything negative that's weighing on you. The less you worry about whatever is on your mind, the happier you will be. Plus, all those endorphins flooding your brain from the exercise are the closest thing to happiness in a bottle you'll ever find.