5 Ways to Increase Happiness


Feeling sad, depressed, or hopeless? Or ever feel like you are just stuck in a rut? When we get in this mindset, it can be difficulty to feel happy. At times it just seems like we are spinning our wheels trying to make ourselves be happy.

It’s not always easy to know what will make you feel happier, especially when you’ve been feeling down for a while.

Whether you’re looking for a quick mood boost or are hoping to implement positive habits, you might benefit from trying some science-backed ways to increase your happiness.

Here are some suggestions:

Topic Of Discussion

1. Make sure your basic needs are met.

Before we get into some of the fun activities, let’s talk about your basic needs. We’re talking the most basic of needs: food, water, shelter, and sleep.

Your mood is directly affected by factors like sleep and food. To give your brain the foundation it needs to feel happy, you need to be fed and well-rested.

If your mood is low, try asking yourself:

  • Have I had enough sleep?
  • Have I had a nutritious meal recently?
  • Did I drink enough water today?

Often, you might feel moody without realizing that it’s because you’re tired or hungry. In that case, increasing happiness might be as simple as eating, taking a nap, or having a glass of water.

2. Meditation

There’s a reason why meditation has such a positive reputation. Meditation and mindfulness might boost your mood, both in the long term and immediately.

During a 2021 study conducted in Hong Kong, researchers found that people who practiced mindfulness were “more likely to notice positive life experiences and be grateful for them.” This included feeling joy when looking forward to things, remembering happy moments, and making the most of good times.

Meditation might positively change the brain, improving focus and reducing stress. If you’ve tried meditation and found it challenging, you might find a different type of meditation to be more enjoyable.

3. Listen to music

Listening to music can have stress-relieving effects. Upbeat music, especially music you associate with a positive memory, might put a smile on your face.

Consider the following ideas:

  • Search for happy, upbeat playlists on YouTube, Spotify, or iTunes.
  • Try listening to pop music from a few years ago. The nostalgia might lift your spirits.
  • Listen to the soundtrack from your favorite movies or games.
  • Make a “happy playlist” for when you need a mood boost in the future.

4. Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature can increase feelings of happiness and decrease stress.

Researchers in a 2022 study found that rates of depression and anxiety were higher during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with pre-pandemic times. But people who spent more time in green space had much lower anxiety and depression scores than those who spent less time in nature.

Experts recommend spending at least 120 minutes in nature each week. If that’s not doable for you, even a few minutes might help.

Hiking outdoors is great, but if that’s not your thing, consider the following:

  • Plan a day at the beach or a forest with loved ones.
  • Eat outside, whether at restaurants or at home.
  • Have your morning coffee in your garden, balcony, or a local park.
  • Visit a park for a 15-minute break.
  • Walk your dog through a leafy area.
  • Go for a walk while listening to guided walking meditation.

5. Therapy

Talking with a therapist can help you improve your self-awareness, address potentially harmful patterns in your behavior and thinking, and process painful experiences. In other words, it’s a good way to invest in your mental health and increase your happiness in the long term.

You don’t need to have a mental illness to go to therapy. Almost anyone can benefit from therapy.

If you find it difficult to feel happy or fulfilled, or if you often find yourself feeling sad, anxious, or overwhelmed, it might be a sign to talk with a therapist.

Let’s Recap

Increasing happiness can sometimes be as simple as getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water. However, in some cases, you might need do a little extra such as: meditating, spending more time outside, listening to music, or even speaking with a therapist.

If you are struggling with increasing your happiness, Tri-Star Counseling is here to help! Tri-Star Counseling, LLC offers therapy services in Johnson City, Tennessee and online therapy services across Tennessee. If you feel you’ve done everything you know to do to make yourself happy and feel exhausted because you’re getting no where, schedule an appointment with Tri-Star Counseling today. Our therapists would love to help you increase your happiness.

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