5 Simple Practices for Boosting Happiness

“One happiness scatters a thousand sorrows…”

Chasing happiness, adventures, love and light. That’s my mantra, and I try to share it with you all as much as I can. For me, the meaning of life is happiness. If something doesn’t make me feel happy and I can reasonably avoid it, I will (sometimes with lack of better judgment).

I’ve been to the point of both extremes: whether wallowing in sadness for what feels like a never-ending period of time, or feeling like I’m walking on sunshine. Along the way, I’ve found some small lifestyle practices that have picked me up.

I want to first acknowledge that I am by no means recommending these as solutions for mental health issues, as everyone is different and everyone comes from different backgrounds. However, I’d like to share these strategies because they’ve helped me rise in happiness and positivity. Any chance to spread positivity is a chance to take!

If you’re reading this, I hope you find something that brings you out of your dark place (whether here, or elsewhere). You’re valued, you’re worth it, and you belong here. 

1. Practice Gratitude and Positive Self Talk

Really, Marissa? Yes, really. Maybe this is cliché, as many of these tips are, but a reminder never hurts. I found that much of my happiness and ability to remain positive comes from my thought process. Remind yourself everyday of something you’re thankful for. Even if it’s just waking up that day, not everyone has the privilege.

Combat negativity with positivity. For every instance of negative thoughts and self-doubt, identify a counter-argument. Focus on the positive, and kick the negative to the curb. It’ll take a conscious and active effort on your part. Positive self-talk is a great way to start. It may seem goofy, but it’s important. From giving yourself a pep talk in the mirror, to writing a letter to yourself about all of the wonderful things that make you, you. Eventually it’ll become second-nature. Believe me, it will.

2. Strive for Balance

This is something I’ve learned the hard way, and it’s certainly easier said than done. The semester I spread myself too thin was the worst mental state of my life. Mental eventually translates to physical. Your body WILL notify you of the overload. Whether you crash and sleep all day, or are “blessed” with body aches and head colds.

This hustle hard, no days off, “sleep is for the weak” culture is causing people to move in ways that push their bodies outside of the boundaries of balance. Try your best to find a healthy middle. Be okay with taking it slow sometimes.

3. Spread the Love

It really does feel good to make others smile. A simple compliment or acknowledgement of someone else’s effort feels good for both the giver and the receiver. I will always appreciate the way someone’s face lights up when you tell them they’re doing great. Just make sure it’s genuine – people see right through a facade.

4. Talk to a Friend

Bottling up emotions does more harm than good. Speaking to a closely trusted confidante, such as a friend or lover, can really make you feel better. Not only that, but often times it will provide clarity. I’ve vented to others simply to vent – not for advice. However, the conversation can help you walk away with extra realizations just from getting to process things out loud. In situations where a friend provides their opinion/advice, you may need that voice of reason simply to help you see things you didn’t see before.

If you don’t have many friends you’d consider trusting, therapy may also be a good option. However, this comes at a cost. Here are some resources to find cost-effective therapists.

5. Unplug

Social media can be a large source of unhappiness and stress. The temptation to compare your life to seemingly-glamorous influencers is unwavering. Not only strangers, but comparing our lives to others we know is also a source of discontent. Remember, social media is composed of highlight reels. The low down, dirty, behind the scenes struggle is almost never broadcasted. Sometimes you may need to just unplug completely, even if it’s for a few days. Or, if not, unfollow or mute people who you constantly seem to compare yourself to. It’s a harsh reality – social media adds another complex layer to mental wellbeing. However, it’s important to regulate your use and see how it can be destructive to your happiness and self-esteem.

This was a quick blog post, but it’s truly from my personal experiences and recent conversations. As several people around me are experiencing things that make them feel discontent, this has been weighing on my mind for a long time to share. Thank you for reading. You’re valued, you’re worth it, and you belong here. 

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