As the old saying goes, “money can’t buy happiness.” No matter how much wealth we have, it’s rarely an indicator of personal satisfaction. But still, at the end of the day, wouldn’t it be nice to have a couple extra bucks? A little bit of spending money for your own indulgence? A budgetary boost to keep you feeling safe and secure when the economy isn’t looking too bright? Sure, of course that’d be nice, but finding a dollar on the street corner will only get you so far. The key to a real lasting pick-me-up is in its utility, not in its market value. It’s not entertainment or pleasure alone that leads to true happiness. So, here are five free and easy ways to boost your happiness on a rainy day.
Count your blessings
We’re all beyond fortunate to have taken form on this big, blue, wondrous rock often known as earth. Whether you can rest your laurels on your job, your family, your friends or anywhere else, there’s something to be grateful for each and every day. Take just a minute (or more!) to slow down the pace, step back and remind yourself of what you have. Once you’ve done that, all the rest of the noise and clutter that surrounds your life will seem trivial.
Read a good book
Pick up your old favorite, get a recommendation from a close friend, or just take a stroll through the public library. By engrossing yourself in a genre of interest, you’ll give yourself a chance to detox and separate yourself from life’s trails. And it’s good for the other areas of the brain, too! In a world of 5-minute workouts, 140-character tweets, and direct-to-dvd movies, it’s never been more valuable to keep a healthy attention span. Regular reading can help you keep your brain sharp and attentive.
Research has suggested that our facial expressions have more of a two-way relationship with our emotions than we may have thought. Some scientists propose that smiling alone can boost your mood when you’re caught in a gloomy thought loop. So stretch those lips, flex the cheeks and let your pearly whites show.
Psychologists regularly study the facets of altruism – why exactly is it that we do things for others? While theories vary, most agree on the introspective value of helping those who need it more than you do. Volunteering can help you put things in perspective, and can give you a unique mood boost. Pick a charity or a cause, or even a friend in need, and give up some time for their benefit.
Take a walk
John Muir once quoted, “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” Muir was a heady author, and one our nation’s seminal naturalists. While not always the most transparent of writers, it’s safe to say that his point here is clearly made: a walk will do you good. Take some time to clear your head and let yourself mosey. Or better yet, take a book with you! Ultimately, emotions are tough qualia to pin down. Subjective, yet unanimous, our emotions give us shape, form, and a way of understanding our own reality. All together these five tips are some of the most esteemed methods for an emotional lift, but they’re hardly the extent of it. Test the waters; expand your willingness. There’s something out there that will make you feel as good as you deserve to feel, so go find it!
About the Author
Kristina Ross is a freelancer and blogger at SaveOnEnergy.com. As an animated environmental