17 Little Tricks The Smartest People Use To Feel Instantly Happier

It’s easy to think that happiness requires something major to happen to flip your mood, but this isn’t true — and the smartest people know it. You can feel happier right now by making a few small changes to your daily routine. Here are 17 things to try the next time you feel your mood slipping and need to create some happiness.

1. Fake your smile.

You might feel like a fool for smiling for no reason, especially if you don’t believe your own smile, but try it on for size! Research from Stanford University has found that faking a smile can boost real feelings of happiness. Soon enough, it may become genuine!

2. Listen to a feel-good song.

It doesn’t matter what song makes you wanna dance or remember good times from the past. Put it on right now! Extra points if it’s a song that embarrasses you if others hear it because that means it’s silly and fun. If you’re home alone (and hey, even if you’re not!) don’t be shy about singing along or doing a little dance.

3. Call a belly-laugh friend.

If you’re feeling down, don’t call a friend who always rains on your parade. Instead, dial the one friend who can always make you laugh no matter what, the one who makes you nearly pee yourself with laughter every time you’re around them because you have that many inside jokes and are on the same humor wavelength. Bring on the belly laughs.

4. Dance it up in your living room.

Move your body by dancing up a storm. Pretend you’re Taylor Swift or Beyonce for a few minutes! Or, grab your partner and twirl them around and just be silly. The great thing about movement is that it can shift your thoughts and you don’t even need music. Sometimes you just have to let loose to lift your mood.

5. Play with your pet.

Your pet is always ready to give you love and make you chuckle with their antics. So, cuddle your cat or grab your dog’s favorite toy and play with them. They’ll warm your heart and make you smile in no time. Interacting with animals lowers cortisol levels — science proves it!

6. Try a new class in your neighborhood.

Diversity in gym class doing workout, training and exercise. Multicultural, happy and diverse people with different body shape and size exercising and active at a gym for fitness, wellness and cardio

Instead of going to the same aerobics or yoga class, go do something different. You’ll feel lighter and refreshed because you’ve mixed things up, which is sure to make you feel amazing. And who knows, you might just discover a brand new passion.

7. Do something good for someone who hasn’t asked.

When your friend complains about not having time for self-care, buy her a spa voucher. When your mom mentions she’s feeling lonely, pop around for a surprise visit. Making someone else’s day always boosts your mood. Knowing you put a smile on their face will definitely put one on yours.

8. Paint your nails.

Right now, grab your favorite bottle of nail polish and paint your nails. You’ll feel so much better because they’re neat and pretty, and you’ll smile every time you look at your hands. Better yet, have a girls’ night in so you can give each other manis and pedis.

9. Try a new recipe.

Mix up dinner plans by making delicious banana bread or pizza from scratch. Follow a recipe and have some fun with it. See what happens! It’s fun to try something different. Plus, it really boosts your confidence to realize how capable you are of making something delicious.

10. Clear away some clutter.

You might not have time to clean your whole apartment, but you can clean up a small area. Wipe down dusty surfaces, sweep the floors, and do whatever else you can do in five minutes. Having a cleaner, organized home will boost your mood by clearing your mind. A cleaner home = less stress, which often = more happiness.

11. Have a power nap.

Why not try to sleep for 10 or 20 minutes in the middle of your day? A power nap is rejuvenating and can help you eliminate stress while boosting your energy. Happiness awaits on the other side of your mini-snooze session.

12. Surround yourself with the color green.

smiling woman basking in park

Research has found that the color green is uplifting. It can make you feel calmer and more positive, so purchase some plants for your kitchen or your work desk, or maybe add some green cushions for your sofa.

13. Feel the sunshine on your shoulders.

Step into the sunshine for a few minutes — there’s something soothing and calming about the feeling of the sun on your skin. It’s not your imagination. Sunshine boosts your mood because it boosts your brain’s release of the serotonin hormone.

14. Go for a six-minute run.

smiling couple embracing on rooftopiStock

Running is a great way to get some exercise, and just six minutes of it can make you feel a rush of happy endorphins. Make it even more mood-boosting by going for a run in nature.

15. Pick some flowers and put them in your home.

eenage women walking with flowers through city

Looking at beautiful flowers is a quick way to feel happy and be more mindful of the beauty around you. So, pick some flowers and put them in a vase in your home so you can smile whenever you see them.

16. Replace your sheets.

It’s always hygienic to replace your sheets, but sometimes it also makes you feel good. Perhaps it’s because your bed looks neat and fresh! Add some colorful sheets to uplift your bedroom decor, which will also make you feel good.

17. Scroll through feel-good pics on your phone.

If you’re feeling a bit blue, it can be helpful to look through pictures on your phone that make you feel good. These could be pictures of your pets, kids, partner, or funny memes that you’ve saved from social media.

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Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.