1. Take a walk in nature
Nature has a way of soothing the soul. Take a walk without any distractions. Concentrate on your senses and bring yourself into the moment. What can you smell? What can you see? What can you hear?
2. Write a thank you card to someone
There is no better way to feel good than sharing your appreciation with someone else. Think of someone who you could genuinely thank and send them a handwritten note.
3. Read a self-help book
What you fill your mind with matters. If you want to feel happier, digest happy material. Keep inspirational books and self-help material close and read it frequently.
4. Connect with a good friend
Our personal connections are crucially important to our overall well-being. Touch base with a close friend for a moment of joy.
5. Drink a cup of herbal tea mindfully
Joy can be found in simple things when you give them your full attention. Pour yourself a nice cup of herbal tea and take the time to sit and drink it mindfully. Concentrate on nothing more than enjoying the tea.
6. Snuggle up with a pet
Pets have a way of relieving anxiety and reducing our stress. Take the time to give your dog, cat or other pet a good pat. They will love it just as much as you will.
7. Take 3 deep breaths
Deep breathing is an excellent way to calm down and bring us back to our center. Stop regularly and take 3 conscious deep breaths. Breathe in and hold for a short moment before breathing out fully and completely.
8. Smell something delicious
Our sense of smell is often overlooked as a mechanism to help us experience joy. If you have a favorite scent, open the bottle and enjoy the aroma, or light a scented candle. I like to have essential oil mist close for a quick pick-me-up.
9. Look out the window and find one thing to appreciate
Stopping to truly see what is around you can bring you back to the realization that there is something so much bigger than just your individuality. Find a window and look out into the world and find one small thing to appreciate. I am frequently awed by the beauty of nature.
10. Read inspirational quotes
Our thoughts are all important. Choose the good ones. Jump onto Pinterest and search quotes or flick through a facebook page (such as Mike Dooley’s or my own) and spend 5 minutes really contemplating the wisdom behind the words.
11. Review old photos
Going through old photos of pleasant memories is a way to create joyful feelings as we reminisce. If you regularly share photos on facebook, it is easy to go through albums online and review your precious memories. If you’re not a social media sharer pull out your old photos and spend some time looking through them.
12. Listen to an uplifting song
I’m a big believer in the power of music to speak to our hearts and stir in us beautiful and powerful emotions. Find songs that help light you up. Two of my favorites – Fight Song by Rachel Platten & This Girl is On Fire by Alicia Keys.
13. Watch an inspirational TED Talk
TED talks are short 15-20 min inspirational talks about all kinds of things. The one I was most moved by recently was the talk given by Shonda Rhimes. [http://blog.ted.com/shonda-rhimes-tells-her-story-at-ted2016]
14. Prepare yourself a nourishing meal
There is joy to be found in preparing and eating delicious and nourishing food. I’m not a good cook by any stretch of the imagination, but I thoroughly appreciate delicious and healthy food. You feel good when you know you are looking after your body.
15. Put on clothes that make you feel good
When you dress yourself in a way that lifts your spirit, you are honoring your needs. For you, that may be yoga pants or it may be a fancy dress. Often we crave wearing something that’s different than what we wear every day, so look for the opportunity to either dress-up or dress-down.
There is nothing more calming than quietening your mind and giving yourself some peace and space. If meditation is something new to you, start with simple, short guided-meditations. There are a number of apps that can help you out.
17. Give yourself a hand massage
Take a break and give yourself a hand massage. We usually just go about our business expecting our body to do whatever we ask of it, but sometimes it is nice to stop and take a moment to appreciate it and give it some love.
18. Write with a colored pen
There is something joyful about using color where you can. To brighten up your day, try writing your notes in beautiful, bright colored pens. Your eyes will thank you for it.
19. Listen to an inspirational podcast
There is so much inspiring and empowering information being shared for free via this medium. The beauty of a podcast is that it is a simple way to digest positive information, and you can listen while doing other tasks. I listen while driving and folding my laundry.
20. Practice gratitude
Sometimes when we’re in a tough situation, our minds start to focus on the negative. Yet, when you take back control, you’ll find there is always something to be grateful for. Whenever you need a mood boost, stop whatever you are doing and write a quick note of 3 things you are currently grateful for.
21. Buy yourself flowers
Become okay with giving yourself a wee treat from time to time. For me, that treat is always flowers. They brighten my world. They’re what I call a ‘joy-trigger’ and the way they make me feel is worth every penny I invest in them.