In a previous blog, I talked about how unhappiness is often a consequence of a lot of the little things we do every day that keep us trapped in self-limiting, self-defeating, and self-destructive behaviors. I also believe that there are a lot of little things we can do every day to pivot away from negativity. Let me be clear: I don’t discount the benefits of paying for therapy or of self-help books if they offer you something of value, but little changes can often make a big difference.
So I’m putting on a Happiness Sale. Here are some great tips to make you smile at low, low prices!
- I know at least a few people who don’t own a TV – intentionally. I’m not saying that you have to go this far, but try skipping the newscast once in a while. I see no problem with staying informed; I just don’t think you should have to carry the burden of your own worries in addition to worldly concerns.
- Grab a sponge and scrub your bathtub. Cleaning is oddly fulfilling.
- Put on your favorite CD and sing it loud and proud. Don’t forgo the air guitar solo.
- Act like a tourist in your own city. Visit places you normally take for granted.
- Think back to all the times you said, “Oh my God, I haven’t done that in ages!” (or “I haven’t watched that movie in ages!”). And then go out and do it.
- Re-arrange the furniture in one of the rooms in your home. It might just give you a new perspective on life.
- Go to bed 15 minutes earlier. You’ll feel less tired and less rushed in the morning.
- Walk around the house with a big smile on your face. You’ll look and feel ridiculous, but I guarantee that it will make you feel better.
- Learn some common phrases in a foreign language.
- Get together with friends or family and discuss weird philosophical questions. For example:
- If Superman and Wolverine got into a fight, who would win?
- If these walls could talk, what would they say?
- What’s the dumbest invention ever?
- What’s the greatest superpower ever?
- What’s the next best food combo that has yet to become mainstream? And most importantly, can it beat fries with mayo as a dipping sauce?
- Watch or read Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. He gave a memorable talk at Carnegie Mellon after discovering he was dying of pancreatic cancer. Here are some excerpts:
- “No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.”
- “You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.”
- “I’ve never understood pity and self-pity as an emotion. We have a finite amount of time. Whether short or long, it doesn’t matter. Life is to be lived.”
- Two words: Cat memes. I dare you not to laugh at some of the stuff that people come up with.