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Feel Better – Be Happier
Are you feeling sad or unhappy? Here’s a few things that I’ve found to be extremely helpful.
If you are feeling sad, this is probably the most effective method of feeling better right away. Go outside and just start running. It doesn’t matter how fast you run, or how far you run, as long as you get your heart pumping and blood flowing. Try to push yourself a bit so that you have to concentrate really hard to make it through those last few feet. Doing this yields a ton of benefits:
- Exercise releases endorphins which immediately makes you feel better.
- It gives you a long term healthy habit to go to whenever you feel unhappy.
- While you’re concentrated on moving your muscles those last few laps, your mind is not fixed on what you’re sad about.
- Improving in exercise will give you self confidence when you look back on it.
- Do it outside so that you get some fresh air and sunlight.
- It increases your metabolism so that you feel more energetic for a while.
Whenever I return home from running, I’m always breathing so heavily that nothing else matters too much at the moment. There are never any feelings of pain, sadness, or anger. Something about struggling for breaths of life makes all your other troubles seem very trivial.
Laughing works faster than other exercises, as you can just throw back your head and do it. Go ahead, just laugh out loud right now… Hahahahahaha!!! Um… okay, maybe that was a little creepy. Uh.. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Okay, feel better?
Like other types of physical muscle contractions, laughing releases endorphins and relaxes you. It seems to be more effective than say running in that you can feel better after a short laugh than a long run.
Of course, it’s not always easy to laugh when you don’t find something funny. Therefore, the long term solution is to try to change your outlook to find life a funnier place. Notice the little quirks and ironic things going on around you and laugh at those. Notice the stupid mistakes you make and laugh at those. Notice how all your problems are so little in the grand scheme of things and laugh at that. Everythng kind of is pretty funny
Meanwhile, in the short term, just laugh when you feel sad. You don’t have to find something funny to start laughing; you can just laugh randomly! That in itself is kind of funny (so you might start off fake laughing, but then find that scene so hilarious that it becomes a real laugh anyway). Once you get used to it, you’ll start naturally laughing a lot more! It’s like a natural endorphin boost throughout the day that you don’t really even notice!
Another one of my favorite physical activities that just provides a natural endorphin boost. Unlike running, you don’t have to sweat and puff all day long. Singing is a lot like aerobic exercise, except it’s a lot more fun! Join a choir, audition for a musical play, or even just go to church. Pick something that is funny, motivating, and inspiring.
After all, while you’re singing about how good it is to be alive, it’s hard to think of anything negative. Here’s some inspiration: For The Beauty Of The Earth
I have definiately found that my overall mood is much improved when I sing on a regular basis. The easiest regular source of singing is probably church, where no one will judge you and you can feel at home singing in public. Additionally, these regular sources of singing tend to put you into contact with people, which will (hopefully) help you laugh more also
Remember The Happy Memories
Try to think of some memories. Are they ones you feel good about, or ones you feel bad about? If you’re feeling bad, chances are, the bad memories are the ones on the surface of your memory. If you’re always thinking, this is bad, that is bad, then of course everything is going to seem bad to you!
Think of a time when you were truly happy. Just any memory would do. For example, I can remember times in my childhood when I lived in a boarding school. In my corner, there was a big hole, and in it, my friends and I would always stash a bunch of “goodies”. Random stuff like paper, pieces of plastic, etc. My one prized possession was a piece of pinkish plastic shaped like a hat. It was basically an oval, with a cylindrical portion raised up in the middle. It was somewhat rough in texture, but I found it to be unique. It was a special item that I would take out once in a while and look at with glee.
Just describing that experience made me feel kind of happy. Thinking of memories like these in great detail helps you “relive” those experiences. Memory works in that the more you think about something, the more it becomes ingrained in your mind. Trying to continously think about how to get rid of your sad memories just makes you sadder! Spend some time each day and try to recall any good memories you have. Before you know it, you’ll start relating everything to those happy times and your sad memories would just be a vague recollection of the past!
Do Things And Go Places That Make You Happy
Of course, it also helps to get some new happy memories! With all those memories making you happy, why not relive some of those memories? Remember the beach that made you feel really peaceful and serene when you were a kid? Go there and sit by it for a while. Or maybe that trip that’s always made you energetic and gave you a feeling of excitement. Take that again. Do the things that you love to do, and be happy!
Remember that the main goal here is to build happy memories though, not to go through the motions of the experience. As you do these things that make you happy, take it all in and really appreciate it. Isn’t it such a great and wonderful experience? It makes you feel great just being alive!
That’s the feeling you’d like to get later when you look back on this time and relive this experience, so make it a good one!
Make Some Happy Friends
Since you are looking for happy experiences, what better way to make them than by hanging out with happy people? Pick some people that seem to be happy and smiling all the time. Make them your friend and hang out with them on a regular basis. If there is one thing that’s true, it’s that the thoughts of people you are closest to tend to “rub off” on you. You become more like the people you interact with on a regular basis.
There’s a lot of advantageous to making naturally happy friends:
- You’ll have someone making you happy randomly over the long term
- You may start to learn why they are so happy and learn the source of that happiness for yourself
- You’ll be subjected to happy experiences while undergoing this process
- Happy friends generally have happy friends also, so you’ll meet even more happy people
- Happy friends will introduce you to activities that make them happy, which you can adopt even if the friendship doesn’t work out
It sure seems like a lot of ways to make yourself happier
Finding Meaning In Life
Memories can only be happy when things are meaningful though. After all, who feels happy about doing dull and meaningless things? Therefore, you should try to find out what has meaning for you. When you do something important well, you feel important too! Think about it – People who do important things are important! Luckily, you determine what is important, so just find out what those are, and do them!
Before long, your mind will be so consumed with all the details of doing important things, that sad memories become forgotten or unimportant by comparison! Then you’ll just be left with happy memories of yourself doing important things!
This is one of the most important ones for finding long term happiness. Being content and finding happiness when you are alone will allow you to not depend on anything external to yourself. It gives you freedom in that these external factors don’t control your mood. For example, if you’re dependent on your friends to be happy, then you’ll always be afraid of what happens if they aren’t your friends anymore. This’ll make you feel unsure about yourself all the time. Anything that would cause your friends to be away from you would make you worried. You might start becoming very controlling of your friends, always needing them to be nearby. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you might become very afraid of making your friends angry, never seeking out healthy relationships. Finally, when your friends go away (as everything goes away eventually – we all die after all), you’ll be sad once again.
Compare that to having inner security, where you have a source of happiness that no one can destroy. Why not figure out what you want and go after it? You’ll always be happy trying to take that journey!
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