The revered Dalai Lama once said that happiness is not something ready-made! It comes from your own actions. As philosophical as it may appear, we are each responsible for our own happiness and as ludicrous as it may sound, it’s actually really easy to make our heart sing. In fact, we can list six simple things that will promise to brighten up your day and make you feel more positive and joyful in life.

Exercise
Did you know a 7 minute exercise routine is enough to make you ecstatic in life? A regular physical regimen has such a profound effect on our spirits and well-being that it’s actually proven to be an effective strategy to help people overcome depression. Exercise stimulates endorphin production which, as we all know, can make you feel oh-so-good! Besides making us upbeat, consistent work outs helps relax, enhance brain power and improve your body image, even if you don’t end up shifting any pounds.

Sleep
Research shows that a more optimistic outlook on life is associated with improved sleep quality. In our brain, negative stimuli get processed by the amygdale while the positive or neutral memories get processed by the hippocampus. Inadequate shut eye affects the hippocampus harder than the amygdale, so people who do not get a good night’s sleep fail to recall good memories and are more inclined to hold on to the sad moments in their life.

Laugh out loud
Happiness is a state of the mind hence anticipation of happiness more than activities can raise the endorphins levels in the body. Smiling itself can help you feel better about life! But remember, this only works if you back up your smiles with positive thoughts.

Volunteer
Believe it or not, but doing things for others can actually make us more contented. It is proven fact that volunteer work enhances all six aspects of well-being: happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health, and curbs depression. Therapists suggest one should look at spending at least 100 hours a year (or two hours a week) just in the service of others. When we help others, it puts our own problems into perspective and also provides strong social interaction.

Spend time with family & friends
One of the top five regrets of people is not having spent enough time with family and friends. So, last but not the least, the best way to be happy is to spend time with your near and dear ones. Go out, have a blast partying or drop in at a buddy’s pad. Take my word for it, mingling with pals is bound to make you feel better, even if you are an introvert.

Get a pet
Another way of being cheerful is to get a pet. The stress relieving benefits of pets are universal. Studies have established that animal lovers had significantly lower heart rates and blood pressure levels when exposed to stressors than those who did not have pets. In fact, the pets worked even better in cushioning anxieties than the spouses did.

Edited by: Medhavi Gulati

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