travel alone solo traveler

Even if you can’t go on a solo vacation for a while, the mere act of planning one can immediately take your mind off of stressful things and make you feel happier. Image: Daniel Foster via Flickr CC.

When you find yourself feeling bogged down by work, relationship issues, and the like, it can seem impossible to get yourself out of a negative slump. Believe it or not, you can actually feel happier using a few tricks and lifestyle tweaks. Here are some of the things I have done to help myself feel happier.

  1. Smile – Research has shown that a genuine smile can actually make you less stressed. So get to smiling as much as you can by spending time around funny, positive people, or doing things that make you feel good!
  2. Be grateful for both the amazing and mundane things in your life. Like for that great roommate that did your dishes or for your sister who sent you that lovely card. Take a small inventory of the little things you are grateful for and you will find yourself filled with joy and well-being.
  3. Plan a vacation for yourself. Even if you can’t go on that vacation for months, just looking at the hotels and shops to visit will give you a little gratification and something to look forward to. It’s like taking daydreaming to the next level – and I guarantee it will make you feel happier.
  4. Work on something you love so much that you lose track of time. Have you ever been so involved in something that you actually forgot to check your phone or eat lunch? If so you’ve experienced “flow” which is where you really lose yourself in something that is so linked to overall happiness. Find your flow.
  5. Get your workout on! Aside from the clear endorphin rush, exercise requires focus and energy which will take your mind off the day and what you need to do.
  6. Share a meal with people you care about. Sharing yummy food and good vibes with people you love will always put you in a good mood.
  7. Spend some moments of silence reflecting on yourself and becoming more self-aware. It can help with cognitive, physical and emotional benefits, and will help you feel happier over time.
  8. Accept things as they are. Unhappiness often stems from impatience. It will help you to avoid this if you accept your current circumstances and recognize that you can’t control everything.